Next verse! Verse 9 (in context)
7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;To resummarize: Wisdom and knowledge begin with the fear of the Lord. A recognition of God's perfection, holiness, justice, ability to stamp one out with a thought. A grateful dependance upon God's mercies and supplication to the King of knowledge for this knowledge. Following this, we are called to hear and obey the teaching of the Lord, especially as they come through our parents (and other authority figures). Do we obey our parents? Do we obey our church? Do we obey our small group leaders? Even when it seems inconvient?
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
and forsake not your mother's teaching,
9for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.
9for they are a graceful garland for your headv. 9 gives us the promise which comes after v. 8. This is why you're encouraged to hear and obey, because the words of God, the teachings passed down by your father and mother, are a "graceful garland" and "pendants."
and pendants for your neck.
These laws, these commandments, they are an arrangement of intertwined material (usually flowers), they are an ornament for our necklace. (Webster) What is the verse saying? That this is where our adornment is. Of course people cannot see this in the same way that they would see a necklace, but do you know what? It doesn't matter! Because the only opinion that ever matters here is God's. And He is saying that these commands and teachings are a "graceful garland" and "pendants." This is true adornment, holy and pleasing before the eyes of God.
Men - Do you think that looking fit and muscular makes you look better and more attractive? That may be the case to the outside world, but remember the stern warning that God gives in 1 Samuel 16:7. After Samuel calls the sons of Jesse to seek one to annoint king, he sees Eliab and thinks that the Lord will surely choose him (presumably because Eliab looked like a king), but God says to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." Looking muscular and looking physically attractive may get you far in this world, but if you heart is far from God, it is completely worthless. God sees your heart, clearer than you know your own heart. He sees every sin, every thought, every flicker. And He has given us clear instructions on what is pleasing to Him, our adornment (to God) is the commands and laws of God, the teachings passed down through our parents.
I'm not saying that being physically fit (or even physically attractive) is wrong. David was "ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome" (1 Samuel 16) But neither is being attractive good in itself. Jesus "had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53) You may spend day after day at the gym working out so that you can bench press your own weight, but how much mental training in godliness are you doing? Are you seeking to please man, to find your image in how people look at you? No, God is the one who determines what we look like. What do we look like before God?