I asked my son tonight to give me a number between 1 and 31. I figured it was about as random as me just tapping at a chapter on my phone. I’m not sure he understood my questions completely. He might have thought I was asking for a number that was either 1 or 31. He chose 31. My wife asked if I was ready for that one. Let’s find out.
The Sayings of King Lemuel
1 The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.
2 O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows,
3 do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol.
5 For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed.
6 Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress.
7 Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.
9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
I think they got it wrong when they said this came from King Lemuel’s mother. I’m pretty sure Martha Kent used to say this to a young Superman every night before he went to super-sleep. Whoever it was that said it was right to protect her son with these words. At first it sounds like a mother who does not want her son to grow up, and leave her for another woman. But, further into it, we see that it is a mother preparing her son to become a king.
Fathers have the responsibility to teach their sons how to be men. But, mothers play a role that might be even more important. They are a boy’s first model of what a woman should be. And, how he treats women as an adult might just be the direct result of his relationship with his mother, but I’m no psychologist, nor do I care to spend time on this blog relating this to my own life (mostly out of fear that my mother will read this one day and start questioning me about it – that right there probably tells you all you need to know).
A Wife of Noble Character
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
First off, let me say that I do not sit at the city gates with the other civic leaders, nor am I even well known there. Honestly, I don’t think we have city gates where I live. And if we do, who in their right mind would hang out there. That’s what the Apple Store is for. With that being said, I cannot expect my wife to live up to all 31 of these…these…I don’t know what to call them…ideas.
I don’t expect her to be the last one to go to bed, and the first one to wake. I don’t expect her to make breakfast for the household every morning. I don’t expect her to make her own bedspreads. Does anyone do that anymore? I don’t expect the majority of these things to come from her.
I expect her to be the best her she can be. I expect her to love God with all her heart, mind, and soul, and to love her neighbor. I expect her to put her faith and trust in God. I expect her to allow God to work in her life and give over control to him. I expect her to have big dreams, and to chase after them with everything she’s got. I expect her to give love without expecting anything in return. I expect her to serve others, to help others, and (you guessed it) to love others. I expect her to be the best mom she can be, and to raise our son much like King Lemuel’s mother raised him; to prepare him for the world, and to ready him for battle.
I expect her to continue to teach me how to love unconditionally. I am constantly amazed at her love and admiration for me. I do not deserve a wife who loves me so much, and I don’t thank God for her nearly enough as I should, but I do thank God for bringing us together.
Bottom line, I expect the same things of her as I do of myself. Except the part about being a good mother. Switch that for father and we are in business.
I expect us to make mistakes. I expect us to fall down. I expect us to fail more times than we care to count. And, every time we fall I expect us to look up to the Lord, get back up on our feet, dust ourselves off, and continue on our journey together.
What’s your Proverbs 31?