It is one thing to receive sound wisdom; it is an entirely different thing to do it.
The book of Proverbs has a vast amount of wisdom, but one section really comes to mind and that is a Mother’s advice that unfortunately was never applied and it started the process of Israel falling away from God.
A Mother’s Love
Proverbs 31 is an oracle of a Mother’s love for her son, who also happens to be a king. She wants to warn him about something that would negatively impact him and she will also let him know how valuable a godly wife/spouse is.
Proverbs 31:1-9 says:
“1 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: 2 What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? 3 Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, 5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. 8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
There is some disagreement on who King Lemuel is. I personally, along with many others, believe that it is Solomon.
If this is correct, Bathsheba would have been the one that gave the oracle.
Bathsheba would have experiential knowledge of the exact implications and impact of not doing it. She was the wife of a king and saw and experienced the consequences of an adulteress relationship and the influence a woman could have over a man.
She starts with asking him, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Three times. She is coming to him as a concerned mother that deeply loves and has made vows to God concerning him (like Hannah).
1. Do not be enticed by these women who are throwing themselves at you and will lead to destruction.
Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. This led to not only his demise, but brought foreign gods into Israel. After his reign the kingdom experiences civil war and starts falling farther and farther away from God – other than the occasional godly king who points the nation toward God and remembers who the true Rock, Fortress, Provider, and Sustainer of Israel/Judah is.
Nothing is more devastating than getting involved in an ungodly relationship.
2. Avoid getting drunk and not being sober minded.
Appropriate for medicinal purposes, but if not sober minded, difficult to fulfill the responsibilities a king has.
3. Ensure justice/righteousness is upheld.
If you look at Romans 13, it is the primary responsibility of all governmental authorities.
4. Ensure that the poor and needy are taken care of and not forgotten.
The Value of a Godly Wife
She then lays out how valuable and precious a godly wife is. Proverbs 31:10-31 says,
“10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 14 She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. 15 She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 16 She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 19 She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
12 Truths About Godly Wives and Mothers
- She is more valuable than precious jewels. (husbands, we need to treat our wives in both word and action like this, if we do, they will love, support, and respect you completely)
- She is focused on her husband for his benefit. She is a blessing, not a curse.
- She is an entrepreneur. She is looking for opportunities to provide additional income and wealth.
- She is extremely hard working and he primary focus is meeting the needs of her family and ensuring that they are taken care of.
- She displays compassion to the less fortunate. She is not consumed with just her family’s needs, but also the needs of others.
- Her reputation precedes her and it is an honor to her husband
- She has a sense of humor and is bright, intelligent, and has great wisdom.
- She is anything but lazy, always productive.
- She is to be praised by her family, and rightfully so.
- Beauty and charm should never be what to look for, because they are deceitful and vain, never last.
- Most important quality is a woman who fears the LORD, if she doesn’t, don’t even bother.
- She should receive praise.
This is amazing wisdom if applied. I can’t help but think, what would Solomon’s life been like had he actually listened to his mother? What would have been the course of Israel’s history? We could speculate but the reality is we know exactly what happened.
The good news is we can impart this wisdom to to our children, those we lead and serve. For those of you who are not married, it is the second most important decision you will ever make, the first being accepting Christ.
Please forgive me, but I can’t help but brag on my wife, who is the most amazing wife and mother. She is absolutely more valuable than all the money in the world. God has absolutely blessed me with my best friend and partner in life. I can’t imagine my life without her.
Mothers, blessings and honor to you!