More Advice from Mom

(Maybe.) Because my Bible titles Proverbs 31:1-9 “The Words of Lemuel” and then verses 10-31 “Description of a Worthy Woman,” I treated only those first few verses as the oracle from Lemuel’s mom (it seems that’s a pretty common approach). Well, that may not be so. It could be that the entire chapter is the oracle!

That’s pretty awesome if it is. First of all, it just makes Lemuel’s mother even more special. She didn’t just model for her son what a virtuous woman looked like, but she intentionally wrote out examples — according to a Hebrew acrostic for “easy” memorization — and painstakingly taught it to her child! Acrostic or no, that’s still a lot to memorize, which is the second reason I think it’s awesome if it’s part of the mother’s oracle. Lemuel memorized all of it! I hope he found himself the kind of wife his mother would approve of! I hope that both for Lemuel, who would have to hear it from his mom if she was still alive, and I also hope it for his wife, who might have had to wake to these little verses whispered in her ear if she stayed in bed past dawn. Sheesh!

Whether it’s part of the oracle or not is unclear, but I like the idea. I will be studying, meditating, and blogging through the remainder of this chapter verse by verse in the coming days and weeks. While I have no specific timetable for this, I would think I will publish no fewer than one or two posts per week. As I examine each verse, I will be keeping these ideas in mind:

  1. Lemuel’s mother was intentional about teaching her son how to select a spouse.
    How can I be intentional about teaching my son the same thing?
  2. This is not a list of absolute standards, but a beautiful example of a very valuable and cherished wife.
    What steps can I take to move closer to this excellent goal?
  3. The Bible presents Christian marriage as a symbol of Christ’s relationship with the Church.
    (Christ : Bridegroom :: Church : Bride)
    How can these verses be translated into the Christian life and relationship with the Lord?

I’m excited about this journey, and I would love to read your thoughts as you read along! Blessings!

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)
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2 thoughts on “More Advice from Mom

  1. In my study Bible, it only refers to the first 9 verses as being the sayings of King Lemuel but I think the fact that the epilogue about the wife of noble character is included in that chapter could well mean it had the same origin. I like how, in verse 1, it says that the sayings were an “inspired utterance his mother taught him”. As the mother of a (grown) son, I’m reminded again how much weight our words have on our children and especially our sons. His mother then communicates the importance of paying attention to what she has to say by saying “listen” 3 times in the second verse alone. I think you can teach your son how to select a spouse by telling him what qualities are the most important and why – character trumps everything (vs. 29/30) – and also by being that kind of woman (which I believe King Lemuel’s mother was or he wouldn’t have placed any weight on what she said).

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