The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him. (Proverbs 31:1)
A Mother’s Advice About Women, Wine, And Wives
One of the most familiar passages in scripture is the striking prose of the virtues of a godly woman whose worthy was placed far above rubies and whose character is described as excelling above all others. The final setting of the Proverbs is aptly concluded with the aged advice of a mother to her son who is ruling as king. It is remarkable that kings must listen to their mothers if they are to be wise. The mother of Lemuel instructs her son not to be carried away by the folly of women which makes one think of Solomon whose heart was turned away from the Lord because he allowed his many wives to seduce his heart to evil. There is a place for the wedded bed in the home but allowing the pleasures of the flesh to conquer the spirit will destroy the soul. Lemuel’s mother was giving her son sage advice concerning the wiles of women who sought the power of the king. Allowing the seductive woman to rule his heart would bring his kingdom to destruction. Secondly, the mother of Lemuel warned her son against the dangers of alcohol. She reminds him that imbibing in wine and intoxicating drink will make for poor decisions and a vast array of bad decisions. The king’s mother was not unaware of how the effects of alcohol can destroy lives and she was very concerned to warn her son to stay away from those things that would corrupt his judgment. Drinking impacts the mind. She was not the head of the local MADD group or a doctor with degrees in chemical analysis of what alcohol does to the body. This woman was a mother with a cause to keep her son from making bad choices and staying away from alcohol was the only way to make it clear to him. There was not a suggestion to drink responsibly. Lemuel’s mother made it very clear and very plain: stay away from wine and intoxicating drink – period.
Mothers have a sense of things that sons should listen and take heed. Lemuel’s mother was happy that her son was king but that did not keep her from reminding him (the king) of the importance of his work. His voice would carry over the needs of the people and should include all of the people including the poor and needy. It would be easy for a ruler to become self-absorbed in his own world of royalty and prestige forgetting the common man and his needs. The king’s mother reminds her son the speechless need a voice, the accused need defense, and the poor and needy need benevolence. What greater love can a mother teach her son but to show him his responsibility to care for and be concerned for others? His laws will give the voice to the disenfranchised. It may be by his just hand that innocents are saved from death. If his judgments are just there will be peace and prosperity in the land. No king should ever forget the plight of the poor and those in need. As their ruler, he should do everything within his power to supply their needs to lessen the burdens they must bear. Any king who had a mother like Lemuel and who listened to the wisdom of this godly woman would find their kingdoms glowing with the richness of spirit, soul, and mind. It is clear the heart of King Lemuel’s mother was rooted in a deep conviction for the Lord God and His way.
The final advice from mother was how to find a wife. Her advice for her son was not to choose any woman. As the king, he could have his pick of any who came courting and could fill his houses full of all the desirable woman of his kingdom. Lemuel’s mother wanted her son to follow the pattern established by the divine Creator in the beginning that one man and one woman are united in the love of God and His laws. If the king was looking for a wife, his mother was giving her best advice on what to look for in a wife. As a parent, she understood the importance of helping her son find a mate that will help him in this life and the life to come. The character of the worthy woman is one of industry, faithfulness, fidelity, and courage. She was smart, willing to work hard, benevolent to others and beautiful in presence and character. This woman who would become his wife would no doubt have a mother much like king Lemuel who taught her daughter the same virtues to abstain from drink and to make wise judgments. Choosing a mate is the most serious decision. The king should take careful consideration of the kind of woman he marries. In the same vein, the worthy woman should take particular care in finding a man who is not given to wine and who is a fair and just person. A mother’s greatest gift to her son or daughter is to instruct them in finding a godly mate that will take them to heaven. She knows that charm is deceitful and beauty is passing but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised. Mothers must guide their sons to be kings in the home as rulers of the righteous character of God. Thank God for all the mothers who teach the sons who are kings to love God above all else.