“The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him.” – Proverbs 31:1
Sunday is Mother’s Day. The day will be filled with a sweet thank you for all that our moms do. The restaurants will be filled. Cards will be given. Eight year old Billy gave his mother a box of chocolates. He proudly said, “It’s real good. I know because I already ate three pieces.” In another home, a brother and sister presented their mom with a house plant. The older said with a sad face, “There was a wonderful bouquet that we wanted to get you but we couldn’t afford it. It had a nice ribbon that said, ‘Rest in Peace.’ We thought you’d like that because you are always wanting some peace and rest.
Our verse today, leads into the section that we commonly know as ‘The virtuous woman.’ But it begins with an oracle that the king learned from his mother. Moms teach. A Spanish proverbs states, “an ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.’
Notice three things that flow from Proverbs 31:
First, Moms warn. That’s moms job and duty. It is driven out of love. The house may be clean, but if the hearts of the children are not, mom has missed her most important function. Raising children to be decent, hard working and loving the Lord changes the future and puts things in the right order.
In Proverbs 31, there are two warnings. First, about relationships (3). The influences of others can cause one to compromise their convictions and sell out what they believe in. Second, there is a warning about alcohol(4-5). “It is not for kings to drink wine,” the text says. Sober in mind, sober in heart and sober in conviction, is what this mom understood. A drunken fool will be taken advantage of. Alcohol changes a person and it’s not for the better. It affects our thinking, our judgment and our decisions. The mom of Proverbs 31 warned, “it is not for kings to drink wine.” I wonder how many moms are saying that today?
We need moms warning today. Social media, amount of time on video games, and friends ought to be on top of the list that moms warn about. If faith isn’t working at home, it’s not working anywhere. Who was there to tell the three Jewish boys in Daniel three not to bow down to Babylon’s idol? Who was there to tell Joseph not to fall into the temptation of his boss’ wife? They had no one. They had learned. They had developed their own faith. They had convictions upon which they would stand. Much of this points back to a mother and father who were on the same page spiritually and who invested in the spiritual lives of their children.
There are days Mom when you must be the bad guy. You may not be your child’s best friend. Best friends just want to have fun. Best friends often look the other way. You are the parent. You must establish boundaries, rules and expectations. And, mom, you must back up these things. Don’t cut corners because they whine, cry or are unhappy. You don’t do them any long term favors when your words don’t mean anything.
Second, Moms volunteers you (vs. 8-9). The mom in Proverbs 31 expected her son, the king, to “fight for the rights of the unfortunate” and “defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.” Twice the text says, “Open your mouth.” Speak up. Stand up. The king would be in the position to do something and mom was saying, “Do it well and do it right.” “Don’t forget about the little guy.” Laziness, selfishness, indifference are the death to a society, a church and a family. The story of the rich man and Lazarus reminds us of this. The rich man isn’t painted as an evil or wicked man. Nothing indicates that he was dishonest. But when it came to helping someone who was ill and laying at his gate, he did nothing.
Mom, get the kids busy doing things for others. Get them making home made get well cards and cards of encouragement to send to others. Take them to someone’s home and let them help out. In our selfish times, it is important to show them how to put others first and to be servants of heart. They won’t learn that from social media.
Third, Moms want the best (vs 10-31). This is where the image of the virtuous woman is found. Mom was instructing her son, the king, on what type of wife to marry. She would be much more than the queen. She would be a partner in his life. Nothing is said about her schooling, what she looks like, or how rich her daddy is. The emphasis is upon her character. She is a type of person that would help, not hurt. She is the type of person that is not going to embarrass nor hinder her husband. She will be a benefit, not a liability. Mom was wanting a wife that would be good for her son. Mom knew. Mom knew what marriage does to a person. Mom knew how important it is to be on the same page spiritually.
It wearies me hearing God’s people describing future daughters-in-law or sons-in-law, as “good people,” when there is not any spiritual interest in them and in time they influence their mates to become weaker spiritually. Such is not a good person. A good person will admire, respect and honor the faith of another. Having a blast here, but losing your soul is not what any parent would want.
King Lemuel remembered the oracle of his mother. Maybe it’s about time that mothers in the kingdom started sharing their oracles with their sons and daughters.
What a blessing it is to be a mother. Do it well! What an advantage it is to have a godly mother. Honor her. Praise her. Thank her. Learn from her.
King Lemuel remembered. He remember what mom said.