Proverbs 3 (NLT)
The Sayings of King Lemuel
The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.
Mama warns her son the king not to succumb to the wiles of women who would sap his strength:
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.
Mama reminds him to avoid wine and strong drink so that he will not rule unwisely:
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.
Mama insists that it is his responsibility to give justice to the poor and oppressed:
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.
A Wife of Noble Character
I dedicate this passage today to Linda (from Ada, Minnesota) on her birthday! You have been a wonderful model to me of what a Proverbs 31 woman can be. Thank you and much love to you today and every day!
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.
Throughout the book of Proverbs, wives have been the object of both praise and judgment. In 19:14, a good wife is described as coming from the Lord. She is instrumental in training children and youth. Her contributions to the family are of the greatest importance. But wives can also be the object of judgment They can nag (21:9); they can be quarrelsome (21:19). But worst of all, they can be unfaithful (7:19).
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.
Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.
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.
There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.
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.
Try praising your wife, even if it does frighten her at first.
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.
“I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest — blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine.”
–Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Author and preacher Tony Campolo said that when his wife, Peggy, was at home full time with their children and someone would ask, “And what is it that you do, my dear?” she would respond, “I am socializing two Homo sapiens into the dominant values of the Judeo-Christian tradition in order that they might be instruments for the transformation of the social order into the kind of eschatological utopia that God willed from the beginning of creation.”
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
Genesis 2:21-24 (NIV)
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
“At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
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.
HERE is a tender true story and a song, about a 95-year-old man who remembers his wife of 75 years, “Sweet Lorraine.”
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved