The words of King Lemuel.
An oracle that his mother taught him… (Proverbs 31:1)
Mothers give an incredible amount of time, energy, care, and love to raising their children. Yet, another forgotten aspect is the wisdom children learn from their mothers. In Proverbs 31:1, we get the words of a mother to her son. However, her son isn’t just any son; her son happens to be a King. So what kind of words does a mother give to a king? What lessons will she leave him with? Let’s see them in Proverbs 31:1-9.
The first thing she says to her son is, “Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.” She is telling her son what we’ve seen throughout the book of Proverbs. Do not be deceived into thinking that pursuing a woman who isn’t your wife will lead to anything good or righteous. Evil desires have destroyed the best of kings. Even the Bible says resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7) but elsewhere say, “Flee youthful lust.” Mom Lesson Number 1: Flee Lust, It Can Destroy You.
The second thing she says to her son is, “it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink” (Luke 8:4). In other words, she warns her son to stay away from drunkenness which is the opposite of sober-minded. As a King, her son does not have the luxury of letting his judgment be skewed. She says that not being sober-minded can lead to her son forgetting the laws and perverting justice. Some people like being intoxicated to forget their problems, but as a king, her son needs to be responsive to the issues that exist, and we have to be aware of the issues surrounding us. When we lack awareness of the issues around us, we cannot take the light of the gospel into those situations. Mom Lesson Number 2: Don’t Be Intoxicated, You Got Too Much Going On.
The third thing she says to her son is, “open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute” (31:8). In other words, she is encouraging her son to be aware of the problems and speak up. He is a king who has a responsibility to respond on behalf of poor and needy people. We should do that as well. Jesus told his disciples to care for the thirsty, needy, and impoverished and then says, “as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me.” When we love the needy, we reflect Jesus, and in reflecting Jesus and living like him, we are loving Jesus. Mom Lesson Number 3: Speak Out For Those Who Can’t, Jesus Did The Same.
Again, these are incredible lessons from a mother to a son. And these are lessons that we can all take to heart. The good news for us is, as scripture, this word isn’t just a lesson from mom to son. It’s a lesson for our Father to all of God’s children.