Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Proverbs 31 man we forget to talk about :-)

I read Proverbs 31, again. But this time I read it with a fresh understanding, like I saw new lines I did not see there before :-).

First and foremost, these were the words of King Lemuel of Massa, "strong advice his mother gave him..." It began with:
"Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of!
    Child whom I bore! The son I dedicated to God!
Don't dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women,
    promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.

Reading further he went on to buttress the importance of speaking out for justice and not allowing too much wine ruin one's leadership ability. And then, we are directed to the famous CV of a virtuous woman. Line after line, we are told what the portrait of a virtuous woman looks like or should be. 

Many young women, like myself, have feasted so much on this portion of the Bible. Aspiring to be a "capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—" (Proverbs 31:10) for the man we'll treat like a king.

But guess what? It takes a man of Proverbs 31:2-9 and 23 to find a woman of Proverbs 31:10-31.

It is a union of partnership. 

If you notice, the portrait of the virtuous woman was punctuated with a reminder in Proverbs 31:23-
Her husband is known in the [city's] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

This means, the virtuous woman is not married to a man who sits all week watching SuperSports and debating about Arsenal and Manchester like it is what will pay the children's school fees :-) The man also knows not to waste his strength on promiscuity or those things which ruin kings (Proverbs 31:2).

That whole chapter can as well be titled, "Portrait of a virtuous couple that honor God." As it speaks to the man, so does it speak to the woman. Seriously, this is not an impossible standard to attain or what do you think? 

So we must not just limit the teachings to women alone. Emphatically pointing out how women should model the woman of Proverbs 31. Men can also be that king who chooses to be responsible. 

Take a fresh look at Proverbs 31 again and let the Holy Spirit grant you a clear understanding.  

Enjoy your weekend!

Proverbs 31 (

King James Version (KJV)
31 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.


  1. I agree...often we focus too much on the woman and we let the guy off the hook.

    Great post!!!

    Some men need to step up!

  2. Kim said...
    Great post!
    Solomon wrote and/or collected Proverbs and passed that wisdom along to his son(s). He was a well rounded teacher. He taught his son(s) about the disadvantages of being foolish. He admonished his son(s) to exercise wisdom. Then, at the end of Proverbs, he made sure his son(s) understood the description and value of a virtuous wife. In most Christian circles, males are taught to recognize and expect a virtuous wife. Solomon was a very well rounded and thorough teacher. He addressed the responsibilities of BOTH MEN and WOMEN, yet the Christian community often fails to follow Solomon's teaching example and address both sides. Far too many Christians have become comfortable and satisfied ONLY studying the description of the virtuous wife while OMITTING the rest of Proverbs and the valuable descriptions and lessons it has to offer.

  3. Man of Noble Character found scattered throughout Proverbs
    A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of
    understanding will acquire wise counsel. Pro 1:5
    Reprove a wise man and he will love you. Pro 9:8
    Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a
    righteous man and he will increase his learning. Pro 9:9
    ...a man of understanding holds his peace. Pro 11:12
    The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. Pro 11:25
    A good man will obtain favor from the LORD. Pro 12:2
    A wise man is he who listens to counsel. Pro 12:15
    A prudent man overlooks an insult. Pro 12:16
    A righteous man hates falsehood... Pro 13:5
    Every prudent man acts with knowledge. Pro 13:16
    He who walks with wise men will be wise. Pro 13:20
    A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children. Pro 13:22
    The sensible man considers his steps. Proverbs 14:15
    A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil. Pro 14:16
    He who is slow to anger has great understanding. Pro 14:29
    A man of understanding walks straight. Pro 15:21
    ...he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Pro 17:27
    House and riches are the inheritance of fathers Pro 19:14
    What is desirable in a man is his kindness. Pro 19:22
    A righteous man who walks in his integrity-- How blessed are his sons after him. Pro 20:7
    A wise man scales the city of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust. Pro 21:22
    A prudent man sees danger, and hides himself... Pro 22:3, 27:12
    A wise man is strong, And a man of knowledge increases power. Pro 24:5
    For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity. Pro 24:16
    A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to
    be rich will not go unpunished. Pro 28:20
    A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back. Pro 29:11

    Newer Bible translations may use "person" in these verses, but older translations use the word Man or He.

  4. The husband described in Pr 31: 23 is a man like Job. Job was known in the gates and sat among the elders of the land (Jo 29:7). Many people ERRONEOUSLY tell wives that it's their responsibility to make sure their husbands are know in the gates. That's myth and misapplication of scripture. This is not a wife's responsibility. Job was known because of his own actions. He assisted the poor and orphans. He helped those without hope. Everything he did was honest. He served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. He was a father to the poor. He broke the jaws of godless oppressors. People listened to his advice. These were some of the responsibilities for elders in the OT. Unfortunately, Job's wife was not a virtuous woman, yet that had no bearing on Job's actions because he was a man of wisdom and faith. Although it's not a wife's duty to make her husband know in the gates (like Job, that's a man's own responsibility), wives should not hinder their husbands (Pr 31:12).

  5. 'The Potrait of a Virtous couple' Ilike

  6. Great reminder to us men...thanks Poet!