Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Proverbs 31:1-3 Stay away from the “wrong kind” of woman!

The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?
    What are you doing, son of my vows? 
Do not give your strength to women,
    your ways to those who destroy kings. (Proverbs 31:2-3 ESV)

Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, paraphrases these verses this way:  

“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.” 

Right off the bat, Mama is using a bit of emotional manipulation with her son. We all know how to do this, right? She reminds him that she gave birth to him, therefore, she has a claim to him and has the right to chasten him. True enough! However, can’t you just sense her attempt to appeal to some guilt here? Even the best of us sometimes likes to play the part of the Holy Spirit. . .

When Emmy was in her teen years and pushing the envelope, I used to remind her that I trusted her to pray when making decisions and to honor Christ in all she did. For instance, when she was in eighth grade she ordered five CD’s for 99¢ from a BMG promotion. When they arrived she opened the package while we were in the car, and when I saw the cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers album I freaked. It looked totally satanic!

Emmy gave me a deep sigh (the kind that only middle schoolers can give), and said, “Oh mother!” So I calmed down, and, like Lemuel’s mother, I used the guilt card! I said to her, “Okay, honey, I know that you know what is good and right. So I’m just going to trust you to listen to the lyrics and ask yourself if this is something Jesus would want you to listen to.” Yep, I knew how to manipulate in a righteous way! :) It worked! She ditched the CD.

Note that the first piece of advice Lemuel’s mother gives is about women! She did not want some hussy digging her claws into her precious son! I like the phrase in the ESV translation: Do not give your strength to women. . . Sex is a very powerful bond between a man and a woman, which is why God tells us to limit it to the confines of marriage. When you give yourself in such an intimate way to another, you are indeed giving over some physical, emotional, and spiritual control to that person. It’s why sexual sin is so devastating. This Mama did not want her son hanging out with the wrong kind of woman! We’ll see later in the chapter what her standards were for her son.

From the time my girls were young, I had two main standards that I was holding for my future sons-in-law and which I articulated to the girls often: the young men must love God above all else, and they must cherish my daughters. I wanted godly men who would take my girls by the hand and say, “Let’s go serve God together.” And I wanted men who truly appreciated my daughters and who would protect and adore them as gifts from God. Thank you, LORD, for Kevin and Nathan, who answered my prayers beyond what even I could dream. (Ephesians 3:20)

So, I get where this Mama was coming from! You can bet that when Beau and Colin begin to bring girls around to meet Nanny, I will be looking them over VERY carefully! And I will be holding Lucy, Penelope, and Georgia to the same standards. Hmmm... LORD help me to have your heart of love and mercy when this happens!! And LORD, help me to refrain from using guilt as a manipulating tool, but rather let your Holy Spirit do the work!  

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