Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#227 - Laying the Foundation for Godly Children

Proverbs 31:1-2a - THE WORDS of Lemuel king of Massa, which his mother taught him... What, son of my womb? What [shall I advise you] son of my vows and dedication to God?
Proverbs 31:28 - Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying]...
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Here in Proverbs 31, we could almost ask the same question because we are truly going a full circle with this Ultimate Woman of God. As we take a look at where the teaching of the "Virtuous Woman" really came from, we see in Proverbs 31 verse 1, the teaching is coming from King Lemuel's mother. She is ultimately teaching him basic godly principles. Early on in the chapter 31, she teaches him to not drink wine lest it pervert his judgement, speak for those who are not able to speak for themselves, judge righteously over the poor and needy, and then she wraps up the entire remainder of chapter 31 with qualities and characteristics of a godly woman, who we refer to as the Proverbs 31 Woman or Ultimate Woman. King Lemuel's mother is responsible for laying the foundation of what he should desire in a wife.

The Ultimate Woman does TWO things:
  1. Mother's TEACH Who the Proverbs 31 Woman is. 
  2. Mother's MODEL Who the Proverbs 31 Woman is. 
As we begin in Proverbs 31:1, we see firsthand how this King is learning what to look for in a wife, his mother taught him. His MOTHER taught him what to look for. His MOTHER is "advising" him as to the godly characteristics that will help him to accomplish God's calling on his life. This mother has vowed and dedicated her son to God. She has committed him to God. Now her desire is to raise him up to find his ULTIMATE COMPLETER. She knows his flaws, his weaknesses, his pitfalls. She knows those very areas in his life where she has had to provide assistance, maybe a crutch for him. Maybe support, encouragement, maybe some polishing up details of a project he has started but not completed. Mom knows just what qualities her son needs in his life to complete him VERSUS compete with him, in order for him to accomplish the great calling God has on his life.

I wish we knew a bit more background on this "King Lemuel," but he is an unknown king, and his background is a mystery. They Hebrew says he may be the same as King Solomon, but it is unknown. Knowing the background of kings in the Bible, we can look back to II Chronicles 24:1 and see that Joash began a 40 year reign as king beginning at age SEVEN!! He began as King at age 7!! Wow! Quite an early age to be running a nation! Do kids these days even tie their shoes at that age? Have they graduated from velcro to actual laces? I'm being a bit facetious here, but in all reality, most parents barely let their children play outside after dark when they are age 7, and here we have a 7 year old running a NATION! 

So... the question is... Mom's when is it too young to begin teaching your boys the qualities that are important in a wife? Mom's when is it too young to begin teaching your daughters the qualities they should aspire to attain as a godly woman/girl? In the case of King Lemuel, he could be 7, we do not know. But teaching our children from an early age is something that is a responsibility of mother's. 

I would anticipate that King Lemuel's mother isn't speaking from a hypocritical platform. I would anticipate, the characteristics she is teaching, she also models. At least, aspires to model most if not all of them. If we could go back and watch her, I bet we would see her raising up her girls to learn these qualities. One, through them watching her live out the qualities. Two, through teaching them hands-on to hone in on these qualities as well. As for her sons, as we can see in Proverbs 31, she is verbally instructing her son what to look for. She is steering her son towards the women of God he should be looking for in a wife. She is warning him to steer clear of the "loose woman" that may tempt him along the way (Prov. 31:3), she is addressing even the tough topics. She does not blindly let him just fall into the hands of the wolves (the loose woman). She is guiding him. 

Are you a Mom? If so, how can you begin today to lay a foundation for your children? Are you doing this already? What are some tips you may have to steer children in this way? Please share!

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