TITLE: Woman of Worth 3/27/14
By Denise Martin
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Desiring that her son be a good king, this mother was trying to ensure her son would choose a faithful and honorable young lady to marry. One who would enhance his position as king and give him comfort as a man. To that end, the advice given to King Lemuel so long ago gives great insight into what qualities make a good wife.
WHO IS THIS PERSON?
First of all, let us determine the background of the person who is giving this advice to the king and the credentials which qualify this person to give such advice. If you look at verse one in Proverbs 31, you will see this is King Lemuel’s synopsis of the things he learned from his mother.
This alerts us to the fact that this may not be everything that was told to him; however, these were the things that stood out to him or made an impression on him. So, he tells us, the person advising him is his mother, the former queen; also referred to as the Queen Mother. She is qualified to advise the young king because she has experienced, first hand, what type of support the king needs to be successful.
In addition to this, every mother knows her child’s strengths and weaknesses. This queen mother is no different. She knows where her son is strong and will excel and where he is vulnerable and in need of help or support. She knows his likes and dislikes. Being a queen herself, she knows what the wife of a king will have to go through and what qualities that woman will need to survive and thrive as queen and, more importantly, wife to her son.
In knowing her son, the Queen Mother advises him to look for specific qualities among any other qualities he may desire in his wife. This mother imparts this information in such a way that her son will always be able to remember it.
It is not known who originated the poem; the Queen Mother in her effort to insure her son would remember what was told him or King Lemuel in an effort to remember the things that were imparted to him. What is known, is verses ten through thirty-one are an acrostic poem or writing: each verse beginning consecutively with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each letter gives a picture of a character trait of a good wife, who is the virtuous woman or woman of worth.1
WHO IS THIS WOMAN?
Who is this woman that is being described? Well, first of all this person is not just any woman. She is a potential queen who is being described and identified by a queen to a king. Therefore, we could say the Queen Mother is advising her son, the current king or soon to be king.
This woman is politically and socially aware. (v. 20) She is aware of the social climate in her country as well as how it affects and is affected by surrounding countries. She is educated and well informed in addition to being compassionate, trustworthy and multi-talented. (v. 11, 13, 19, 24, 26) She uses her talents to enrich those around her. (v. 15, 27) She is an entrepreneur and she loves, honors and reverences God. (v. 16, 24, and 30) She is all these things, possesses all these traits, before the king addresses her.
These are the qualities that make a good wife. These are the qualities, according to the Queen Mother, that women should possess in order to attract the attention of the king. This woman is strong, self-sufficient and well aware of her place in, influence on and contributions to society.
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