I will never forget that day in my front yard as a little boy when a friend from the neighborhood made me mad, and I called him something that I should not have called him. My mother heard me say it. She grabbed me by the arm; took me inside, into her bathroom in her bedroom; reached under the sink; pulled out a fresh bar of Dial soap; and crammed it into my mouth until I got the point.
She did not want me to talk like that ever again! I am thankful for a mom like that. It is because of her teaching me in moments like that one (I have never forgotten that!) that I have always tried to speak well and not have a foul mouth.
Well in the Bible in Proverbs 31 we have an awesome passage where another Godly mother is talking to her son. Many people are familiar with verses 10-31 about the “Godly woman.” But far less people are familiar with the first 9 verses of chapter 31 of Proverbs. King Lemuel says these 9 verses are an oracle that his mother taught him. It is so profound!
Verse 2 expresses how concerned she is for her son. She knows his potential. She knows that God has a calling and purpose on his life. She is burdened that her son not waste his life and throw his life away. And so she gives him, her son, this great advice.
Her advice is so fitting for today, Here it is:
- Don’t let women distract you!
- Stay away from Alcohol!
- Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves!
31:3 speaks to the danger that women can be. Bad relationships can destroy people. Don’t let women distract you. (Obviously, men can distract women too. I am not meaning this to be one way. Relationships can be distracting.)
31:4-7 speaks about alcohol and what it can be good for. But it also speaks about how it distorts one’s focus and concentration. And if one plans to be a leader and difference maker, they need to stay away from Alcohol. Lemuel’s mother says alcohol may be cool for some people, but for those with a vision and a calling and a purpose Alcohol is not for them. Alcohol misleads people, and so – stay away from it.
Then 31:8-9 speak about the poor and the needy and those who cannot speak up for themselves. This godly mother in the Bible tells her son to make it his responsibility to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. In other words, she is telling her son to make a difference in people’s lives. Success or significance is greater when you are not content on making your life better, but on making the lives of others better.
Notice that she is not telling her son to be the best or smartest or fastest or best looking. Certainly she may desire those things. But in the end, success is not determined by those things. This godly mother knew that. In the end, the way we impacted people is what counts. The lives that have been touched is what really matters!
May we all hear these 3 wise words from this Godly mother!