(THIS PROVERB IS OFTEN USED TO COMPARE AND LINE UP WIVES TO PERFECTION. BUT, IT WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN AS ONE OF THE SAYINGS OF KING LEMUEL, AN INSPIRED UTTERANCE THAT HIS MOTHER TAUGHT HIM. COULD IT ALSO BE SPEAKING OF WISDOM ITSELF, IN THE FORM OF A WIFE. AFTER ALL, WISDOM IS REFERRED TO AS A "SHE" THROUGHOUT PROVERBS. REGARDLESS, THEY ARE WISE WORDS AND GREAT WORDS FOR YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN TO HEED AS WELL AS THOSE MARRIED FOR YEARS.)
Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings... Prov. 31:8-9 - Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defent the rights of the poor and needy.
(PHIL KEAGGY HAD A SONG THAT COMES TO MIND HERE - "WHO WILL SPEAK UP FOR THE LITTLE ONES, HELPLESS AND HALF ABANDONED...)
(NOW FOR THE FAMOUS PART OF PROVERBS 31)
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants,
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her harms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her; "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty if fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.