If you’ve been around Christendom for any stretch of time, you’ve most likely heard of the “Proverbs 31 Woman.” It’s a very popular Christian phrase referring to Proverbs 31:10-31. That’s over 20 verses describing what the perfect woman/wife should be like.
Let me tell you, this woman is a superwoman! Not only does she get up early before everyone else to make breakfast, but she runs her own business, makes her own clothing, buys land as a financial investment, takes care of the poor, and still has time to work out (verse 17)! Needless to say, it’s a lot for any woman to live up to. I don’t know about you, but I’d be ecstatic with just getting breakfast every morning, but I’m the morning person in my family.
One thing you may have noticed is that the “Proverbs 31 Woman” starts at verse 10. Well, what about the first nine verses? We always seem to skip those, don’t we? It may surprise you to know that Proverbs 31 has plenty to say about men. In fact, the entire chapter is a prophecy from a mother telling her son, King Lemuel, how to be a good king.
“Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.” Proverbs 31:3
There are those men who do everything they can to please the women in their life. There are also those men who spend all their time seeking women as a way to please themselves. Both extremes are wrong. In fact, our energy, our “strength,” should not be entirely devoted to women in any way. Whether it’s to please a wife or to please the flesh, making either our main focus is wrong.
As Christian men seeking to be good leaders, our strength should be devoted to glorifying God. Do that and you’ll be a be a better husband to your wife than you ever would be by focusing totally on her. Do that and you’ll get more joy out of life than ever focusing on pleasing your flesh.
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” Proverbs 31:4-5
A king is never off duty. He’s always a leader. At any moment, something he says or does could be taken as a royal decree. If he isn’t sober, they could make unwise decisions that, if taken to the extreme, could pervert justice.
If you are in a position of leadership or desire to be, it is important to be above reproach. This verse doesn’t say that drinking alcohol is a sin, but it does show the importance of not letting anything, including alcohol, cloud your judgment. As leaders, we not only need to be good examples to others, we need to guard ourselves against our own mistakes.
“Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
Verse eight is one of those verses that can be a little difficult in the King James translation. In modern speech, someone who is dumb is someone who isn’t smart. Here it means someone without a voice. So essentially, it is saying a leader should stand up for those in a society that don’t have a say – those who are oppressed, the poor, the needy, anyone who isn’t strong enough to stand up and speak for himself.
This attribute of a godly leader is so needed in today’s world. There is so much division, whether it’s political, social, or economic. Our society teaches us to stand up for ourselves and do what’s true and best for us, but a godly leader stands up for those in need. He sacrifices himself for the good of others. Once again, Jesus is the prime example of a godly leader. He “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
Being a godly leader is not an easy calling. We have to resist our desire to please others. We have to resist our desire to please ourselves. We have to be sober-minded and above reproach. We have to sacrifice ourselves and stand up for those in need. It’s a big job! We need a helper… a teammate. No wonder Proverbs 31 spends the next 22 verses describing what that ideal teammate (a wife) looks like!
So, Brother, keep an eye out for that Proverbs 31 woman, but make sure you’re being a Proverbs 31 man in the process.
Family Radio Staff