The Proverbs 31 Woman
A Mother’s Lesson Plan
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
King Lemuel’s mother gave her son valuable lessons concerning the pitfalls into which any son can fall prey. She was highly concerned that he be guided properly, so she bore this role personally.
Two important areas she discussed in her lesson plans were women and strong drink.
This mother knew that if her son did not conduct himself properly in these two areas, his authority over his kingdom would be damaged and his judgment thwarted.
To protect his future kingship, she wisely advised him:
“Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink.” Proverbs 31:3-4
Her plans included two important words.
The list of attributes describing the virtuous woman that this mother desired for her son may seem challenging to today’s woman but are basically contained in two words which this mother used to teach an important lesson to her son.
The first is ‘ruby’ and the second is ‘heart’.
Lemuel’s mother wanted to instill in Lemuel the value of a good woman. To do this, she placed the image of a ruby in his mind.
As a man in training for kingship, young Lemuel would be taught the value of gems and their use in commerce.
Precious stones were given by visiting royalty as presents unto kings. Lemuel had to be able to distinguish quality between the various stones presented.
Why did this mother choose the ruby to educate her son in these matters?
What qualities does a ruby possess that would describe a virtuous woman?
Large transparent rubies are rarer than diamonds. Thus, the value of a natural, transparent ruby is more than that of a diamond.
Obviously, this mother realized that a virtuous woman would be someone for whom Lemuel would have to diligently seek. A virtuous woman was not a common commodity.
The more transparent a ruby is the greater the value. Although all rubies have some flaws, the less imperfections a ruby has, the more it is desired.
When a woman is transparent, she has nothing to hide. She allows her husband to see her as she is. She does not try to put a veil over his eyes as to her character.
A ruby can be heat treated to remove some internal flaws.
Trials and afflictions are the fires that God uses to purify man. A virtuous woman can endure those trials and afflictions and remain true.
It takes an expert to distinguish between a natural and a man-made ruby.
God is the expert that can discern a woman’s heart and her motives. A wise man will seek God’s will when contemplating courtship. His eyes cannot see into a woman’s heart, but God’s eyes can.
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11-12
The second word that King Lemuel’s mother focused upon was heart.
Men consider trust a major factor in describing a healthy marriage.
If a man feels he cannot confide in his wife, if he feels she has betrayed his confidences, he will stop entrusting her with his words. This may lead him to seek spoil or an unscriptural relationship with another.
Many marriages end because another woman chose to listen to a married man’s words and keep them in confidence, thus drawing the man away from his wife.
The advice that King Lemuel’s mother gave was directed in such a way that King Lemuel would be able to understand the consequences of unwise choices. She turned his focus upon his own heart and how it would be affected by those choices.
The choice that he would make as to a wife would do him good or do him evil all the days of his life.
He could choose that which was more valuable than rubies in which he could safely invest his heart and profit, or he could choose that which was of less value and loose his investment and suffer loss.
“Who can find a virtuous woman?”
She is described as transparent and trustworthy.
She reflects what is inside of her, the character of Christ. She is a haven for her husband and keeps his words close to herself.
Her motives are pure, showing her intent to protect her husband’s heart. Therefore, she is given the liberty to accomplish all that the Proverbs 31 woman had liberty to accomplish.
The virtuous Proverbs 31 woman could involve herself in such activities as described in Proverbs 31:13-24 because she could be trusted to do those things without bringing shame to her husband or her household.
The Proverbs 31 woman was portrayed, not by her performance, but by the transparency of her true nature.
King Lemuel was taught to ask himself two important questions as he sought for a wife.
Does this woman’s transparency or lack thereof reveal Christlike character or a flawed character?
Does this woman’s transparency or lack thereof reveal a trustworthy heart or a questionable one?
King Lemuel’s adopted course of action hopefully brought him a Proverbs 31 woman that he safely trusted in all his days.
Join in the conversation. Leave your comment below.
- The Proverbs 31 woman is usually described by what she does.
- Do you define the Proverbs 31 woman by her performance?
- If measuring performance, how do you measure up?
- According to Proverbs 31:30, what woman is to be praised?
- Did the Proverbs 31 woman’s performance define her relationship with God or did her relationship with God define her performance?
- How does your above answer correspond with Ephesians 2:8-10?