I prayed for insight and “slapsh-bam-ping! (the sound of inspiration)” I got it! Proverbs 31, often titled “The Virtuous Woman,” is commonly viewed as a checklist for biblical womanhood. And for that purpose it is very useful. But here’s what I’ve seldom appreciated from the chapter: the wisdom shared here was intended for a man, King Lemuel, from his mother. So I considered for a moment, “I’m a king. I could use some godly insight and advice from an over-protective queen mother.” I began to look deeply into the passage.
Lemuel’s mother was raising a king and so she impressed upon him the values, principles and standards be-fitting God-honoring royalty. When closely examined and understood contextually, Proverbs 31 shares great wisdom in biblical manhood. So who is the Proverbs 31 Man? What does he do? And Where is he?
Firstly, who he is. The Proverbs 31 man is a man of God then a King. This means his moral constitution is firmly founded in the word of God and in faith. He is sober-minded, being acutely aware of his responsibilities as public servant, chief priest, role model and leader.
What he does. The Proverbs 31 man diligently, prudently and faithfully fulfills his role in the home and community. In verses 8 and 9 of the Proverb the young King is encouraged to give himself in support of the cause of the voiceless and marginalized of society. And judging by the expected spending habits of his future wife (for the welfare of her family), he provides. He brings home the bacon or the kosher as the case may be. He also appreciates the value of a woman. This smart chap leads his children in singing the praises of the woman of the house (v.28).
Finally, where he is. Verse 10 asks “A wife of noble character who can find?” The same could be asked of her male counterpart. It is noteworthy, however, that kings and queens have never been in abundant supply; not many possess the royal credentials. As for me, I’m taking all of Mama Lem’s advice and giving myself to growing to fit its mold. I’m owning it. The Proverbs 31 man is right here. The Proverbs 31 man is me!