The Proverbs 31 Man

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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!

Ms. Right

Aside

Unto women then. Or more specifically, the woman. I haven’t met the person with whom I will share this life with as yet (or have I?) but I have committed to becoming a better person for her. Lately I’ve been given to reading, watching and listening to all things concerning godly manhood and fatherhood. That’s right! Goodbye “Power Rangers,” hello “Focus on The Family.” There’s a lot to know and a lot to become. I’ve found the responsibility of being a husband and a father to be monumental; something I am aware I’ll never fully appreciate until I’m in the role.

I’ve heard it said that second to the Lord, who you marry is the most significant person in your life. To put it plainly, marriage is a big deal. More particularly, who you marry is a life altering decision. This is a lifetime we’re talking about here. It would serve me well to be very cautious in the matter. Sure, I’ve been called picky. My usual response is “you bedder be.”

My journey began with me fashioning the ideal companion in my mind, as I’m sure we all do. Then it hit me “now, would she marry a guy like me?” Probably not. I’ve got some work to do. I’m learning more and more that it isn’t about looking for Ms. Right, no, its about attracting her by becoming Mr. Right. Its about becoming the man worthy of the blessing of calling one of God’s finest my wife. Its about doing some introspection to make sure I likewise measure up to the expectations I have of her. So here are seven attributes and character strengths I believe I must cultivate for Little Miss:

  • I must, first of all, love and be completely sold out for the Lord.
  • I must, very importantly, be spiritually mature.
  • I must be financially independent.
  • I must be responsible.
  • I must be selfless.
  • I must be loyal.

And lastly but clearly, I must pray. You see, I’m not waiting for Ms. Right, I’m preparing for her.bright silhouette cropped