"The (Forgotten) Proverbs 31 Man"

In Christian circles, so much is said about the "Proverbs 31" woman without actually reading and studying the passage.  I can appreciate all the T-shirts, organizations and "Proverbs 31" posters that we Christians like to sell and buy, but every now and then we've got to get back to the basics of the scripture and what it teaches.

Here's one basic: as we see in verse two from Solomon's most well-known passage: the Proverbs were written by a man to his son.  (We'll come back to that in a moment.)

I've always thought it was interesting how we tend to handle this one chapter from Proverbs by ignoring its first nine verses. There is a lot more to it than the virtuous woman.  She's married, after all.  I'd almost forgotten that myself and had to be reminded that Chapter 31 doesn't start at verse ten. I highlighted some of the most important teachings for men below:

#1 -  The primary audience of for the chapter is is a book written from a man to his son. Let's stop beating women over the head with one under-understood chapter. If anything, it is supposed to help us identify a GOOD woman. It doesn't appear to be a manual for us to ridicule women.

#2 - "Do not give your strength to women." means we have to be disciplined and maintain our discipline. Solomon alludes to his son displaying kingly behavior and whoring after women is definitely not for kings. We have to be about our missions.

#3 - Drinking to excess is for those who are perishing. It isn't for rulers and kings, like you are. Get it together and put down the Patron. Most of verses one through nine deal with maintaining sobriety.

#4 - Defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.  Elsewhere, Solomon teaches his son that it's only the righteous who even understand justice. We must stand up for those people who can't speak up for themselves. This is kingly behavior, kings.

I can't ignore that the bulk of the passage is describing a wonderful woman, wife and mother of virtue.  I can only remind the reader that Solomon is seeking to show his son what she looks like and how she carries herself.  I don't know where she got all of these great qualities.  Perhaps she was taught by her own mother?

Suffice it to say we have no license to run around showing random women how short they fall of the Proverbs 31 standard.  The chief pupil, men, is the man reading these words.  We must ask ourselves, therefore, are we disciplined, sober and just in all of our actions for these are the character traits to which Solomon, the Koholeth, is trying to inspire us.



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