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Proverbs 31:10, Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Lemuel’s mother continues her instruction to the son of her vows.
This instruction concerns an all important question in his life, that of the right woman for her son.
She has warned her son the king against the seducing power of women.
Do not give your strength to women, she instructs.
Do not be involved with wrong women nor give thy ways to that which destroy kings.
Your allegiance is to be to God and if you give your strength to women that allegiance will not continue!
Women can be dangerous in your life, son, but the right woman will be the most valuable treasure in your kingdom.
Her price is far above rubies.
Son there are things in this world that are far more valuable than precious stones.
Lemuel’s mother desires that her son measure wealth not of the material but of the immaterial.
So she attaches great worth to a woman who is a virtuous woman.
Who can find a virtuous woman, she says to her son?
By this question she indicates that the right woman needs to be sought.
Effort to find the right woman needs to be far above that which it takes to find a precious stone or a precious pearl.
As a precious stone is not found without searching, so also is a right woman not found without searching.
And as a precious stone is sought by those who know the characteristics of a precious stone so to is the right woman found by knowing the characteristics of the right woman.
As Proverbs 19:14 tells us, House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Lemuel, by prayer and supplication, is to seek a prudent wife from the LORD.
But the prudent wife from the LORD can be found by knowing what makes a prudent wife, a woman who is the right woman!
She indicates to her son that the clue to finding the right woman is in looking for a woman of virtue.
The sense of the word virtue is strength, gained from straining, stretching, or extending.
It is reaching, or pressing for a mark that is farther than you are, a mark that is out of your reach.
Paul was virtuous when in Philippians 3:14 he said, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
His pressing revealed him as virtuous.
Virtuous is having great or powerful properties, inherent qualities.
Virtuous is being in conformity with moral or divine law, living on a higher plane than the norm.
The virtuous is not satisfied to live like everyone else.
The virtuous seek excellence.
The virtuous do not run with the pack.
Peer pressure to the virtuous is no pressure.
Peer pressure is not relevant to the virtuous!
The thought life of the virtuous is a reaching or a pressing thought life.
The virtuous think on things that are true, things that are honest, and just and pure, things that are lovely, things that are of good report, things that are praiseworthy.
Lemuel’s mother does not intend for her son to choose a wife who will be the mistress of his home and mother to his children, by chance, foolishness, or emotion.
She intends to equip him with knowledge of those necessary characteristics of a woman of virtue.
Lemuel, a prudent wife is of the Lord, but the Lord equips you to be able to have a prudent wife if you know what makes a prudent wife.
Yes, son, pray and ask the Lord to give a prudent wife but the Lord expects you to use the word of God to know what makes a prudent wife.
A prudent wife is a woman of virtue, a woman who extends herself, a woman who is not satisfied with the average but stretches herself to excellence.
She is a reaching woman, a straining woman, a pressing woman, a woman who extends herself in service to God and to others.
Lemuel’s mother was such a woman.
She knew what made such a woman and she sets out to describe this woman of virtue in the remander of this chapter.
Mothers best teach their sons in how to choose the right woman by being a woman of virtue themselves.
So Lemuel recalls this instruction and records it, knowing it came from a woman of virtue, his mother!
As we study the remainder of this chapter the important thing to focus on is not the exact description or daily walk of this woman and in doing so try to duplicate her life, but focus on the virtue that this woman displays.
Her ways may fall out of fashion but her virtues are eternal and for all ages.
This is a description of a woman of Lemuel’s day but the general outline suits our day if we concentrate on her virtues.
As we study the characteristics of this woman notice how in every area mentioned she extends herself, she stretches herself, she reaches beyond herself.
She does not think of herself as limited.
This is a woman of virtue because of this pressing toward a mark beyond herself in all areas of her life.
This is a woman of self discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, a woman of faith.
These are virtues because they can only be accomplished by reaching beyond herself.
She is a doer, a seeker, a bringer, a riser, a giver, a considerer, a buyer, a planter, a worker, a stretcher, a reacher, a maker, a looker, an opener, a fearer of God.
No wonder Lemuel’s mother exclaims, Who can find a virtuous woman?
One who extends herself in this manner is rare indeed!
But she does not throw up her hands and give up in defeat.
She continues in her instruction to provide a picture of what her son is to look for in a wife and mother as he searches for this rare jewel of a woman.
Lemuel is well equipped by his mother's instruction as he begins his search for this one whose price is far above rubies.
"PROVERB PRACTICALS" Article in "The Projector" for Proverbs 31:10, quest for a wife, VIRTUOUS WOMAN, A MESSAGE FOR MOTHER'S DAY