Tuesday, September 23, 2014
When children are under their mother’s eye, she has an opportunity of fashioning their minds right. Those who are grown up, should often call to mind the good teaching they received when children. The many awful instances of promising characters that have been ruined by loose women, and love of wine, should warn everyone to avoid these evils. Wine is to be used for helping or medicine. Every creature of God is good, and wine, though abused, has its use. By the same rule, due praise and punishment should be used as tools to grow confident and self-sufficient adults. All in authority should be more carefully judged than other men; and should be protectors of those who are unable or afraid to plead their own cause. Our blessed Lord did not decline the bitterest dregs of the cup of sorrow put into his hands; but he puts the cup of consolation into the hands of his people, and causes those to rejoice who are in the deepest distress.
The name Lemuel means “unto God”
In Proverbs 31 we find a description of a virtuous woman of those days, but the general outline equally suits every age and nation.
She is careful to recommend herself to her husband’s esteem and affection, to know his mind, and is willing that he rule over her.
She can be trusted, and he will leave such a wife to manage for him. He is happy with her. And she makes it her constant business to do him good.
She is one that takes pains in her duties, and takes pleasure in them. She is careful to not waste time.
She makes what she does turn to good account by prudent management. Many undo themselves by buying without considering where they can afford it. She provides well for her house. She lays up for hereafter.
She looks well to the ways of her household, that she may oblige all to do their duty to God and to one another, as well as to her.
She is intent upoin giving as upon getting, and does it freely and cheerfully.
She is discreet and obliging; every word she says shows she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others. The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and shows itself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world.
Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, not is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart is the beauty of the soul; it lasts forever.
She has firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments. She shall reflect with comfort when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when young. She shall rejoice in a world to come. She is a great blessings to her relations. If the fruit be good, the tree must have our good word. But she leaves it to her own works to praise her. Every one ought to desire this honour that comes from God; and according to this standard we all ought to regulate our judgements.
This passage also applies to the Church. The Church is the Bride of Jesus Christ.