The sayings of King Lemuel – an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength (or wealth) on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.
It is not for kings, Lemuel – it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
- – Proverbs 31:1-9
Usually when we hear Proverbs 31 quoted (especially as women), it’s the part about the wife of noble character. But the first part of Proverbs 31 is some good advice to a young king from his mother. Don’t chase women or wine. Speak up and judge fairly. Defend the defenseless. If all mothers taught their sons this, and all sons remembered as well as King Lemuel seems to have, the world would be a better place, don’t you think?