Raising a Warrior
“The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him; “What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his trouble no more. Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. “
One of the most beautiful things about the Bible is that no matter how many times I read a passage, a verse can always bloom into a new form of beauty that had remained hidden from me before.
She speaks with a rare wisdom; as if her knowledge has come from observing the world spin for hundreds of years. Out of my own foolishness it seemed slightly unfitting that the chapter would be split between a wise king and a God-fearing woman. Suddenly it’s crystal clear.
This morning was a bit rocky at work and I got called a few expletives. What really threw me for a loop is that those words were being hurled at me from the mouth of a four year old. FOUR. YEARS. OLD! I won’t repeat what she said, but it broke my heart to see this young, mold-able girl act out in the ways that she must be witnessing to be okay. It pressed upon my heart the importance of good, solid parenting. Discipline, instruction, and good role models are huge in the life of a child.
King Lemuel was a wise man of character who exemplified evidence of being raised by a 31 woman. She warned him against all the different shapes his life could possibly take. There was no need to bury his problems in alcohol or drugs. Women would never be able to fully satisfy him. His source of strength was poured down on him from things above and beyond the earthly. The purpose of His life was so much more important than material. Every morning he dressed himself in full armor prepared for battle. Not only did he practice this in his own life, but also in the lives of those who could not defend themselves. He expressed love and respect for all those around him, even when they could do nothing for him. To me this is a true test of character.
Reading through this passage again is where it hit me. Being in a high position, how did he humble himself enough to see past his own pride and selfishness? Besides the obvious grace of God, someone had to help him along the rocky journey of life. Not only was he given great gifts of wisdom, compassion, and love, but he was given someone to model that to him. Based on the written words, his mother saw the value in his life and the effect he would have on others. It seems she did everything in her power to make him aware of this and helped exercise and grow his gifts into major strengths.
Looking back I see those same things apparent in my life. Not only with my own parents but more importantly in how the Lord deals with my disobedience and stupidity. At times I couldn’t understand it. Now I see how He was molding and stretching me; teaching me lessons over the years pruning me into the woman He desires me to be. That kind of discipline is what I truly value as an adult. He saw my potential when I had no clue it even existed.
This woman did the same. She invested time, effort, and hard-work without underestimating the value of raising her child correctly from day one. Remaining diligent was probably tough in the beginning, but it sure seems to have made it much easier and rewarding in the long run. She did not fear her child hating her instruction. She only feared what her child would become without it.
I understand it now. The chapter opens with this significant woman who is hiding behind the scenes of raising a warrior. The impact she had on her son is directly related to the impact he has on others. Though the passage is indirectly about her, she has gained so much of my respect for raising the kind of man and leader I would hope to one day marry. Verses that follow are the recipe for how to mirror that amazing woman.
Today I may be far from marriage and children. Still, I see how important it is to model myself after her starting now. Much work needs to be done in my own life before I am even halfway prepared to raise a child of this caliber. What makes me smile is the fact that though I may be an idiot, its never too late to begin my pursuit of this amazing woman!
❤ Hayley Elise