Friday, August 24, 2012

Women of Proverbs: The Mother

Last week in our discussion of the women of Proverbs, we looked at the Adulteress.  This week, we'll take a look at a contrasting female type, the Mother, and how she can help her son avoid the wiles of the adulteress. 

When I think of my role as a mother, a lot of jobs come to mind.  I love my kids.  I hug them, snuggle them, and kiss them.  I provide for my children.  I'm not the breadwinner, but I make sure they have three (usually) nutritious meals a day.  In the case of my son, I also make sure he is well provided with abundant snacks!  I make sure my children are clean, neat and well clothed.  All of these tasks are ones I take joy in as a mother.  But one of the primary jobs that Proverbs emphasizes for a mother is that of teacher (Proverbs 1:8 and 6:20).  In fact outside of Proverbs 31, every time a mother's role is mentioned, it is in reference to teaching.  It seems that this is one of her more important jobs, so let's take a look at how and what she teaches.

In both the above mentioned verses in Proverbs, she teaches in tandem with her husband.  "My son, observe the commandment of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.  Bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck" (6:20).  Whenever possible, parents should teach together.  Now, I have the utmost respect for all you single moms out there.  I do not envy your job one little bit.  I know there are many of you out there, and you are not single moms by choice.  If you can, ensure that your children have a man that can help you teach.  The benefits of the father's commandments and the mother's teachings are the same, but the best situation is one in which they are both present.

Of course, we know that there are many things we can teach our children.  We teach them how to pray, and we teach them to sing songs of praise to God.  We teach them how to be kind and generous and how to treat others.  All of these teachings are appropriate and necessary.  But the author has a very specific teaching we should not neglect.  "My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother...For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress" (Proverbs 6:20,23-24).

I used to think I could leave the "sex ed" of my son to my husband.  After all, they have the same equipment, and my husband will know the mind of a boy enough to teach him.  But Proverbs says I was wrong.  I have an equal responsibility with my husband, not to teach my sons the mechanics of being a boy, but to teach him about purity.  Did you know that children as young as six years old, who have no idea what sex is, can have a physiological response when they see a scantily clad woman?  I have anecdotal evidence that it's true.  My son is four.  I'll admit that I am not ready to have those talks.  But we live in a culture with a sadly perverse view of sex.  We can try to protect our children, and yet they will still be bombarded with sexual images every day.  There are women out there who prey on young men.  I was appalled at the very idea of the new Adam Sandler movie.  That Hollywood could make a joke out of a teacher having relations with her student goes to show how far America has come from the Biblical view of purity.  Are your sons ready to face the temptations they will see?  Will they be ready to turn down a surreptitious look at a Playboy magazine in the boy's room?  Will they be ready to say no to the more experienced older girl?

Ladies, we have a big job.  With our husbands (in those situations where they are available), we must protect our children and teach them about sexual purity. We must help them escape the death that comes with adultery and other sexual sin.  I'll admit it now: I don't know how to do it.  Reading Proverbs has opened a whole new thought process in my mind.  So I'll ask you.  Do any of you ladies have sons?  How did you/do you teach them about purity?  

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. - 

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