Proverbs 31

What King Lemuel's Mother Taught Him

1These are the sayings

that King Lemuel of Massa

was taught by his mother.

2My son Lemuel, you were born

in answer to my prayers,

so listen carefully.

3Don't waste your life

chasing after women!

This has ruined many kings.

4Kings and leaders

should not get drunk

or even want to drink.

5Drinking makes you forget

your responsibilities,

and you mistreat the poor.

6Beer and wine are only

for the dying or for those

who have lost all hope.

7Let them drink and forget

how poor and miserable

they feel.

8But you must defend

those who are helpless

and have no hope.

9Be fair and give justice

to the poor and homeless.

In Praise of a Good Wife

10A truly good wife

is the most precious treasure

a man can find!

11Her husband depends on her,

and she never

lets him down.

12She is good to him

every day of her life,

13and with her own hands

she gladly makes clothes.

14She is like a sailing ship

that brings food

from across the sea.

15She gets up before daylight

to prepare food for her family

and for her servants.

16She knows how to buy land

and how to plant a vineyard,

17and she always works hard.

18She knows when to buy or sell,

and she stays busy

until late at night.

19She spins her own cloth,

20and she helps the poor

and the needy.

21Her family has warm clothing,

and so she doesn't worry

when it snows.

22She does her own sewing,

and everything she wears

is beautiful.

23Her husband is a well-known

and respected leader

in the city.

24She makes clothes to sell

to the shop owners.

25She is strong and graceful,

as well as cheerful

about the future.

26Her words are sensible,

and her advice

is thoughtful.

27She takes good care

of her family

and is never lazy.

28Her children praise her,

and with great pride

her husband says,

29“There are many good women,

but you are the best!”

30Charm can be deceiving,

and beauty fades away,

but a woman

who honors the Lord

deserves to be praised.

31Show her respect—

praise her in public

for what she has done.