The words of King Lemuel, the strong advice his mother gave him:
"Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of! Child whom I bore! The son I dedicated to God!
Don't dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women, promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.
"Leaders can't afford to make fools of themselves, gulping wine and swilling beer,
Lest, hung over, they don't know right from wrong, and the people who depend on them are hurt.
Use wine and beer only as sedatives, to kill the pain and dull the ache
Of the terminally ill, for whom life is a living death.
"Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!"
A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)