Proverbs 31:10-31; Proverbs 5 (The Message)

10 A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. 11 Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. 12 Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. 13 She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. 14 She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. 15 She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. 16 She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden. 17 First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. 18 She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. 19 She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. 20 She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor. 21 She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. 22 She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks. 23 Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. 24 She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. 25 Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile. 26 When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly. 27 She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. 28 Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: 29 "Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!" 30 Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. 31 Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises! 1 Dear friend, pay close attention to this, my wisdom; listen very closely to the way I see it. 2 Then you'll acquire a taste for good sense; what I tell you will keep you out of trouble. 3 The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet, her soft words are oh so smooth. 4 But it won't be long before she's gravel in your mouth, a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart. 5 She's dancing down the primrose path to Death; she's headed straight for Hell and taking you with her. 6 She hasn't a clue about Real Life, about who she is or where she's going. 7 So, my friend, listen closely; don't treat my words casually. 8 Keep your distance from such a woman; absolutely stay out of her neighborhood. 9 You don't want to squander your wonderful life, to waste your precious life among the hardhearted. 10 Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you? Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you? 11 You don't want to end your life full of regrets, nothing but sin and bones, 12 Saying, "Oh, why didn't I do what they told me? Why did I reject a disciplined life? 13 Why didn't I listen to my mentors, or take my teachers seriously? 14 My life is ruined! I haven't one blessed thing to show for my life!" Never Take Love for Granted 15 Do you know the saying, "Drink from your own rain barrel, draw water from your own spring-fed well"? 16 It's true. Otherwise, you may one day come home and find your barrel empty and your well polluted. 17 Your spring water is for you and you only, not to be passed around among strangers. 18 Bless your fresh-flowing fountain! Enjoy the wife you married as a young man! 19 Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose - don't ever quit taking delight in her body. Never take her love for granted! 20 Why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore? for dalliance with a promiscuous stranger? 21 Mark well that God doesn't miss a move you make; he's aware of every step you take. 22 The shadow of your sin will overtake you; you'll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark. 23 Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.
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