Lemuel's Mom

Dear Ladies,

I hope each of you fared well through yesterday' storms. We lost power overnight but otherwise had no major damage. It was just a minor nuisance. Good to know God is in control of the winds and the rain. Good to know that God is also in control of the orphaned and abandoned as well. We got to see that when we spent some time this week looking at the issue of adoption.

At its best, adoption is a beautiful act of sacrificial love, but it isn't without its pitfalls. My best friend and her husband tried for several years to conceive. There were lots of shots and visits to the fertility clinic. By the time they'd exhausted all possible resources and started to consider adoption she was told she was too old to adopt an American infant. She was 38. Instead they ended up adopting their son from Cambodia.

Women in the US typically don't give up their children and I believe there's two possible reasons. Abortions are affordable and readily available. There are options without resorting to back alleys and coat hangers. And second, we've removed all shame associated with having children out of wedlock. To bring shame alongside sexual sin is frowned upon by modern society.

I could continue down this negative path or I could take us back to the sweet side of adoption. When Moses' mom laid her son-who she clearly cherished- in a basket and floated him down the river there was nothing but love in that act. He had no chance to live with Pharoah's edict to kill every Hebrew boy baby. But think about it. One strong breeze, a rock in the water, a curious fish, or even the baby moving his arms would have tipped that basket over.

But God. (Don't you just love those two words?). But God had different plans for Moses. Forget about him leading the Jews out of Egypt for a moment. That first adoption of a baby into a king's household points to our own adoption by a Loving King. Turns out God doesn't want our rafts to tip over in life's river. Those are rough waters to navigate on our own. How sweet that we don't need to do that.

Love, as always, Renée

Now on to this week's lesson

Read Proverbs 31:1-9 and skim 10-31.

Memory verse 31:2 "Listen my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!"

1. In our memory verse we hear a mom pleading for her son to listen to her. How well did you listen to your own mom?

2. She was pleading at a time when she still felt like she had influence over her child. How big of a window of opportunity do you think you have in their lives?

3. How do you know when it's time to close that window?

4. How well have you transitioned from key influencer over your child to someone on the periphery of their lives?

5. She cautions Lemuel to avoid sexual sin. (vs 3) Do you think that was motivated by concern over his position as king or simply a mom's worry about her boy? Explain your answer.

6. Commentators speculate that Lemuel was actually a pet name given to Solomon which would make his mom Bathsheba. How might her personal experience with sexual sin have colored her perspective? Skim 2 Samuel 11:1-12:25 to refresh your memory if needed.

7. A large portion of these verses address alcohol use. How well did you guide your kids always from substance abuse?

8. Vs 8-9 specifically address our need to stand up for those who are marginalized by society. How likely is it that your children will speak out against injustice?

For personal growth:

Read the rest of Proverbs 31 with a specific eye on her mothering skills. Verse 26 says "She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue". How well have you accepted the responsibility of shaping your child's emotional and spiritual growth? Have you investigated the curriculum taught in your local school system? Have you considered the possibility that they will likely be taught things that run counter to your faith? What plan have you put in place to continue to be a source of wisdom and instruction for your children? Do you model the behavior and attitude you'd like your children to follow? Do you speak up for those who are powerless to speak for themselves? Have you done so in a way that your children can see and walk out? Are you the woman you want your children to think you are?

For the good of the group:

What is the greatest act of kindness one of your children has done? Is this an act you can take credit for inspiring?