Most of us know Proverbs 31 as the chapter that deals with “the virtuous woman” or “excellent wife.” The final 22 verses of this great chapter share with us a powerful description of a hard-working, faithful wife and mother.

However, the entirety of chapter 31 is called in verse 1 “an oracle.” Notice that this is singular. The entire chapter is meant to be taken together. Knowing that, notice verse 1 in its entirety: “The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him.”

What a powerful reminder of the influence of a mother! Scholars are divided as to the exact identity of this king, but that is immaterial to the main point: He was a king! Yet, in his royal position, he still remembered an oracle his mother taught him.

Interestingly, the word oracle carries the idea in its meaning of “a weight or a load.” In other words, the 30 verses of this oracle were things that weighed continually on the mind of Lemuel, though he had the burden of running a nation on his mind.

Mothers should find great encouragement in this fact: Children do not forget what they are taught by faithful and loving mothers. A child may or may not choose to follow the wise counsel of a mother, but they simply cannot forget those lessons taught from childhood. Your influence lives on.

This mother is not afraid to broach the subjects of sexuality (vs. 2-3), alcohol (vs. 4-7), justice (vs. 8-9), and looking for a proper mate (vs. 10-31). In other words, nothing is out of bounds for this mother to teach her son. The same should be true of mothers today. With godly wisdom, mothers should be courageous enough to speak into the lives of their children on any number of matters, both for today and for the days that lie ahead in their lives.

Today I will…show gratitude for the wise counsel of a mother by thinking about her wise teachings, and I will encourage a young mom not to give up in her teaching and training.