In looking for a text for Mother’s day, which the author considers to be a conspiracy by card and flower companies, a text was found – Proverbs 6:20ff.
20 My child, keep your father’s commandment,
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them upon your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life… (NRSV)
So far so good. It would be nice if it mentioned flowers I suppose.
Then read on, it is a warning from mom and dad against prostitutes:
24 to preserve you from the wife of another,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for a prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread,
but the wife of another stalks a man’s very life.
27 Can fire be carried in the bosom
without burning one’s clothes?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
without scorching the feet?
29 So is he who sleeps with his neighbor’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 Thieves are not despised who steal only
to satisfy their appetite when they are hungry.
31 Yet if they are caught, they will pay sevenfold;
they will forfeit all the goods of their house.
32 But he who commits adultery has no sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
33 He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
and he shows no restraint when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation,
and refuses a bribe no matter how great. (NRSV)
So there are interesting things here. The advice against adultery and prostitution has a practical feel – you will get burned! Wisdom looks at consequences of choices, and here at least, does not quote the law’s prohibitions.
So will this work as a discussion on Mother’s day? Well, probably not. Not in the Midwest, among a people who like greeting cards and flower shops.
It does amuse the be jabbers out of me.