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  • Writer's picture~Kimberly Oden

The Value of an Open-Ended Question

Today I read about the other Proverbs 31 woman. Most people think of the wise model of a woman described in the later verses, but this one? This woman was a real-life mama who impacted her son’s life so much, that his words about her became included in Holy Scripture! I want to be a mama like that!👊🏽

My early years of mama-ing were rife with errors…I’ve written it before, but it bears repeating that I have many mama moments I wish I could highlight, click & delete!

But this mama? She taught her son with the true meaning of “teach” - the root means to discipline, correct, train & warn.

•Training is far better than telling

•Loving discipline is far better than anger

•Correction is always higher than complacent flattery

•And warning? Well, spoken in love (& often in question form) is like offering apples of gold to the willing listener 😉

The passage begins with 3 questions because this mama knew something I didn’t know early on-the value of an open-ended question. Blurting instruction without coming alongside will have little effect. Asking questions, however, that cause the hearer to pause & ponder? Priceless!

She asks, 

“What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?”

Sometimes asking questions sets the stage & softens hearts of hearers to receive words of wisdom.

Some of my favorite are:

👉🏽Can you tell me more about…? 

👉🏽What are your thoughts about…?

👉🏽Have you thought about…?

Y’all, her words impacted her son! Even as king, he recites them!

As much as I’d like to travel back in time & tell former Kimberly to take a deep breath, I can’t.

What I can do is love my sons, apologize & ask forgiveness for the areas I took an “L” as a mama & move, following my Jesus who saves! His Way is always the best way forward-in parenting, marriage or any relationship hardships we face.

He is the King of questions & if He lives IN us, then we can lean into His wisdom to ask things that will help mend fences & love long from our side of the fence (without stepping into the land of others 😉).

Father, remind us of the value of a question when all we want to do is blurt instruction or air our opinions🤐

💡ZECHARIAH 12:1-13:


💡PSALM 147:1-20

💡PROVERBS 31:1-7


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