“The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him:”  This is the introduction to the famous Proverbs 31 chapter.  It and the following 9 verses are often overlooked in “Proverbs 31 Woman” teachings and I think that in order to understand the oracle being given, one must first pay attention to it’s introduction.  
1: This is an oracle, an oral teaching, passed down by King Lemuel’s mother.  There is no other mention of a King Lemuel in the Bible however several theories have been presented (see the link below by Dr. Mariottini).  His mother, therefore, is completely unknown but not unimportant!  

2: This oracle was written by a woman, and the mother of a king.  It was also written by a woman TO HER SON.  Communication between a mother and her son is very unique and special, as it should be.  Please keep this in mind!  Particularly as you read her opening words, “Do not give your strength to women.”  I see nothing in this phrase, as a mother, that leads me to believe that the mother of King Lemuel desired her son to belittle women, degrade them, or think less of them.  On the contrary, you only have to read past verse 10 to see that she places A PARTICULAR KIND AND CHARACTER of a woman of very high importance and regard in her sons life, even, as you will see, as his equal in many ways.  

3: It is evidently important by it’s placement with the book of Proverbs (no matter by whom) along side the revered teachings of Solomon the son of David (See Prov. 1:1).  This is one of the rare glimpses of how the religion of Judaism was so unique among Ancient Near Eastern cultures in their Biblical treatment/view of women.  While later rabbinic teachings, and the influences of numerous other countries upon the nation of Israel (countries that God had warned them not to associate with) frequently placed women as low as animals and slaves, this is NOT the original beliefs of the culture by any means.  Traditional Judaism,(to my present knowledge, and for reference you may read the works of Dr. Marvin Wilson, particularly Our Father Abraham: Jewish roots of the Christian faith) places women in high regard.  The creation story gives the mandate of Genesis 1 to all mankind, men and women equally. (This mandate bestows powers of dominion and stewardship to both genders, equally made in the image and likeness of God).  In Genesis 2 God creates the Ezer Kenegdo, commonly translated as ezer -“helper” and Kenegdo- “suitable for him”.  Dr. Wilson points out, however, an observation by Rev. Freedman in “Women, a Power Equal to Man” that the word for helper actually means POWER or STRENGTH as demonstrated by it’s use in other portions of the Hebrew Bible.  “Furthermore, he takes kenegdo…as meaning one “EQUAL TO HIM”, rendering based on later Mishnaic Hebrew,” (Wilson, pg 201).  The conclusion of this is that a thoroughly appropriate translation of the creation of woman in Genesis 2 is “A Power Equal to him”.    

Men and woman, as you read and study further in this chapter this foundational truth must be established, that if we are to truly apply Proverbs 31 to the lives of ourselves, our wives, husbands, sons and daughters, we must FIRST be sure that we are reading it with the correct presuppositions or ideas.  As I mentioned above and wish to comment on again, there have been many documented times when Judaism did not treat women as my evidence would suggest a “power equal to him [man/husband]”  but I would appeal to your common sense to see that every religion has strayed from their roots on many occasions.  There are no exceptions to this fact and I beg that you would consider the common ground for this study that God’s intention, and that the intentions of  King Lemuel’s mother, were to uphold this truth in the life of her son.  For now I conclude with this introduction to the Proverbs 31 woman.