10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
My favorite scripture about women is found in Proverbs 31. When I read these verses, I picture a warm and welcoming wife embracing her husband at the end of a hard day’s work. She spends an evening listening to him and encouraging him. This woman is often up in the dark of night with a sick child or taking care of household matters that she ran out of time for during the day. She is busy all the day long taking care of the needs of her children and her household.
But that’s not all. She is smart and savvy, even a business woman of sorts who uses her talents to help bring income to her household. She is a hard worker. She has prepared her family and finds peace in that knowledge. She is self-confident and has high self-esteem.
Yet still there’s more. She serves others with compassion and offers them relief. She is wise and kind. Her children love her and her husband praises her. Her own works speak of her goodness.
One night after studying these verses, I mentioned to my husband what an honor it was to be married to him. That I felt like he was an elder that was known within the gates. I appreciated his service in our church and to our fellow man. But he had a different interpretation of verse 23. He pointed out to me that even though this scripture seems to be talking about a virtuous woman’s husband, it’s still praising the woman.
The point of this verse is that the husband would not be free to be with the elders of the church within the city gates except for the fact that his virtuous wife was single-handedly running the household so well, taking care of business, raising the children and allowing him by her sacrifice and support to leave and take care of his obligations to the church.
And then my husband praised me for my own work that has allowed him to fulfill and magnify his church callings, to teach, preach, exhort and bless. That he is only able to do that when I am willing to bear the burden at home and let him go. He told me that if I felt he was known within the gates and among the elders, it was because I was being that virtuous woman.