Proverbs 31--The Virtuous Woman

Faithfulness (vs. 11-12)
--Her husband trusts her--even in his heart because she's proven herself faithful in little things
--She does him good ALL THE DAYS OF HER LIFE--even before she knows him she is seeking his good, preparing herself to be a godly sidekick, keeping herself pure, maintaining a spotless reputation, practicing submission, kindness, service

Cheerfulness (vs. 13)
--She delights in working, in caring for a home

Industry (vs. 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 24, 27)
--Most of this chapter details the diligence, ingenuity and industry of this woman. She puts her creative powers to work caring for her home and also brining wealth into it through "home" business means. Never let anyone tell you that a godly woman should sit around home, or that if you are a homemaker you'll be bored. Of that you're not carrying your weight by helping out with the income. There's plenty to be done from home.

Invests Wisely (vs. 16, 24)
--Not only does she not spend all her husband's money, she works hard to make her own so that she can reinvest it in worthwhile things. No wonder her husband trusts her and has no lack of gain.

Cares for Herself (vs. 17, 22, 25)
--With all her work, and her care of her household, she is never negligent of herself. She keeps herself fit and well-clothed. Clean and healthy is her goal, and it will not be her fault if she is not pleasantly attractive.

Modest (vs. 22)
--She covers herself--and with fine cloth, too. It's not some tacky t-shirt and jeans, but something that proves that she treasures the body God has given her--the temple--she dresses with elegance, style and modesty.

Ladylike (vs. 25)
--For her adornments, to dress up her outfits, she adds strength and dignity. She's a lady. Her manner will earn her respect--and respect and honor for her husband. (This is something I certainly need to work on--I still lean toward the tom-boy side.)

Generosity (vs. 20)
--She works hard so that she can give to the Lord. She can't blame her husband for not giving as much as she'd like (as I've heard some women do) because she works cheerfully with her own hands to have something to share with those who have nothing. This is a wise investment as well, since those who give to the poor are lending to the Lord and He will repay.

Speaks God's Word (vs. 26)
--So much of what is described in this chapter seems like "works", but her real secret is here: wisdom falls from her lips, and we know the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and knowlege of the Holy One is understanding. When she opens her mouth, what comes out is wisdom and kindess, proof of a mature woman of God.

What stood out to me the most was the familiar verse "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised." The key here is that all of these "works" are fruits of a life fixed on the Lord. She doesn't do these in pursuit of power, riches, "equality" with men, beauty, sex-appeal, security, independence, success--she does them because she pursues the Lord.

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