We begin with this verse our introduction into what many call the Proverbs 31 woman. This first verse in this section lets us know the women we are going to get to know. We are also told the worth of such a woman.
The Proverbs 31 woman is called "an excellent wife." The word "excellent" is the Hebrew word "chayil." It speaks of someone who has strength, efficiency, capability, power, and substance. The word, according to Zhodiates, hsa the babsic idea of strength and influence. The word is used of individual, nations, and even armies. What is being said here is that this is a strong woman - but her strength is from her character and her godly practices. That will be apparent as we look further into this section of Scripture in future posts.
The excellent wife is the wife who is both strong and influential. When speaking of a woman this word often speaks of a virtuous character. That is the kind of woman who is an excellent wife. She is one who has a strength and power that comes from godly character traits. She draws her strength from her relationship with God - and views her family as the first and foremost place where that strength is spent. Throughout this section of Scripture we read how she works to bless and build up her family. The praise she receives in this passage comes primarily from her husband and her children. This is the praise that she desires.
Before we are through with this passage we will see this godly lady doing a wide variety of things with her time and her energy. Chief though in all of them is that she fears the Lord. Her lifestyle choices therefore are not directed by worldly influences. They are directed by a desire to glorify and honor God. If she can accomplish this - she is happy. She views being a wife and mother as the two highest callings that she could ever receive. She also views those callings from a biblical vantage point. That means, to put it bluntly, that she is not influenced by the National Organization of Women - or any other organization that views femininity with suspicion.
Such a woman, according to Proverbs, has a worth far above jewels. Her worth to her husband is incalculable - even though some well-meaning folks have tried to figure out how much we would pay to have someone do what a stay at home mother does. The cost of that estimate was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But what we cannot figure into any monetary value is the stability and the grace that a godly wife brings to her family. We also cannot imagine the costs that would be incurred to future generations if that godly influence were not in the home. Godly wives are a blessing as well spiritually (in fact that is where their greatest value is seen) which is something we cannot rate in dollars and cents. Suffice it to say that a godly wife and mother is worthy far more than any army of accountants could figure out in the end. If you have one - as either a wife or a mom - you should be eternally grateful!