There is an influence that the excellent wife has that few consider - and yet it is an influence that reaches to the ends of the earth. William Ross Wallace wrote, "The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world." He wrote that in his famous poem entitled, "What Rules the World," in 1865. In that wonderful poem Wallace lauds true godly motherhood. He understood the influence that a godly woman can have. He may or may not have known that Solomon said such a thing centuries earlier at the close of his section on the excellent wife. Let's look at what he said.
Solomon begins by promising the excellent wife that her husband will say to her the following statement, "Many daughters have done nobly." A couple of things catch my eye as I look at these words. First, the husband gives a shout out to his mother-in-law. He speaks of "daughters" that have done nobly. The reason they usually do nobly is that they were taught by example and by precept how to be an exemplary wife by their mothers. It is a wise man who praises his mother-in-law for the work that she has done with his wife. Second, the godly husband speaks of how his wife has done "nobly." The word used here is "hayil" and it means to have strength and influence. When it is used of his wife, he uses it to speak of her exemplary character and godliness. He speaks of her virtuous character. The word is used to speak often of either military, financial, or numerical influence. When the husband uses it he speaks of his wife's influence with the family and others. That influence is due to godliness and an excellent work ethic.
The next thing the husband does is compare his wife to others around her. This may seem unwise at first - but he only says that his precious wife excels all others that are around her. He speaks glowingly of her as a jewel among all others. She is his rare gem and is as precious to him and to the family as any gem would be to its owner. In fact, Solomon states elsewhere in proverbs that she is worth more than multiple gems and silver and gold. The wise man does not let his wife wonder if she is being godly and leading the family aright in her husband's absence. HE knows- and he is delighted at what her godly character has brought to his family - and to others around her.
Men . . . your wife needs to hear such things from you! She is, for the most part, ignored and stepped upon by the society around her. Some may even speak well of her actions, but more than anything she wants to hear these things from your mouth! Let her know that in your eyes she excels any other woman. Remind her that the things she is investing in her children will yield great influence as they grow to love Christ and share Him with others. This is the high and noble work of a woman - in fact I believe Scripture indicates it is the highest and noblest work she could aspire to in her life! If she is doing that work - acknowledge it man - acknowledge it!
NOTE: Just a brief word here for single moms who are doing it all alone. It is a sad thing that you will probably not hear such a thing from your husband - especially if you are a single mom due to his unfaithfulness. But know this - all will receive their reward in the end. Know that your heavenly Father sees all - and He will speak such words of encouragement to your heart as you do this hard work by His grace. But there will be a day when before His throne you will hear so much more. You will hear it because you chose to be an exemplary mother - even when the father of your children has been far less than exemplary. But for now precious ladies - you too have done nobly - excelling others with your sacrifice, your humility, and your Christ-honoring attitude and actions! Well done - dear ladies - well done!