To be honest, I never quite understood the dogmatic assertion, “A woman’s place is in the home.” While I agree that the responsibility for provision falls upon the man of the house, I see nothing in Scripture that suggests a woman has no part in it. On the contrary, the “excellent woman” of Proverbs 31 is nothing short of a business genius. Far from being cooped up at home and relegated to doing only those restricted tasks, she’s in charge of a significant enterprise, overseeing inventory, sales, marketing, employment, distribution, and investment!

Look at the list of her activities mentioned from verses 13–27.

She looks for good products.

She works with her hands.

She invests her wages.

She makes real estate decisions.

She provides for herself and her family.

She runs her own clothing business.

She even teaches others through her wisdom.

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This woman is not simply a drudge: she is an equal partner in every aspect of administering the family’s assets. While a husband is responsible for leadership, his responsibility includes supporting his wife’s ambitions and helping her reach her full potential. In response, the fulfilled and excellent woman is resourceful, compassionate, strong, and secure. I love the line “She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong” (v. 17). Only a painfully insecure man wouldn’t want this kind of wife.

What a portrait of beauty and strength! Can’t you see her smiling as she looks toward the distant horizon of her life? She is neither insecure nor afraid. Her world is bigger than the immediate demands of today. Her strength is an inner strength, a sense of confidence in God. No wonder her children ultimately “bless her”! No wonder her husband happily “praises her”!

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