job in the world is? Being a mother and a wife. Think about it. A mother has to be a nurse, a teacher, a child psychologist, a dietician, a housekeeper, and a cook. It takes hard work to build and maintain a family! So ladies, donít get lazy when it comes to your home.

And husbands, donít be lazy either. Appreciate the hard work your wife does at home - and give her a hand (a helping hand)!

(2) She works hard on the JOB (read vs. 18, 24). These verses describe a career woman. She is busy, buying, selling, and trading. It may shock you to realize that the Bible does not condemn a woman who works outside the home. The Ideal Woman of Proverbs 31 works outside the home and is commended - not condemned.

Ladies, if you donít have to work outside the home, then take advantage of it and focus on ministering to your husband and raising your children. But if you have to find employment outside the home then donít feel like a bad wife or a bad mother. You are being a good wife and a good mother because youíre helping provide for your family!

(3) She even works hard when she SHOPS (read vs. 13-16) (ILL: the way Carol shops) Thatís commendable! She knows the value of a dollar and she doesnít squander the family livelihood.

The ideal woman is a valuable wife, a vigorous worker, and . . .

C. She is a Virtuous WOMAN.

Our society places a lot of emphasis on a womanís looks, but thereís more to the Ideal Woman than her looks. She has substance and virtue.

(1) Verse 20 describes the compassion she shows.
(2) Verse 25 describes the character she has.
(3) Verse 26 describes the counsel she gives.

To sum it all up, the Ideal Woman is Christlike! Ladies, what an example for you to follow! Now thereís nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but remember itís far more important to be woman of substance and virtue - like the Woman in Proverbs 31.

You need to really get acquainted with this woman and make her your role model. Follow her example and she will help you find fulfillment and satisfaction.

I could close here, but thereís one more item I want to mention.

II. The Praise She Deserves.

(Read vs. 28-31). For the most part, Iíve preached to the ladies - and I donít want the rest of you to feel left out, so let me preach to you for a few minutes.

The last 4 verses of this proverb says that a godly woman deserves to be praised. Husbands, teenagers, and children, do you know why we ought to praise the godly women in our lives?

A. Because it feels GOOD.

It feels good to be positive and to say positive thinks about the people in our lives. But there are some people who just donít like to praise others. Iím talking about the cranks, misfits, and scrooges of the world who seldom praise. They have an inner sickness of the soul that yields criticism, complaining, sarcasm, and a general joylessness. I want to take such people (and sometimes myself) and shake them and say, "Hey