And husbands, don’t 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 don’t 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 don’t feel like a bad wife or a bad mother. You are being a good wife and a good mother because you’re helping provide for your family!
(3) She even works hard when she SHOPS (read vs. 13-16) (ILL: the way Carol shops) That’s commendable! She knows the value of a dollar and she doesn’t 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 woman’s looks, but there’s 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 there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but remember it’s 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 there’s one more item I want to mention.
II. The Praise She Deserves.
(Read vs. 28-31). For the most part, I’ve preached to the ladies - and I don’t 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 don’t like to praise others. I’m 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 wake up! Sure there is rottenness in the world. But Jesus Christ has made us more than conquerors and He gives us every reason to be positive and happy! So stop grumbling! Get yourself hooked on praise because it feels 10 times better!"
B. Because it honors GOD.
Since God made the world and is at work in it, it is possible to praise Him indirectly by praising something he made or praising something that exalts Him. (ILL: If you praise my little boy, Carol and I feel honored - and that’s the way it is with God).