…yet this woman was blessed by her children, praised by her husband, and is included in the Bible as an example to all women!
The Proverbs 31 Woman had a profitable business: she sold belts that she made herself, and from the profits she was able to plant a vineyard. This would have been costly, requiring the land to be purchased and then terraced, a wall built, a winepress hewn from stone, the soil turned, and a watchtower raised. We are told that she planted the vineyard with her own hands, but she must have hired help to do the rest.
Sitting as an elder was likely a volunteer position. Among his other duties, the Proverbs 31 husband would be teaching God’s laws, judging court cases, and upholding the peace of the village. She freed up his time so that he could serve his community.
Financially, they were well off and had servants so she didn’t have to work to support the family. Modern wives often work from financial necessity. Although critics claim that this sends the message that the husband is unable to support his family, it is sometimes quite the opposite. Many men (and women too) have talents and abilities that do not pay well in money but are still valuable. To imply that a man’s worth is based on his salary is insulting to his character. These wives are showing that they value their husbands, and that they are taking their role as a life’s partner seriously.
The difference was partly cultural: in Old Testament times, businesses were home-based; in fact, this was the norm up until the Industrial Revolution. Yet, her sewing and vineyard took up a great deal of time, and there is no mention of the children suffering as a result. That’s because she balanced her time and energies, putting the emphasis where it mattered most at any given moment.