[i]An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her?
Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls. She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]
And makes her arms strong. – Proverbs 31:10,17
In and of ourselves we will surely fail in our quest for godly living. We will come to the end of ourselves and recognize our own bankruptcy. With Paul we will cry out —
For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. For the willingness [to do good] is present in me, but the doing of good is not. Romans 7:18
God, by His grace and by the power of His Spirit, can enable us to live lives that are pleasing to the One who died and rose again for us. May we reckon ourselves to be dead to sin that the life our Lord might be manifested in and through us. We cannot, but God can! The God who indwells us can enable us.
Few influences affect a man’s heart for God more than his wife, for better or for worse. She will either encourage his spiritual devotion to the Lord or she will hinder it. She will either enlarge his passion for God or she will pour cold water on it.
The character of the worthy woman motivates her husband to respond with trust. This trustworthy lifestyle includes the nurturing of security, love, service, limits, freedom, enjoyment, faith, and encouragement. Her husband and those under her leadership are challenged to reach their full potential. She understands that she has the ability to feed or starve their character and thus handles this privilege through the strength of the Holy Spirit.
Two points I found about the above verses that I connected with through women. I am sure there could have been more – but these two drew my attention and I thought I would add them here.
Excellent: The spirit of excellence does not cut our imperfections. Rather it is a phenomenon that describes a one hundred percent push in the right direction. Even without getting to the destination one can still show “excellence” by giving one hundred percent of one’s energy to get to that destination. The virtuous wife is someone who selectively picks her areas of focus in life and gives those areas one hundred percent of her effort. She does not dilly-dally or jump from one thing to another. She selects something and goes all the way to see it to completion. If you’ve seen a woman who struggles despite all odds to meet a single extraordinary feat, she is a virtuous woman – exhibiting a form (or several forms) of excellence.
Physical and spiritual fitness: • She has a realistic attitude toward her personal capabilities • She acknowledges that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; it is her responsibility to make it a fit dwelling place for Him • She realizes that she must be healthy to do her duties efficiently • She understands the importance of recreation to support a healthy body • She accepts the fact that sometimes “others can, she cannot.” • She has a clear perspective about her body cycling and wisely accommodates its ebb and flow.