Proverbs 31

10 Many men will search for a beautiful wife, but far fewer men seek a wife of excellence. With the divorce rate in the United States hovering at about fifty percent we can tell than couples are not choosing their spouses wisely. Husbands, wives, and children suffer emotional and financial losses when a marriage ends. It is easy to see how a good spouse is more valuable than great wealth. Both men and women should seek spouses of excellence.
11 A wife of excellent can be trusted completely. This means that the husband allows and encourages her to participate in decision making. While the husband is away he has confidence that his wife will take charge and make sound decisions on her own. He is free to focus on supporting his family by doing quality work rather than fretting over what his wife might be doing at home. Thus the husband gains financially at work and gains emotionally at home.
12 A wife of excellence will not harm or undermine her husband. Instead she will seek to do those things that benefit him and the household.
13 Many men (and even some women) do not see a housewife as doing "real" work. However, in many ways the housewife's work is even more valuable than a wife who works full time is (Prov 31:10). The housewife is the manager of the home and is in charge of coordinating feeding, clothing, cleaning, and a variety of other tasks that make a home a pleasant place to live. If there are children, then there are even more important tasks to handle. This does not mean that she does all the work, but the husband should fully appreciate her work.

In this verse, the wife of excellence takes pleasure in seeing that her family is dressed well. Few women today weave their own cloth or sew, but some women will tell you that shopping for the family is not easy either.

14 The daily shopping routine is still followed in many parts of the world where refrigerators and motorized transportation are not known. In cities, the woman would go to the market place every day. The rural woman would either grow food or have to go searching for it every day. She would have to carry everything in her arms, so figuratively she was like a merchant ship going from place to place and bringing what she found home.
15 The wife of excellence will do whatever it takes to get her household started in the morning. She must feed her husband and get him to work on time. She must feed her children and make sure their day gets started. If she has hired help then she must get them up and ready for work.
16 A housewife is not restricted to her home. If she has the time and organizational skills she can increase her work to benefit her household. This would be more likely for the wife whose children are all grown. A woman back then could usually earn money at home by making clothes and garments (Prov 31:13). If she saved enough money from that she could afford to branch out into more lucrative operations. If the wife has the ambition and skill to start her own business in such a way that does not harm the family then the husband should support her efforts.
17 I am certain that this passage is referring to the physical strength that is required to tend the vineyard from the previous verse. For those endeavors that do not require physical labor strength of character is more important.
18 The wife of excellence not only increases the gain of her husband, but herself as well. She can look at the family she has raised well and the profitable endeavors she has pursued and be satisfied that she has lived a fulfilling life. The reference to the lamp may indicate that she works late into the night to accomplish her goals.
19 The distaff and the spindle are tools used to make cloth. See Prov 31:13.
20 Just as she is diligent in caring for her own household, she also loves those who are poor.
21 See Prov 31:13. As she becomes more successful she can afford finer clothes for herself and her family.
23 With a successful wife taking care of everything at home, the successful husband has the time to become a community leader.
24 See Prov 31:16.
25 Being a wife of excellence is more than just having fine clothing. She has a strong, dignified, and optimistic attitude.
26 A wife of excellence also excels at wisdom. She teaches both by word and by example.
27 The wife of excellence would rather do things to benefit her household rather than doing nothing.
28 The household of such a wife will be admired and appreciated by her family. They won't be able to help themselves.
30 So what is the secret behind a wife of excellence? It is not beauty and charm, but her commitment to God.
31 Far from being mundane and unappreciated, the excellent housewife will gain a great reputation. She will leave her mark on the community. Her works will be unmistakable, and everyone will acknowledge her efforts.

Some people feel that the Bible is degrading to women, passages like this that show the importance of women and honor them for their vital roles in the home and in the community.