Proverbs 31: 10-28
The wife of noble character. A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. she brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands, bringing her food from afar. She gets while its is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. she sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends er hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine lined and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also and he praises her.
I have written about this before and I struggle with its interpretation. I respect God's social hierarchy in that I am under the authority of my husband. Yet, in the above proverb, it seems that a wife is expected of much regarding her household and necessary decisions to run it. It seems that the husband gains as he steps out of her way, her jurisdiction. She has much responsibility and authority over herself, her children and her household. She builds it up, she works toward its constant improvement. She knows what she is expected to do everyday without being told. Where is her husband, he is with the elders at the gate. He is making political decisions and business deals as well as ordering organization of the city... he is the superintendent along with other men over the households as a wider group, a society. While his and each household has its noble wife.