“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful, an beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:20-31 KJV
This woman is not defined solely by her homemaking, but she is praised for her work outside the home. She is a professional at her craft of making fine linen. She is active and involved in caring for the needy and poor and she is praised equally for her work in these disparate roles.
How many women in the history of the world have not done what they were capable of because they accepted the teaching of men that they were to only focus on their children and husband?
It is still an issue facing women today, one that is a hot button topic in the LDS Church which is where I am trying to make my way as a woman, mother, wife and person. With skills, talents, passion and abilities to do many things that are not limited by my biological capabilities.
I am finding the balance of loving and caring for my children, being united in love and purpose with my husband and using the skills, and talents I've been inspired to develop. And through it all, I feel the Spirit leading me to know what is right and to be successful in each are of my life. I enjoy a fullness that I didn't anticipate and I'm grateful for. I hope that all women in the church can enjoy the fullness that this woman from Proverbs achieved and that church policies will encourage and promote this possibility greater than they have in the past.