Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:13
"She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight"
This is the Hebrew word semer which means wool. She finds and evaluates clothing sources is the idea here. Wool was a dominant source of clothing material in that day, and she is looking for ways to clothe her family.
This is the Hebrew word pista which means flax. Flax was the material that linen was made from. Linen was the material that the inner robes and tunics were created out of as wool was the outerwear.
The excellent wife is described as one who takes care of certain domestic issues that arise with having a family and even a family business. As much as the feminist movement would like to say that these domestic duties are not the particular duties of a woman in the marriage, the scripture consistently assigns these types of assignments to the wife in a marriage. Having a wife who is willing to do the role of domestic leader meets a deep need in a man. Throwing yourself into the role of domestic leader draws a man to this type of woman.
So, in a sense, this proverb is saying that the excellent wife is searching for the best clothing for her family both outerwear and underwear. She is diligent about the task she has been given. She has responsibilities and she fulfills those with delight. There is, in this proverb, the implied ability to throw oneself into the responsibility one has been assigned. Too often in this culture we dream up the job that we think we would like and then spend way too much time thinking about how wonderful life will be when we get that job. It is usually not as wonderful as we think. The excellent wife is the one who does not believe she is too good for real work or too important for a small task. She throws herself into the assignment that is in front of her, grasping the job with delight. This is a great quality.
Stop whining about what you should be doing and just do what you are supposed to do.
This is the Hebrew word hapes which means to delight in, find acceptable.
The idea here is that she is not afraid of work but delights in it. She is focused on the task in front of her. There is a present orientation to her focus. The principles that make this woman an outstanding wife are the same principles that make a person an outstanding worker. They throw themselves into the job they have been assigned instead of whining about the job they wish they had.