"She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens"
The descriptions of the virtuous wife continues. In this proverb, she is described as a loving and caring mother and an able manager of the family business. Notice that she rises before the sun is up to make sure that her family has food to eat. She also has servants that need to be directed for the day.
This is the Hebrew word choq which means something prescribed or owed. The idea could be portions of food or prescribed tasks that are given out to the servants. It seems as though this makes the most sense for her to direct the servants with their assignments that day.
What is important to see is that this woman is fully engaged in managing the home and seeing that the children are loved and cared for and that the various tasks are being accomplished.
Most homes in our modern world do not have servants, but there are numerous tasks that need to be managed by hiring people to do them. This would be the same idea. She is fully engaged in the process of making the domestic arena work.
It is unfortunate, in our present culture, that the need for a well-managed home has been denigrated. A well-managed home provides the framework of stability for the children and the welcome-home base for every member of the family. A woman who dedicates herself to using all her skills, gifts, abilities, and diligence to bringing about a well-maintained home is a source of positive good to the society as well as a treasure to her family. The job of homemaker is a crucial role and needs to be exalted again for its supreme worth. A woman who embraces this godly role does a noble and worthy thing.
We are so tired of watching selfish women who feel that caring for their children are a burden; that keeping a welcoming home is a chore beneath their efforts. A selfish wife produces troubled children and a difficult marriage. Yes, a woman who dedicates herself to become God's definition of a virtuous wife has to sacrifice but sacrificing for better relationships is the secret elixir for all of life. What a treasure when a wife realizes that sacrificing for marriage and family will pay rich dividends throughout her life.
In my book, God’s Radical Plan for Wives that I wrote with my wife, we call this Domestic Leadership. Being a godly wife calls for all the leadership abilities that a woman has. A man is drawn to a well-maintained home. He wants to be in a deep relationship with a woman who creates a place of sanctuary, safety, and love. Do not underestimate this need in a man for his wife to do this. Do not devalue this role because it seems as though our society is rewarding the career woman at the present. Women who embrace this role of domestic leader or competent homemaker are the glue to a functioning society. We have messed with this key role to our own peril.
I cannot tell you what a radical blessing it is to have a wife who has become the living embodiment of these verses. It brings delight to my soul constantly.