There is real gospel grace and encouragement in Proverbs 31 for wives and mothers who have always viewed this over-quoted and sometimes misunderstood chapter of Scripture as a weight of duty around their necks or an impossible checklist to live up to. Check out David Prince's very good thoughts on the Proverbs 31 mom here.
Prince does not say all there is to say about Proverbs 31. It is, after all, also an example of Christian fruitfulness for wives and mothers. Proverbs 31 is prescriptive of Christian fruitfulness as well as descriptive of a God-honouring and God-fearing example of everyday life. But Prince is right: Proverbs 31 is not a list of things to do in order for wives and mothers to commend themselves to God or to earn his or their family's love. Rather, as they go about their fruitful and busy lives, loving their families and working hard for their households, all they do is done in the fear, obedience, grace and love of their Lord and Saviour. This is definitely a much needed corrective and balance to the "checklist" mentality many teachers approach Proverbs 31 with.