She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. (Proverbs 31:17 Amplified)
I always loved this verse. Raised in a family with a strong mother and more males than females, I always was pushing to keep up. I wanted to play hard, and then later, to work hard. I longed to be a part of the male dominated world around me in my family and later in my career. When I found this verse, I was encouraged and latched onto it.
I love how the Amplified version expands it. Strength is for the God-given task ahead of us. God has given us a path and He will make us able for it, in all ways, not just physical, but also mental and spiritual.
In a culture that extols physical beauty, the method is to go to the gym and work out. Have a professional trainer. Women are strong and fit today are in good shape because they work at exercise and diet. Here instead the Excellent Wife is strong because she works. Period. She is strengthened as she fulfills her God-assigned tasks. She is confident, she is filled with joy in her accomplishments.
When we serve others, when we care for our husband, home, children and their needs, and even at our career, it is the best beauty treatment. The Lord builds us up not only in our physical body, but also in our mind and spirit.
Father, day by day as I go about my work at the office and at home, remind me that following Your way, serving others, is the best way to be fit and beautiful.
And when the way is hard and long, remind me of what you said in Nehemiah 8:10: Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.