The great Proverbs 31 debate is still going on. Check Lydia Sherman's posts on the topic:
Questions and Answers About the Proverbs 31 Woman
and Proverbs 31 and Servants.
Lydia wrote one more article about it, so I'm adding it to the list:
Proverbs 31: Career Woman?
She mentions the lady who sold the purple cloth from Acts 16 and who was also called Lydia. Her story is apparently used to promote careers for wives and mothers, too. Ironically, the very fact that she had to earn an income was seen as proof that she must have had no husband by the men who wrote Bible commentaries in less enlightened times:
...whether Lydia was a maid, a wife, or widow, cannot be said; it looks,
however, as if she had no husband now, since she is mentioned as a
trader herself ...
(from John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible, vs. 15. Read the rest over here.)