All credit goes to Stella Payton who wrote this article on her website. I thought was the most perfect explanation of Chayil:
The CHAYIL WOMAN comes from Proverbs 31:10. Few people realize that the word “VIRTUOUS” is translated from the Hebrew word “CHAYIL”.
To the King James Translators, the word virtue was emphasized for good reason. Religious crusade wars had waged for over 200 years. These wars took men away from their families for years at a time. While they were gone, it was important that the “virtue” or moral character of their women remain intact in their absence.
However, for a Hebrew woman, moral purity was a given. To do otherwise meant a swift death. Thus, Chayil in its original framework is “ESHET CHAYIL”, meaning woman of VALOR. “Valor” means great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle. It implies bravery & COURAGE—doing what frightens you. Or PLUCK—the kind of daring that enables you to quickly remove someone from a dangerous or unpleasant situation. Chayil is a NERVE—braced mentally to face demanding situations. She is AUDACIOUS—taking bold risks with confidence.
A Chayil woman has BACKBONE— the strength of character, will and determination; SPIRIT—energy with determination and assertiveness; And GUTS—personal courage with tough character, TRUE GRIT—courage with resolve. She is a woman with MOXIE—force of character with determination and nerve. This is a true CHAYIL WOMAN. And these are the characteristics women need today.
But Chayil doesn’t stop with valor. More than 50% of the time this word is translated, it is in the context of VICTORIOUS WARFARE. Another 25% of the time it is in the context of wealth and the ability to acquire it. When you add all this up, CHAYIL is an allegorical woman who knows how to fight and win the battle for the family, home, marketplace, and community. Chayil is the wealth of Deuteronomy 8:18 and Proverbs 13:22. And she uses that wealth to establish the Kingdom of God. And Proverbs 31 has given us a strategy with clues, steps and a game plan for its implementation!
Chayil is a representation of the BODY OF CHRIST for our time. She is a symbol of what the Kingdom of God can do to release the will of God on earth as it is in heaven. This is the season for the WARRIOR CHAYIL, the WEALTH of CHAYIL and the WISDOM of CHAYIL to MANIFEST.
It is time for her to arise, to shine. For her light has come.
Isaiah 60:1-3 “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 for behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (NKJV)