Patience is a Virtue

Discovering the Virtues We Should Be Learning from the Proverbs 31 Woman

“Patience is a Virtue.” Have you ever heard that expression? Perhaps it is something you were told as a child when you were being impatient. It wasn’t something I heard very much growing up, but in my husband’s family it’s something that’s said quite often, and I’m always glad for the reminder.

In chapter 14 of Messy Beautiful Love, Darlene discusses patience and many other virtues that are demonstrated by the infamous Proverbs 31 Woman. Just what are those virtues that she teaches us? Here’s what Darlene has to say:

1. She was trustworthy.

There are many aspects to being trustworthy, and all are important, but in this chapter Darlene points out that a husband should be able to trust that his wife won’t walk away from their marriage when times get tough. In the culture we live in with a nearly 50% divorce rate, what could be more reassuring to your husband than the knowledge that no matter what life brings, you’ll always be by his side?

2. She was kind and considerate.

This is easy to do on the good days when life is going as planned and your hubby is being kind and considerate as well, but what about the not so good days? Darlene points out to us that it is the way we treat our husbands during the times when things aren’t going so well that speak volumes about our character.

3. She worked willingly.

This is one of the aspects of the Proverbs 31 Woman I struggle to follow sometimes. Most days I do get done what needs to be done, but a lot of times I feel like I’m not measuring up to the willingly part. It’s important to remember that even on the days that we are far from eager to wash the dishes or do yet another load of laundry, we are doing them to serve our families. I find that when I keep in mind my reasons for the endless chores, it helps my attitude a bit.

4. She was diligent.

Darlene points out something here that I think it’s important to share; “God doesn’t expect us to be perfect; He just wants to see us growing in grace.” Looking at the Proverbs 31 Woman in detail can get overwhelming, but I think it’s important to remember that no one, including our perfect Creator, expects us to be perfect. We should be diligently striving to do better each day for the sake of our marriages and our walks with Christ.

5. She was self-controlled.

Self-control takes effort and lots and lots of practice. This is another place in our lives that diligence will come in handy. Darlene tells us that “Whether we’re talking about satisfying your appetites, overspending, being lazy, or losing our tempers, we all benefit from exercising the virtue of self-control.” No matter what it is that you need to control in your life, you can get there with a little more effort and a LOT of prayer.

6. She was compassionate.

I really like Darlene’s interpretation of this. “It’s easy enough to write a check and throw 10 percent in the offering basket at church every week; what isn’t so easy is reaching our hands out to the people around us.” Especially at this time of year, there are so many opportunities to serve people in ways that are truly compassionate.

If you’ve been with us for a while, you’ll remember that the very first book we did was about the Proverbs 31 Woman so this may seem a little redundant, but I love to get different peoples’ perspectives on this woman that we all strive to be more like.

So the next time you’re thinking about what kind of woman you’d like to be, remember patience is a virtue, but it’s not the only important one.

Darlene’s Challenge:

If you aren’t doing so already, start reading the Bible daily. Even if it’s just a chapter a day, you need to be in the Word in order to discover God’s will for your life. If you are looking for short Bible studies that might help you along, Darlene offers free ones through her website at

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