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Learned Student, Honest.

Friday, June 10, 2011

It’s not just about Proverbs 31:

Stop the press! (or just add this addendum)

About two months ago, I surveyed some of my Christian young adult friends about what they desired in a spouse; what they valued in a future life partner. (See Value System: a woman's perspective and  Value System: a man's perspective).

In general conversation, men will usually say they value the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman. Likewise, women will say "I want to embody Proverbs 31" (or if they are bold enough they will even say "I am a Proverbs 31 woman.") The children and husband of a Proverbs 31 woman arise and call her blessed. (Proverbs 31:28)


Blessed: the ultimate well-being and distinctive spiritual joy of those who share in the salvation of the kingdom of God. (Zondervan Study Bible)

Our Foundations class today was an Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount; Matthew 5 and 6. (All my Foundations classes have been excellent! I wish I could bring everyone to class with me. I wouldn’t just say that about any class.)

The Sermon on the Mount is "Jesus’ first public proclamation of the value system of His Kingdom." Matthew 5 contains the 8 core values, (5:3-10). Here, "Jesus is expressing His heart and revealing what is important to Him."

The values are followed by 6 vices that would prevent one from inheriting the Kingdom (5:21-47). Then, Matthew 6 has 7 virtues that release God’s grace upon us as we live out the core values. (6:1-34)

The eight core values are the Beatitudes:
  1. Poor in Spirit – realizing that we can do nothing without Him
  2. Mourning
  3. Meekness – thinking of others before thinking of yourself
  4. Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness -
  5. Showing Mercy
  6. Purity in Heart – not just sexual impurity but thoughts and actions
  7. Making Peace – a peacemaker not merely a peacekeeper i.e passive aggressive – non-confrontational.
  8. Persecution
Oftentimes, we recite the beatitudes, without much insight, as they sound great – who wouldn’t want to be blessed and inherit the Kingdom? However, these qualities are not inherent characteristics that we are born with, or personality traits that can developed by our own strength, in the flesh. We need to ask our live-in teacher, the Holy Spirit, dwelling within us, to give us more insight into their worth and teach us how to embody these values.

Proverbs 31 is good and dandy (and heavily referenced). It provides a good illustration of the “perfect virtuous woman,” which assumingly many women strive to become. However, I would like to place more emphasis on Matthew 5 and 6 as the continuous goal. These are the values Jesus will be looking for in each of us, men and women, and how we ought to live our lives daily.
“These values are to define us as we walk the narrow path in this life. . . Our hearts are liberated and our souls fulfilled when we give ourselves to 100% obedience to the value system of the Kingdom of God.” –Jamie Burns Pridgen

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