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What One Book of the Bible Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and Loneliness (part 1, Boaz)



After Revelations, I decided to go through the book of Ruth. I was drawn to this short, yet sweet, book of the Bible, even though I'm incredibly familiar with it already. I had a feeling God was going to open my eyes to some new things, and oh boy, did He! I went through the four chapters of Ruth very slowly, soaking in the verses and meditating on the new truths the Lord has so graciously opened my eyes to. I really want to share some of those things with you, and I'm going to break it down into a three part series, covering the three main characters of Ruth and the things they taught me.


Today, we're going to talk about......(drum roll please!)


Boaz!


I think it's very common for the Christian culture to sort of simplify finding a husband and becoming a good wife by saying things along the lines of, "Become a Proverbs 31 woman! Find a Boaz!" And while in some capacity that can be encouraging, I never actually understood why I would want "a Boaz". I hadn't dove into who Boaz is and what characteristics he has that I would want to reflect in my future spouse.


And after studying this book, I now understand why I would want to marry a man like Boaz.


Boaz is kind and gentle. He is generous, thoughtful, and selfless. He notices Ruth's character before her outward beauty. He is a man of integrity and initiation. And, he begins a sweet family with Ruth, which will change the course of history, as their family are one of David and Jesus' ancestors.


Let's dive into this.


In Ruth chapter 2, we are first introduced to Boaz. Ruth actually goes to work in Boaz's field, unknowingly, so that she can gather enough grain to provide for her and Naomi. When Boaz enters the scene, he's greeting the harvesters in his field cheerfully, and blesses them. Boaz quickly notices the unfamiliar woman in his field and asks the other harvesters, who informed him about who Ruth was and how hard she had been working all day long.


Boaz immediately goes over to Ruth and promises her safety and abundance in his field, and praises her for her commitment to Naomi and the sacrifices she's made for her. Throughout the rest of the day, Boaz provides Ruth with a large meal, and has his harvesters even set aside grain for Ruth to take home. He treats Ruth so generously, so kindly - even though Ruth is basically a total stranger. He goes above and beyond to take care of Ruth, so much so that when Ruth goes home to show Naomi all that she was able to gather, Naomi was stunned, and encouraged her to stay in that field, because once she knew that it was Boaz's field, she knew Ruth would be safe.


Now, Naomi knows that Boaz is a guardian redeemer for her family. (Each family has a few guardian redeemers, men that will marry and take care of the women, should their husband ever pass away. It guaranteed safety and provision for the women.) So Naomi crafts a plan for Ruth to approach Boaz, gently and yet quite boldly, to basically ask Boaz to marry her. That way, Naomi and Ruth's family would continue. When all of this plays out (and I won't give too many details to spoil the rest of the blog series), Boaz is gentle with Ruth. He again, admires Ruth's character and expressed that he had a desire to marry her. However - there was a closer relative to Ruth that would have "first dibs" on marrying her. So Boaz takes the initiative to go speak to this relative, instead of going behind his back, but before he leaves, he sends Ruth with six measures of barley, which is A LOT, you guys. One commentary says that is around 15 gallons of barley, but regardless of the exact amount - Boaz was a provider and a protector.


Just as he said, Boaz went to talk to the relative, and they were able to come to an agreement where Boaz was able to marry Ruth. He declared it in front of everyone, and from there, they became a family, and soon was expecting their first child, a son, who would become David's grandpa.


I felt like it was so important for me to share this with you guys, especially the girls out there, because it's easy to settle and lose sight of the qualities that are so important for us to have in a boyfriend or husband. Even for myself, studying Boaz helped me to step back and reflect on these characteristics and really understand how important they are.


Before I give my heart away, I want that guy to be joyful and gentle, kind to the people around him. I want him to love Jesus and to follow God's design for things. I want him to go out of his way to love on me and his people, and to be generous and selfless. I want him to appreciate my character instead of focusing only on my outward appearance. I want him to be an initiator, a protector, and a provider. And not only for me, and my benefit, but also keeping in mind that one day, I'm going to have kids, and it is oh so important that I choose the man that will be the father to my children so carefully.


And this takes time. It takes studying a person's character and getting to see who they really are. It takes patience, because not every guy that comes around is going to be a godly guy, or a godly guy with a genuine, generous heart. It takes a lot of surrendering and prayer so that we can follow the Lord and His leading, instead of our hearts.


It's important to note that neither Boaz nor Ruth were looking for love or a significant other. They were just going about their daily lives, working hard and focusing on where God has them in that moment, and that is when God so perfectly coordinated their story. It's okay to desire a relationship and to be praying for that, but I would also encourage you to simply be intentional right now, wherever God has for you, and you might be surprised at all that God will do when we take our hands off of the wheel and let Him take control.

 

I honestly felt like my eyes were opened so much as I studied this book, and I am so grateful for the reminder to be patient for a godly guy, who treats me a lot like Boaz treats Ruth, and to take my hands off of the wheel and trust the Lord's plan for my love story. I don't want to manipulate it or write it myself, but to stay intentional and focused where I am right now, and have faith that He will take care of it, and it will all be better than I could have ever imagined.


Is there anything new that you learned about Boaz through this post? How has God been teaching you to trust Him with your love story? I'd love to hear down in the comments below!

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