When we read the biblical book of Ruth, we can’t miss the beautiful story of how Ruth, a young widow, finds her second husband Boaz.
Some might think that she actually was looking for a rich husband, happened (on purpose) to glean in his fields, flirted with Boaz, thus gaining his approval, and then she proposed and was accepted.
I don’t read it that way at all.
“It’s important that we understand the customs of the day and exactly what Ruth did.
First, Ruth shows submission to her mother-in-law Naomi when she goes out to glean grain for their food. Boaz, the owner of the field she gleans in, shows her compassion and kindness. At this time, it seems he has no idea who she is or that she’s related to his family by marriage. (Ruth 2:5)
Somehow, Naomi finds out he is a relative, eligible to be a “kinsman redeemer,” and she tells Ruth to approach Boaz about redeeming Naomi’s husband Elimelech’s property, since Elimelech and both their sons had passed away. (The popular custom was for the kinsman redeemer to marry his relative’s widow and raise up children in the late kinsman’s name. It also entailed buying the property of the deceased so that it wouldn’t be sold outside the family.) It is thought that Boaz might have been a cousin to Ruth’s late husband. He was second in line to redeem Ruth.
When I read this beautiful story, I never get the impression that Ruth batted her eyes at Boaz or that he was infatuated with her. It seems Boaz was quite surprised when Ruth asked him to redeem her. He was an older man and was amazed she would consider him instead of a younger man. He even told her she was a virtuous woman. (Ruth 3:10-11)
Everything Ruth did was proper, respectful, and in submissive obedience to her mother-in-law. Boaz and Ruth’s resulting marriage is one of those arranged, happy outcome marriages, blessed by God.
I understand the pressures out there to “find” the Right One or even to have a boyfriend. Sometimes well-meaning adults, even pastors, ask girls if they have a boyfriend, just to make conversation. Especially those single women over twenty might feel that people expect them to go find someone.
But these pressures don’t come from biblical thinking. Flirting and chasing are not right for a Christian woman! Instead, a lady should be a friend to all and let God take care of finding her man, if indeed there’s a man in God’s plan for her.”*
What do you think about the story of Ruth? Do you think she made herself too available to Boaz? Why or why not?
Yesterday’s post, “If God Has a Man for Me, Do I Need to Find Him” goes along with this theme and might be interesting to you, if you have not read it.
*Quoted from my book, His Ways, Your Walk: Bible Applications for Women, available now on Amazon. For a description, click on the tab “My Book.”