We started with a look at the main characters of the book of Ruth, Naomi and Ruth, who were both widows. In the midst of their hardships, the narrator, Naomi, introduces Boaz, the leading man of honorable standing or virtue. In chapter two of the book of Ruth, I am reminded again that the gospel is always about relationships: the relationship between the creator, God and his human creation; the relationships that human beings have with each other; and the relationship between humankind and the earth that they are called to cultivate together.
There was something magnificent at work when God said, “Let us make [mankind] in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over… (Gen 1:26).” God created the man and his wife.
God then says, “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh (Gen 2:24).” This is the verse that romances are made of: a life of comfort and pleasure where all needs and some wants are provided for, no hard labor is required; no rude, annoying, intrusive in-laws to deal with; no kids to look after; and many days of rolling in the sheets (or grass in Adam and Eve’s case). Of course, I know that this verse, much like the story of Boaz and Ruth, is packed with a lot more truth, yet we choose to magnify the romantic ideals of these complicated stories.
While the ideal is not the common reality, single women with a desire to marry should have some idea of the type of man they want standing at the altar. There is no better place than the Bible to look for guidance.
As a man of strong character, Boaz provides an excellent example of a mate. Take a look at the following snapshots of him:
- Boaz honored the Lord.
“Boaz arrived fromBethlehemand greeted the harvesters, ‘The Lord be with you (Ruth 2:4)!”
- Boaz was diligent.
We know that Boaz was a man of great wealth, but his wealth was not nearly as importance as the way he went about leading and paying attention to his responsibilities.
- Boaz was a protector.
His assurance to Ruth: “I have told the men not to touch you (2:9).”
- Boaz was a man of prayer with a gracious heart.
His prayer for Ruth: “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge (2:12).” After his prayer, he immediately takes action to intentional be a part of God’s blessing. Boaz was a gracious hearer and doer of God’s law.
If you are single and God has placed a desire for marriage in your heart, these are certainly desired characteristics for your “Get a husband prayer list,” and dare I say, pursue a man that possesses these characteristics. (Read The Gospel of Ruth Chapter 7 to get the goods on that statement.)
As a young girl, I remember the older women telling us, “If you want to see what kind of man he truly is, watch how he treats his mother.” As I grew into adulthood, the statement among girlfriends was, “If you want to know his true character, check out the lifestyle of his friends.” Bottom line, if a man has truly surrendered to the Lord, you will notice it in his most intimate relationships.
If already a wife, these are great characteristics to pray for your husband to cultivate.
If a mom or woman of influence, we must remember that we are not only raising young boys (and girls) to be smart and athletic (both of which are very important), but we must also raise children who have strong moral compasses that acknowledge the Lord above all else and are fit to stand for the kingdom of God and share the good news of Jesus with their generations. We should raise young men of great character who are passionate about building the Lord’s kingdom and who can potentially be someone else’s Boaz.
What traits of Boaz’s character stood out to you? How can we celebrate and encourage these Godly characteristics in a culture that sends conflicting messages about what it means to be a man?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011
We will discuss again on the May 3—until then happy reading.
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