The love story between Boaz and Ruth is worth studying and imitating. This is my testimony: I am a child of God, a woman of God, a wife, a mother of three and a grandmother of six. My husband and I are happily married for 42 years. He is very much like Boaz. Each time I read of a true godly love story my heart beats faster with joy and gratitude because God makes ‘all things beautiful in His own time’. Boaz is a wonderful example of a prince, a godly gentleman, a man most single girls dream to marry one day.
- A GODLY HUSBAND IS SENSITIVE TO THE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF HIS WIFE
Let’s see how a man must treat a woman to win her heart. Early in the morning Boaz comes to his field and he greets his workers in the name of the Jehovah. He says: ‘The Lord (Jehovah) be with you’. They answered back: ‘The Lord (Jehovah) bless you’. This must have impressed Ruth. In her native country Moab all the ‘big men’ are too big to personally come to their fields to supervise the work. The unbelievers make a practice to ignore poor people. They do not greet or bless their workers in the name of the Lord. They are too ‘big’ for that. All wealthy unbelievers are bossy. Jesus said this: “You know that the rulers of the unbelievers lord it over them and their superiors act like tyrants over them” (Mt 20:25; ISV). Here Boaz proves to be a man of God. He knows his workers well and has a good relationship with them. They appreciate and respect him and are happy with their ‘conditions of labor’. Boaz is a wealthy man ‘of standing’ but also godly humble man. He is friendly with his workers but he is still their boss. Ruth discovers that she was working for a man who fears God, who is humble and kind enough to care for his laborers but secure in himself to know that he is in charge.
Boaz came to the field to supervise his workers. It was ‘a business trip’. As he scanned the field with his eyes he quickly saw a new worker, a foreign looking woman who was gleaning at the back of the field. He immediately asked his foreman: ‘Whose young woman is that?’ He was informed that she was the Moabites who followed Naomi back home. Apparently he heard of her. He was told how ‘Aunty Naomi’ came back from Moab as a poor sad widow. She was followed by her Moabite daughter in law, also a widow. The news was all over the city of Bethlehem. He must have pondered on their fate before that morning when he discovers Ruth gleaning in his field.
Boaz knows that as a close relative he has some responsibility in helping them. For others, the responsibility to help a poor relative is seen as a seriously unwelcomed burden. But not so for Boaz! He is a truly fearless, kind and generous man. He does not waste time at all. He approaches Ruth and instructs her to stay in his field, following his servant girls. He tells her that he has commanded his men not to ‘touch’ her inappropriately. He tells her that she can come to his shade and drink water freely. We see that Boaz is very sensitive to her needs. He imagines that as a single woman, as a poor foreigner looking for food, she must be scared of ‘sexual harassment’. The truth is that Ruth is in a very vulnerable position, alone in the fields. The only person who knows her is Naomi, who is old and poor. She knows that the Jews hate the Moabites because of a long troubled history between them.
What Ruth needs is protection, food, water and shelter. She also needs encouragement. Boaz knows her fears and he openly and lovingly encourages her at their first encounter. He does not ‘play safe’. He is not afraid that his kindness may be taken for granted. He is not afraid of what men may say about him. As a rich man he could have ignored her. But he does not ignore, oppress, manipulate or take advantage of Ruth. Boaz is a symbol of Christ. He is straightforward, confident, wise, gentle, encouraging and friendly from the very beginning. He is kind. He is responsible. He is godly. He is a good communicator. It looks that for Boaz, it was love at first sight. But he patiently waits praying to know the will of God. As you know, he eventually marries her. This is truly impressive!
Any single sister will fall in love with a man who is truly born again, whose identity in rooted Christ, who is hard working, strong and friendly, romantic, kind and happy in the same time… (And a little wealth is not bad too…)… May God provide a Boaz for each Ruth in this world who prays for her dream marriage! In Jesus name, amen!