KEY LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF RUTH
“Avoid chronic ignorance. Boaz knew something about Ruth. He heard about her good behavior. Don’t walk into a date without knowing anything about the candidate. You are asking to be cheated and managed. You are exposing your trust to abuse.”
|# 1 |
The LORD shapes events.
|God arranges or shapes normal life events for a particular purpose. Ruth woke up thinking about work and not a husband. Boaz has a normal day at the office. Yet it is these normal events that the LORD uses to bring together Boaz and Ruth.|
We need to trust that the LORD is in charge of events even when everything looks absolutely normal. To dress for the kill isn’t a very good idea.
‘it turns out’. This statement is important for our understanding. The LORD fixes these appointments. RUTH 2:4
You are constantly updating your profile by what you do or don’t do.
|The overseer said far too much about Ruth. By being in the field for a long time and only taking brief breaks, Ruth wrote her powerful profile. She didn’t have to send it out herself. Others around her sent it on her behalf. RUTH 2:6-7|
What a man does or doesn’t do is important
|Boaz is a generous man. He goes out of his way in helping Ruth. It should be enough for him to simply allow Ruth to work in his field. But Boaz goes ahead and gives Ruth protection and provides for her needs – just in case she gets thirsty. Boaz has already ticked a lot of boxes in Ruth’s mind as an ideal man for a husband. Normal life events and activities give a woman chance to assess the suitability of a man. RUTH 2: 8-9|
Courtesy is a powerful charm for a woman
|Ruth is humble and down to earth. She doesn’t lift herself above herself. She heartily appreciates the kindness. She doesn’t give Boaz the impression that she deserved the kindness. RUTH 2:10|
|Ruth’s respectful response to Boaz’s kindness is everything. Men need it. Such men deserve it. A woman begins to respect the man she feels can be her husband. It is a natural reaction. Don’t fight it with modernity. On this one, men are always old-fashioned|
What do others say about your potential spouse
|There is a good testimony about Ruth in the community. Boaz is aware of it. Women with a good testimony are hard to come by! RUTH 2:11|
Duty, duty, duty.
|A good man has a sense of duty. He knows what a lady wants without being asked. Boaz invites Ruth over for a meal. You can call it a date! A man was meant to provide. Make him feel that way. Don’t pay for your meal even if you can mightily afford it. RUTH 2:14|
Is he available?
|Through Naomi, we learn something about Boaz. He is a kind man. Ruth should be more interested! Naomi has more. Boaz is available! This is important! It does a young woman no good if a very good man is already married. At this point, dreams become sinful and must be cut immediately. RUTH 2:20|
Public opinion matters
|We, the members of the community can easily approve of this marriage. We know Boaz is a good man. We also know Ruth to be both kind and hardworking – a good woman with a good heart.|
Good character is built over time.
|Naomi refers to Boaz’s ‘kindness to the living and the dead’. That was his character! We strongly suspect Boaz had a good relationship with Elimelek and Naomi even before they temporarily relocated to Moab. He had built his reputation of kindness over a long period of time. RUTH 2:20|
…a history of godliness
|A good character isn’t a jersey you put on when dating. It should be a character shaped by years of godly living.|
Look at your potential spouse’s list of decisions.
|Ruth decided to stick to her mother-in-law out of her kindness. After the loss of her husband and being advanced in years, Naomi was in need of care. Ruth provided the care. She made godly decisions that built her reputation as a kind and also morally upright woman. And as we learned through the Overseer’s testimony, she was also hardworking. This woman was a diamond!|
What is her attitude towards work?
|At this stage, we are looking at a diamond wrapped in the dirty clothes of a working woman. It tells us that there are certain things that are more important than fancy clothes and expensive facial makeup. Does she love work?|
Does the potential spouse think God is in charge?
|This love story may easily hide the most important and foundational processes – godliness and the God of godliness who was pulling strings in the background. Here we want to emphasize the role of both Boaz and Ruth as willing and obedient tools in God’s hand. But we also know that men and women can be bad tools.|
Check the potential spouse’s investment in a godly character
|Avoid quick-fix character fabrication in order to win someone. Instead, invest in long-term character transformation based on godly values. Ruth and Boaz had invested in a godly character long before they met.|
Dont fabricate character
|Avoid setting traps for girls or boys. Instead, let normal life activities bring you a situation for a blessing. A trap goes with a bait. A bait hides its true colors and a bait itself isn’t permanent. It expires the moment the victim is caught.|
Avoid chronic ignorance
|Avoid chronic ignorance. Boaz knew something about Ruth. He heard about her good behavior. Don’t walk into a date without knowing anything about the candidate. You are asking to be cheated and managed. You are exposing your trust to abuse.|
Dont despise days of small beginnings
|Don’t underrate the poor girl or poor man in rags as your destiny may lie with them. The poor Ruth who survived on pickings left behind by harvesters was the appointed ancestor of King David, and eventually the man Jesus Christ. She carried the seed within her womb.|
Who is looking out for you?
|God may provide for His people via the community. Naomi was the closer community to Ruth. She provided cover, counsel, protection, name, value, love, and importantly in our case, concern for Ruth’s wellbeing|
Every girl needs a mother
|Every girl needs a mother. The absence of a biological mother shouldn’t be a scandal. It wasn’t for Ruth. In Naomi, she found someone who cared for her.|
Let someone mother you
|A mother must be found! That is the role of Ruth chapter 1. Ruth stuck to Naomi. Every girl must find a mother. If your biological mother is around, you may have to find her again. Treat her like a mother, in obedience. Allow her to mother you. She knows best.|
Your mother knows more
|A mother may have little education and actually may even be less intelligent but there are two important reasons for you to listen: The LORD has provided her to you and she remains a conduit for the LORD’s blessing. Secondly, she has passed through what you may be passing through. Even a less intelligent person can pass an exam with leakage. She has the leakage!|
A mother must know and appreciate the needs of her daughter
|Every mother must learn to know and appreciate the needs of their daughter RUTH 3:1|
Allow time to do its own work
|The statement “Some time later Naomi said to Ruth,… GNT” means there was a passage of time between Boaz’s first meeting with Ruth and now. Allow time between your first meeting and ‘engagement’. Time in between may allow you to see more good in a person you thought was useless and lacking in potential. Or you may actually find more evil in a man you thought was Mr. Right. The LORD has provided time as a tool for your well-being. Use it.|
There is time for good looks
|Who says a sister shouldn’t have perfume? Wash and put on your best clothes. It’s time for romance! RUTH 3:3|
|# 26 |
Don’t go romantic on your first date!
|Notice that romance comes after everything important has been done. Boaz is the right man. Ruth knows it. You don’t go romantic on your first date with a man you know nothing about. You will have denied the potential man chance to know and appreciate you better. The romance will get his heart ahead of his brain. Remember the saying, love is blind? No. It’s actually romance which is blind! Love is fully informed.|
Timing is important
|Timing is everything! RUTH 3:3|
There is a way a woman speaks…
|There are cultural details here which are clearly not for our culture but the basics remain the same. There is a way a woman speaks in response to a situation to either say yes or no; to encourage a potential mate or discourage him. RUTH 3:7-9|
Look for something more important
|Ruth was looking for someone to cover her. Sex is important and is a fruit of love but it wasn’t sex she was looking for.|
Run when a sister asks for sex
|Run when a sister is asking for sex. She doesn’t know what she wants. “Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:” Proverbs 5:8. She is dangerous. Block her number. Delete it. Leave church, if you can, because one day, she will catch you at your weakest point and you shall sin. And the LORD will punish you for it….big time. She is definitely not a Ruth.|
Men who know stuff are jewels. Appreciate them.
|Men must know that women are looking for a cover and not sex – sex is packaged with the cover as an important add-on. Sex by itself is cheap in value but very costly in consequences.|
Does a man understand that you need more than just sex?
|Boaz responds in a very godly way – not by having sex with Ruth immediately. He is looking at more important matters. He understands that Ruth is talking about a cover and not sex. |
A man must earn it….
|For Ruth and Boaz, sex does come but later and as a fruit of love. For Ruth, it is deserved and for Boaz it is earned. The thought here is that a man must impress. It is such a scandal that a woman gives a man sex for absolutely nothing. We call it cheap sex. You pay nothing. You can even get it for being nothing! It is ungodliness at a very high level!|
A man protects
|Godliness means a man learns to protect the noble character of a sister by not doing anything silly and suggestive of sin right in the eyes of the entire church.|
Self-control is everything for a man
|Boaz doesn’t consider the presence of a woman in his bedroom as an opportunity for sex. You don’t want to sin at the very first sign of temptation.|
A moment of temptation is a moment of worship in obedience
|Many people would love to have this opportunity to sin. But the saint should look at this opportunity as an altar erected for him to worship the LORD by obedience.|
Is all clear?
|Even when many boxes are ticked, you don’t have to rush into marriage. Boaz waited until all encumbrances were cleared. The encumbrance for some might be that the girl isn’t really available even when she has shown great interest in you. Some married women might even suggest a divorce process just to get away from their bad marriage and get to what they feel is Mr. Right. But from where you are standing, such a woman isn’t available. Cut the trail.|
Is Ruth available? Boaz should know.
|More commonly, a man might even claim singleness to lure a woman to themselves. Give it time. The information does eventually come out. Listen to the right voices. The community around a man would be in the right position to clear the air. Again such a man isn’t available. Is Ruth available? That is what Boaz wants to find out.|
You have a duty to know
|Ignorance isn’t an excuse. The LORD will punish it. You have a duty to know. You feel him; he feels you; strong chemistry is at work; but he is married. Stay away. Love shouldn’t exist in this case. |
Respect the sister; protect her.
|A man of integrity must respect the sanctity of sexuality. Though nothing happened in the night between Boaz and Ruth, Boaz doesn’t want people to think of Ruth as a loose woman. She had gone to him in trust and purity of heart. She must be respected.|
Dont create a situation
|Equally, Boaz doesn’t want people to think of him as a womanizer. So Ruth leaves very early in the morning before her ‘sleeping out’ goes viral. RUTH 3:14|
What a real man does: Protect her.
|An important lesson for every brother is to ensure that the sister is protected, even when she is in the wrong. Interestingly, (and many generations after) a descendant of Boaz named Joseph would do almost the same thing. He planned to send Mary away quietly to protect her from public shame. It is the same line: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob…. Boaz, Obed, Jessy, King David…. Joseph and finally King Jesus. RUTH 3:14|
It is a godly process
|Remember that the search for a wife is a godly process and must be handled in a godly way.|
Don’t be a loner!
|Avoid a loner’s life. The LORD provides a community for many reasons. Ruth belonged to a community of people. The community added value to her life. Even the quiet admirers of your character are also important. The LORD may use them to put in a good word for you – in your absence.|
There is value in an old woman
|Avoid despising your mother. Naomi didn’t have much left in her after the death of her husband. She returned home empty. Yet Ruth stuck to Naomi. A mother may not have much in terms of physical items but they may be a source of the LORD’s blessing for you.|
Dont run after men…
|Avoid running after men here and there, rich or poor… anything in a pair of trousers. Ruth is a good example of a godly woman. A woman should never chase; she must be chased. She simply makes herself ready and available for chasing. .. Then she says yes or no. |
Keep it under control….for men
|Avoid running after girls here and there, as long as your heart bumps when you see one.|
You are not impotent. You don’t have to prove anything
|Avoid sex even when the opportunity presents itself. Boaz is an example of a godly man behaving godly. He wasn’t impotent. At the right time, he slept with Ruth, and Obed was born. Obed fathered Jessy and Jessy fathered King David. Don’t be forced to prove anything.|
What does he say about his mother?
|Avoid a man who says nothing good about his mother (parents). He may be unforgiving. Avoid a man who shows very little interest in your mother. He may be self-centered. Boaz didn’t want Ruth to go back to her mother empty-handed.|
It is not a secrete
|Let marriage be a public occasion. Boaz took it to the public.|
|# 00. Blast Off!|
…it is a blessing!
|Marriage is a blessing. This is the family line from Perez to David: Perez, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, and David. – It is the family tree of the LORD Jesus Christ!|
3 thoughts on “Marriage Guide”
Woow! What a story. This is wonderful and worthy to learn. Thanks for the material provided🙏
I have continued learning and loving the material more and more. Thanks very much for this great teaching about Christian Relationships 🙏
This generation need this kind of teaching to keep it pure. Purity must be our daily bread to live on.
This is so amazing, thank you so much for the wisdom.