Monday, February 22, 2010

Boaz and Ruth

There is an interesting phenomenon that happens when a new man comes around a group of women....all of a sudden the women start dressing really nicely, doing their makeup, and showing up at things they normally wouldn't.  I know this because I have done it myself and I have had an opportunity to witness this again lately.

I recently watched a man, all alone at a kitchen table, surrounded by no less than six women.  It looked, for lack of a better description, like he was holding court.  This man probably has his pick from this group of women at this point.  I stood there and wondered whether I was doing the wrong thing by not being a part of this group of I losing out by not "throwing my hat in the ring?" How does one woman stand out in a group like that?   Does it really have to be about beauty and looks first?

The book of Ruth has long been a favorite of mine.  I have loved her humility, her servant's heart, her love for Naomi, her compassion, her commitment, and her absolute trust in the Lord.  The book basically is a love story about Ruth and Boaz. Ruth is serving her guts out and being the kindest friend to Naomi she can when Boaz comes along and has heard all about what Ruth has done.  Ruth just happens to be working in Boaz's field when he offers her protection and kindness of his own in the form of extra food.  Naomi, in turn, hears all that Boaz is doing to help Ruth out and she instructs Ruth to basically throw herself at Boaz's feet to fulfill Levitical law and marry her.

I think what I have loved about this story is that Ruth is doing what she's doing for Naomi and not thinking about a husband at all.  Boaz takes note of her superior character and what she's done. Nothing is mentioned about Ruth's looks....just that she has been kind to Naomi and that she is working hard.  It seems Boaz's protection of her while she is working and his leaving her extra food is his way of making the first move.  Naomi seems pretty confident that if Ruth presents herself to Boaz, he'll do the honorable thing. She even says at one point that "he will not rest until the matter is taken care of." 

I know that men, initially, are attracted to outer beauty. They are wired this way.  Men, for the most part, are visual creatures.  And I know to honor the Lord as a temple where He dwells, it is important to care of myself.  Yet there is a longing in my heart to be known. I have always groaned at the thought that somehow I have to compete with every other single woman, like some sort of vulture ready to pounce on the fresh meat, or win some sort of unspoken beauty contest first before anyone bothers to look below the surface.  The role I play in being "out there" and "available" to be won has always been confusing to me.  How do I translate Ruth into modern-day application?

I had a dream a number of years ago about my wedding day.  The dream took place at the altar during my wedding ceremony with my groom (a tall, dark-haired man with glasses and a goatee, decked out in his tux and a top hat (the meaning of which I'll explain perhaps someday)) and I listening to the pastor give his message in front of a large group of friends and family.  It is a typical wedding scene, save for one thing.  My future husband, instead of listening to the pastor, cannot stop talking to me and whispering to me.  At one point I lean over and say to him, "Shouldn't we be listening to the pastor?"  To which he replies, "I can't stop talking to you.  I can't wait to hear what you are going to say next."

This exemplifies everything I would ever want a man to say to me:  "I can't get enough of  you.  I am enthralled with you.  Everything you say is interesting to me.  I have seen everything you have done and who you are."

I have always longed for a man to be like a Boaz; to see my heart and my actions at the same time as my beauty.  Maybe this is fear or passivity with regard to my part in the whole dating scene.  Maybe I have unrealistic expectations.  Maybe I am the one who's wrong and I *do* need to be the seventh woman surrounding the new guy, so-to-speak.

I'm praying for the Lord to bring me a Boaz, to set up a divine appointment in which I am found gleaning in the field and serving those around me and praying that he will come quickly.


  1. For my part, I don't think you need to be the seventh. Unless the Lord says "Get over there, sister!" I think that this man would instead see you as different by not going over there.

    For me, the problem is the "why" - why am I not going over there? Is it because I don't want to "compete" or is it because I fear that if it is a competition I will lose? Is it because I don't want to be "one of those kinds of women" who throws themselves at the new guy? Or is it because I am afraid that I am not interesting enough to earn a conversation?

    I have been reading a book called "How to Get a Date Worth Keeping" by Dr. Henry Cloud (boundaries series) and through it the Lord is really showing my some of my thought and behavior patterns.

    Your note makes me think of the Bachelor (which I had never really watched until this year and then have only watched, cringingly, a couple episodes). 10 women, all "dating" this one man - but even though I have some (read: lots of) issues with the show, I can see that if we don't throw our hat in the ring somehow, somewhere, we may get left out of the game - no rose for us, and we're left wondering "How come he didn't notice me?"

    I don't have a great answer, except that the book is telling me to just try to meet 5 new men a week. We don't have to walk away having each other's numbers or anything, but just try to engage in brief conversation with 5 new men a week and see what happens. So I'm trying. Don't get me wrong, I'd probably still avoid the guy surrounded by 6 other girls, and I think that is OK - because if that is the guy for me (or you) then the Lord can make it happen.

    Love you! love your posts!

  2. Tiff, such good point. I think I probably tend to fall into the fear of losing the competition/fear of not being interesting enough side of the spectrum and pretend like it's based on good things. Even knowing this, it's just so hard to know when it's time to act and when it's time to wait. I'm so fearful of rejection, that I probably tend towards the not acting side too much. Sigh. I think it's gonna take a minor miracle for me to ever get married at this point.

  3. Once again, I've got a comment for you that I will have to e-mail you because it's way too long to post!! I am hoping it comes through this time!