How to Find a Boaz instead of a Bozo: Lessons Learned From Ruth

Sleepless in Seattle. You’ve Got Mail. The Titanic. Gone With the Wind. Why do we keep watching the same story over and over again? Because we want to believe it could happen. Romantic movies would not be so popular if they did not have an ounce of truth in them. People have to believe that it is possible for these scenarios to play out in real life if they are going to keep watching. The appeal is not in the improbability of the story, but in the plausibility of it. Sometimes the plot is laughable, but people don’t go to these movies in droves because they are funny – they go because they want to believe that it is possible. Such things are indeed possible with God. The Book of Ruth shows us how Ruth found Boaz instead of settling for a bozo.
Our story begins with Naomi all alone with two daughter-in-laws named Orpah (not to be confused with Oprah) and Ruth. Naomi convinced Orpah to go back to her own people, but Ruth would not leave her side, “Entreat me not to leave you or to return from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God; where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if even death parts me from you.” (1:16-17)
Never be without an accountability buddy
Just because you are not married doesn’t mean you should not have someone who loves you and is committed to you. While you wait, find an accountability buddy – someone you can trust to keep you accountable in affairs of the heart like dating, God, relationships, dreams, and your deepest, darkest weaknesses and sins. Here are few guidelines to follow.

  1. Your accountability buddy should be the same gender as yourself. Intimate matters can often get confused with sexual feelings. Having someone of the same gender eliminates this confusion.
  2. Your accountability buddy needs you as much as you need them. Naomi was all alone with no family. So was Rachel. Together they could ease each other’s pain and encourage each other along the journey of life. Whatever happens in life, don’t neglect your accountability buddy.
  3. Your accountability buddy should not be replaced by anybody. If you start dating or even when you get married, you still need someone to keep you accountable. The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself. Guys, your girlfriend cannot be your best friend, financial advisor, spiritual mentor, counselor, and eye candy all in one neat package. Ladies, your boyfriend cannot be your girlfriend, pastor, psychologist, teacher, and hairdresser no matter how many times you make him hold your purse. Let others take these roles in your life so that when one thing is going wrong in your life, you have others you can lean on for support.

Don’t leave it up to chance, but let chance chance upon you
Ruth went out to the fields at random and gathered what she could of the wheat left for the poor. Ruth 2:3 matter-of-factly states, “She happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz.” Of all the fields that she could have “happened” upon, “her chance chanced upon” (the more literal translation of “happened”) the fields of Boaz, her future spouse. The Bible is not teaching us to believe in chance or destiny or fate; it is showing us an example of what God will do for those who are faithful to Him and trust in Him. Just as God led Eve to Adam and Abraham’s servant to Rebekah, it was God who led Ruth to the fields of Boaz and it is God who will lead each of us to our future. Don’t get wrapped up in obsessive methods of searching for “the one;” keep your mind on The One who created you and your future and you will “happen” upon your future as you are faithful to Him. God is faithful. He will do it. Let your chance chance upon you as you are obedient to God.
Listen to your accountability buddy and godly friends and family
Isn’t it amazing how someone gets married and they suddenly become a love expert? What worked for them may not work for you. People are so quick to offer advice. Take advice from people who know you. Ruth listened to Naomi. Subtlety wasn’t working fast enough. So Naomi devised a plan to force Boaz to act. Without getting into all the details, Ruth listened to Naomi and made it clear to Boaz that he needed to either man-up and marry her or let someone else have a shot at her because she wasn’t getting any younger.

There are a lot of terms like “kinsman redeemer” and “threshing floor” and “vicious Tasmanian garden weasel” that need to be defined to understand everything going on in Ruth. If Naomi were alive today, this might be some of her advice to us.

  1. She’ll never say “yes” if you never ask her out.
  2. He’ll lose interest in you if you never appear interested.
  3. People who play “hard to get” will never get.
  4. How can you love someone else if you can’t love yourself?
  5. If he’s not in school and doesn’t have a job, he doesn’t have any business with you.
  6. There are plenty of fish in the sea so why you gotta always be in the part with sharks, electric eels, and piranhas?
  7. Pretty only lasts about ten years. Then they just become petty.
  8. While waiting on your Boaz don’t settle for any of his relatives: Brokeaz, Poaz, Jackaz, Halfaz, Lyingaz, Cheatingaz, Dumbaz, Fakeaz, Cryingaz, Punkaz, Goodfornothingaz, Lazyaz, Drunkaz, Cheapaz, Lockedupaz, Crazyaz, Stupidaz, Donkeyaz, Fataz, Smartaz, Controllinaz, Cracksmokinaz and especially his distant cousins Beatyoaz & Badcreditaz. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz.

Other relevant posts:

Ancient Pickup Lines: Lessons Learned From Isaac and Rebekah

Find the Woman or Man of your Dreams: Lessons Learned From Adam and Eve

Valentine’s Day for Singles

 

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Ancient pickup lines: Lessons learned from Isaac and Rebekah

“Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?”

“Girl, you must be tired. You’ve been running through my mind all day!”

“Hey, baby. Come to Butthead.”

So what’s your favorite pickup line? Some of them seem like they have been around forever. Do you know what the first pick-up line ever was? “Please give me a little water from your jar.” It can be found in Genesis 24.

A little background to the story first. God promised Abraham many grandkids through His son Isaac, but Isaac was almost forty and still not married (Genesis 25:20). That’s right, Isaac was the original 40 year old virgin.

So Abraham did what most parents do in such a situation: he tried to make a love connection by sending his servant out on a long journey to the homeland. That’s where the story gets really interesting.

“And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, ‘O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’; -may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I shall know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.” (Genesis 24:11-14)

Amazingly, everything happened exactly as the servant requested. Rebekah walked towards him as he was praying and offered him a drink. When she offered to get enough water for his thirsty camels too, he knew she was the one he had been praying for. This story gives us a glimpse into the successful strategy of Abraham’s servant. Here are three steps to make your search successful.

Pray for your future spouse. Though you may not know who they are yet, they need prayer just as much as you. Pray that you will find each other and be able to determine which one it is amongst all the others. This is not because it won’t happen if you don’t pray; it is so you can give your worries over to Him. God has done and will do all the work that you can’t do.

Look for signs, but don’t ignore the obvious. Like many of us at one time or another, the servant prays to God, “Show me a sign!” Subtle signs can be very confusing. So the servant asked for a specific sign that revealed Rebekah’s character.

“It was a sign that was calculated to throw much light on the character and disposition of the girl worthy of his master’s son. He was merely to ask her for ‘a sip’ – as the Hebrew word may be rendered – of water for himself; but the one whom God had chosen to be the mother of a great people and a remote ancestress of Jesus Christ would reveal her generous nature and her willingness to serve others by offering him not a mere “sip” of water but an abundant ‘drink.’ To this she was also to add the astonishing offer of drawing water for the camels also. Now when we consider that these ten beasts, after the toil of the long desert, were prepared to empty at least four barrels of water in all, the spontaneous willingness of the girl of his prayers to serve man and beast would point to a kindly and unselfish disposition and also to a character of the highest order.” (Campbell, The Loveliest Story Ever Told)

Rebekah went over and above what was required to fulfill her hospitality duties within her culture. It was great labor for her to give all of his camels their fill of water after a long journey. She could have gotten away with just giving him a drink, but her deeds made her great character obvious to anyone watching.

Pray with your eyes open. Sometimes God makes us wait; sometimes He can’t wait for us to finish our sentence. “And it came about before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah…came out with her jar on her shoulder.” Notice that she was just doing her daily chores when she found her future husband. She wasn’t going to bars everyday or applying to get on ”The Bachelor.” She was going about her daily routine when the day that changed her life finally came, probably when she least expected it. Keep your eyes open; God is at work now orchestrating everything.

“And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, camels were coming.” Isaac never gave up hope. He waited patiently and expected her arrival at any moment. His meditations were on God, however, not her.

“And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel.” (Verse 64) Rebekah thought the camel wasn’t moving fast enough and wanted to be with Isaac as soon as she saw him. She fell from her camel when their eyes met. God will bring the two of you together. It may seem like you’re in a slow-moving caravan and you may feel like you need to get off in the middle of the journey, but God knows that you will never make it if you walk the whole journey by yourself. Let Him guide you and prepare the events the way they need to occur.

As an added bonus, here are few Bad Christian Pick-up lines.

  1. Is your name Grace because your irresistible?
  2. I’m fluent in 5 love languages
  3. Is this pew taken?
  4. You are so unblemished I would sacrifice you
  5. I didn’t believe in pre-destination… until tonight.
  6. Looks like I found my missing rib.
  7. Are we on the mountain of transfiguration? because you’re glowing
  8. Solomon had 700 wives because he never met you
  9. You put the cute in persecution
  10. I would leave 99 sheep to come find you
  11. All I’m looking for is a godly woman; it doesn’t matter that you’re not attractive
  12. You make the Queen of Sheba look like a crack ho
  13. I don’t speak in tongues, but I kiss that way!
  14. I went on a mission trip and the whole time I was mission you
  15. Let’s be like Noah and do this as a pair.”
  16. I’m not a big fan of your last name, but don’t worry – I can change that.
  17. If I march around you 7 times, will you fall for me?
  18. If you were a leper I would still hold your hand… even if it wasn’t attached.
  19. Let me sell you an indulgence because it must be a sin to look as good as you do.
  20. When it comes to you I am a charismatic, I want to lay hands on you
  21. Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.

Find the woman (or man) of your dreams: Lessons learned from Adam and Eve

It seems like everyone has a profile on a dating website somewhere – whether it be eharmony, match.com, or smushroom.net. Some are lonely; some are depressed and hurting; some are just looking for a hook-up. “Single” used to have a stigma attached to it; now there are thousands signing up every day. So what changed?

Nothing changed. People have craved the love of others since the beginning of time. Literally.

Adam, the very first man on earth, had everything a man could want: free food, an easy job, lots of exotic pets, and the best man cave you’ve ever seen. But he had no one to share it with. Oh sure, the talking snake was pretty interesting and he never had to go shopping, but with no one by his side, it got pretty lonely.

Here are four principles we can learn from Adam.

1. You can stop looking for a spouse; it really isn’t up to you.

Even though God Himself visited Adam in the garden everyday (Genesis 3:8), He determined that ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18) God recognized that Adam needed someone that was a good fit for him. Adam had searched among the animals and birds, but to no avail. (Genesis 2:20) Perhaps the search helped Adam cherish Eve when she was finally given to him. Whether your search is in full swing or you feel like giving up, don’t be naïve and assume that it’s all on you and your charm and rugged good looks will make her swoon at the mere sight of you. God will give you your helper when the time is right. Stop looking in all the wrong places; starting looking to God to give you what you need when you need it.

2. God does all the work; you need only be willing to wait and receive from Him.

Notice that God does all the action in this story. God caused, God took, God closed, God fashioned, God brought. All Adam did was dream.

“So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

As Adam slept, God formed the woman of Adam’s dreams out of one of his ribs. Why a rib? Think of what the rib cage does. It surrounds and protects the heart. Your helper will always be there by your side and help guard your heart from sin. Guys, if your girlfriend causes you to stop following God, then she is not the helper God intended for you. Ladies, if your boyfriend stabs your heart repeatedly with harsh words or by cheating on you, have nothing to do with him. Don’t let impatience deprive you of the gift God wants to give you when He is finished molding your helper.

3. While you are waiting, let God mold you as well.

Adam did not need to see Eve being formed and stretched by God. It was probably not a pretty sight. Similarly, we may often wish to have known our “helper” our entire lives, but God sometimes doesn’t let us see them being molded until He can present a person that can actually be a help to you. While you wait, let God mold you into the person He wants you to be.

4. Dream big and don’t settle; God will give you someone even better than you can imagine.

Imagine what Adam was dreaming. Having not yet seen a woman, he would have no concept of what she would look like. Only in his dreams could he begin to imagine. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Imagine his surprise when he awakened to find Eve standing right before his eyes. He wasn’t dreaming anymore; his dream girl was flesh and bones reality.

I’m not saying you should cancel your Eharmony membership, stop working out, stop showering, and go live in a van down by the river. There’s a difference between looking and finding. “Looking” means going to bars or clubs or singles groups or church or anywhere where you might meet other single people. “Looking” means joining several dating sites and scanning profiles everyday and sending/responding to messages frequently. “Looking” involves constant work, frustration, and confusion because you never know when you might run into “the one” so you better not stay in tonight or neglect those emails or you might miss your soul mate. “Finding” involves listening to God and letting Him direct your life. You might find your helper at work or church or even on a dating site. Have the confidence to know that as you go about doing what God wants you to do, you will find that God will give you everything you need along the way.

The pressure is off. God has already written your love story; you just need to live it out and let Him fill in the details.

As an added bonus, here are the top ten reasons your dating site profile might be hurting your chances of getting a date. The sad thing is that every one of these is a true story, either witnessed by myself or others.

10. You uploaded 8 photos with the same “blue steel” pose that you took with your camera phone in the bathroom mirror.
9. One of your photos shows you kissing a dolphin or literally hugging a tree.
8. Under interests you put “productive leisure activities.”
7. For your ideal first date you said, “We should go to the local mall establishment, talk for thirty minutes, then give the other person ten dollars to buy a gift for each other.”
6. Your user name is NightVampire666.
5. You skip the icebreakers and send 20 matches the same message: “Hey princess.”
4. At least one of your photos is a not-so-subtle lean toward the camera as if you do not know that your cleavage is falling out.
3. Your primary photo is a picture of your car – not a picture of yourself sitting IN your car – just the car.
2. An inordinate amount of your profile is spent discussing the bad breakup you have yet to get over.
1. Under profession you write “spokesmodel” but your profile pic is really your Glamour Shots senior picture from ten years ago.