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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- She’ll never say “yes” if you never ask her out.
- He’ll lose interest in you if you never appear interested.
- People who play “hard to get” will never get.
- How can you love someone else if you can’t love yourself?
- If he’s not in school and doesn’t have a job, he doesn’t have any business with you.
- There are plenty of fish in the sea so why you gotta always be in the part with sharks, electric eels, and piranhas?
- Pretty only lasts about ten years. Then they just become petty.
- 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
Thanks for writing this Bibllical tale in a way I have never heard it. You have a unique approach to the subject matter, and have managed to bridge a tale from times of old, into todays language; in a way I know my daughter will easily remember. Thanks! 🙂