This Romantic Love Story of Ruth and Boaz was perfectly timed for Valentines Day!
I like to picture Prince Charming Boaz riding up on a horse to the damsel in distress, Ruth.
Have you thought about how our Redeemer is coming one day riding on a white horse? (See Revelation 19:11) …and we will have a castle (mansion) in heaven. (See John 14:2,3) And eventually, we will never cry another tear. (See Revelation 21:4) Living happily ever after is not just in fairy tales. If you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you can claim you will live happily ever after… and that claim is 100% correct.
In Ruth 2:8-14, God painted a very vivid picture of Boaz’s and Ruth’s very first dialogue. Ruth had no idea that one day she would be married to this wealthy man who owned the entire field in which she was now gleaning.
Up until now, Ruth was only allowed to glean the corners of the field that were left for the poor and foreigners. She was unprotected. But things were about to change because of Ruth’s good character, which had not gone unnoticed. Boaz was generous with Ruth and her mother-in-law. Boaz let Ruth know that he wanted her to stay in his field only, so he could provide for her and protect her.
Ruth asked Boaz why he was showing her such grace. What a marvelous question to ask Boaz. I am so glad she inquired. Ruth (and we too) may have never known the wonderful, inspiring words of Boaz, if she had not asked.
I feel romantic when I read the Book of Ruth and when I read Song of Solomon. Right now, I want to relive with my husband how we first met. We have been married thirty-three years. We dated for over 3 years.
When we first met, I was a brand new Christian at the age of twenty, and I was about to attend my very first Bible Study. My sister, Debbie (my first convert), and I walked into the room where the Bible Study was being held…and there he was; my Boaz. The class was almost full, but there just happened to be an empty seat by Barry.
I walked up to him and my first words to Barry were, “Is this seat taken?”
Barry answered with a big friendly smile, “No, it’s not.”
Then it was time for the Bible Study leader to start. The romance was about to bloom.
Afterwards, Barry walked with my sister and me as we were leaving the Bible Study. Barry never stopped smiling that handsome smile. I still love that smile of his, and I enjoy putting a smile on his handsome face. Barry called me that week and asked if my sister and I would go to church with him.
Barry went to great lengths for three years in his pursuit of me. I broke our engagement two times. Finally, I realized Barry was the love of my life. That is a true statement, because I never loved any man before he came along. Barry asked my Dad for my hand in marriage, and we were married on June 23, 1979. Thirty three years later, we are still walking together through life as husband and wife… and as best friends. I thank the Lord for my best buddy, Barry.
Today, I decided to ask my Prince Charming a similar Ruth-like question. “What did you see in me when you met me, to cause you to pursue me?”
His response: “When you walked into that room, I thought, ‘Wow, how pretty!’ I loved your beautiful smile, and your long curly hair.” He went on about only the physical.
Well, we all know the outer fades with age, so I said, “What about my character?”
He playfully continued, “Sorry sweetie… initially, it was all a physical attraction.” Then he added that he liked my shy mannerisms. Wish I had known, because I spent my whole life trying to overcome those.
Barry then said that as he got to know me better, he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He enjoyed being with me. He said he could see my potential and thought I would make a good wife and a good mother.
“Aww…I like that answer, honey! You’re off the hook.” (Big Smile)
The best foundation for a marriage relationship is for each person to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
When I met Barry, I immediately saw that Barry had a personal relationship with the Lord. That fact was immensely important to me. Barry tells people that God rewarded Him by bringing me into his life. He continues and says that he would have been mediocre without me. Aww… “Her husband is known in the gates…” (Proverbs 31:23) God gets all the glory. Barry has served for years in a leadership position in our church and as an encouragement to our Pastor.
Let me bring up a point here: Like Barry said, “He could see my potential.” I could also see the direction Barry was heading, and it was a positive direction.
Courtship and Marriage: When we learn about the character of Boaz, we notice that he was an aged man. In most cases, a younger man than Boaz will want to marry our daughter. A young man will usually not have the spiritual maturity of the aged Boaz. When a young man is interested in courting our daughter, it is important to observe the direction he is heading. The young lady (plus her parents) should ask God to give insight to see his future potential and if the young man will continue to grow to be a man of integrity and honor. The young lady should never marry someone with the thought, “I will change him.” That is a lie from the devil. The only one we can change is ourselves.
The Power of Crying out to God:
I believe God gives “eyes to see” the future potential of the one we are to marry when we cry out to Him in passionate prayer.
“The effectual (actively powerful) fervent (with heated zeal) prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Jame 5:16 ~ (Greek meaning in parenthesis)
Years ago, I remember crying out to the Lord about Barry, and asking Him if Barry was “the one.” I told God that I knew divorce was not an option, and I wanted to be 100% sure.
I remember exactly what I was reading in my Bible, exactly where I was and the exact date. It was right after Christmas of 1978, and I was in my bedroom. I lived at home until the day I married.
Our family had returned home from my brother’s funeral. God greatly comforted me through the 23rd Psalm. My eighteen year old brother had passed away in a car accident, and the funeral was on Christmas Eve. God was extra close to me that night, or I should say that I had moved closer to the Lord that night. God spoke in my heart when I fervently asked Him about Barry.
As I cried out to God for direction, God illumined my mind by giving me absolute peace. The LORD revealed two important things to me about Barry:
- God spoke in my heart that Barry was “the one” I was to marry. He gave me peace and reassurance.
- God spoke in my heart telling me that Barry would be a good Spiritual leader for our family. God knew the future and I did not. During prayer, God gave me a glimpse of our future together as husband and wife.
It was then, I asked Barry to marry me. Yes, you read it right. It was my turn to take the initiative to let Barry know I had chosen him, just as he had chosen me to marry. I had broken our engagement twice before, when he proposed first. I had been unsure if he was “the one God had planned for me.” Six months after God confirmed in my heart Barry was “the one,” I became Linda Hoover. I am so thankful for God’s leading and for His very clear direction as I sought Him about the matter.
I firmly believe God will give clear vision to anyone looking for direction as to whether they should marry a certain person or not. God will not leave us in an unsure state in something of such magnitude of importance as marriage. He will speak to a person’s heart if that person fervently seeks His direction and His lead. We have not prayed, until we have prayed wholeheartedly.
Boaz answered Ruth’s question by explaining how he had heard all about her actions which had spoken volumes about her character and Godliness. Boaz showed Ruth favor. He was very specific in letting Ruth know his wishes for her to stay in his field only. Boaz wanted to honor and protect Ruth. I think Boaz was already smitten by Ruth. What do you think?
Ruth gratefully said to Boaz, “Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.” Ruth 2:13
She hoped she would continue to find favor in his sight and said he spoke “friendly” to her. In the Hebrew, friendly means: He spoke “from feelings deep down in his heart to her heart.” Boaz spoke with deep heart-felt feelings to Ruth, explaining that he knew of her tender care of her mother-in-law after her husband died, and about her leaving her people and country to live in Bethlehem. He knew Ruth was a new believer. Boaz also prayed for Ruth in which he demonstrated he was a good Spiritual Leader.
In Ruth 2:14, Boaz invited Ruth to eat with the reapers, and he just happened to be present at the meal too. Boaz must have been dining close to Ruth, because he handed her some parched corn. It was their first date.
Notice Ruth ate just enough food for nourishment and did not stuff herself. She did not have to take a break when finished because of eating too much, but went right back to work after she had eaten just the right portion. Ruth had self-control.
dinnerware was so small and dainty, but many of the ladies who lived back then were small and dainty too. Our daughter, Kristen, sometimes uses a small dinner plate to eat, so she can practice portion control. She is slim and trim even after four babies. Kristen has incredible self-control which factors into other areas of her life besides meals. We should try our best to maintain a decent weight to look our best for our husband.
Boaz is impressed with Ruth, noticing how Ruth immediately went back to the hard work of gleaning, after she ate. Boaz helps Ruth further, by instructing his reapers to look out for her, and drop extra food for Ruth. He also told his workers to allow Ruth to glean in other areas besides just the corners of the fields. (See Ruth 2:15,16)
Boaz is a type of Christ. This picture of “poor Ruth” is a reminder of how God gave the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, for me, a poor sinner.
- Have you and I experienced some unexpected sheaves and grain from the Lord that sweetened our lives? What are we grateful for today? Let us tell the Lord, thank you!
- Are we gleaning (and teaching our children to glean) only in the field of Boaz (who is a picture of Christ)? What does the Lord say to us in 1 John 2:15-17 about gleaning in fields other than His?
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17
To the Christian lady: Your story is really His story line for you – His drama. No failure is ever final because one day…you will live happily ever after, with Him. Let this hope make for a happy day and a hope filled life!
Since it is close to Valentines Day, would you like to share your love story of how you met your “Boaz”? I would love to hear from you!