9 Key Principles Women Can Learn From The Ruth and Boaz Story
In most of the books that I have read regarding the Ruth and Boaz story, great emphasis is placed on the characteristics of Boaz. Let us not forget that Ruth was also a woman of great qualities. These were not habits she developed while clinging to her mother-in-law Naomi. From Ruth’s exceptional and outstanding qualities of unselfishness and loyalty, we learned that such virtues are the foundation upon which authentic love and happiness are built. Without these qualities, abiding friendships, relationships and marriage is impossible. Ruth’s life stories also taught us that gracious qualities are worth developing. These are great attributes to have, which are imperative to cultivating a strong foundation to build a lasting relationship and marriage. Here are a few qualities about Ruth you can learn and apply to your daily lives:
At the beginning of the book of Ruth, Ruth was living in her homeland of Moab; a place and people that the Israelites frowned down upon. On top of that, she has lost her husband and was living with her widowed mother-in-law. She also lost her husband without a child, some believing she may have been barren. With everything that Ruth has been going through, it would have been much easier to give up and quit. Most of us probably would have given into our life’s despair. Some of you are dealing with the residue of your past that just won’t leave you alone. Every time you take three steps forward, your past is trying to pull you back. This time it will be different; your past won’t hold you back any longer. God will turn your test into a testimony. Let go of your past; God is preparing you for a brighter and better future.
Ruth’s kindness was on full display in Ruth chapter 1:8. The character of kindness is a great personality trait to develop. Kindness is also a part of the fruit of the Spirit in the word of God. When we show kindness to others, it makes them feel good about themselves. No man wants to marry a mean and selfish woman. Every man wants to marry a woman who is kind-hearted and genuine. The act of kindness makes you more desirable and attractive to others. Kindness is an act of love.
Being loyal is defined as “being faithful to one’s oath, engagements or obligations, being true to one’s allegiance to a government or state or a person.” Loyalty in a relationship is like what gas is to a car; without it, the car is not going anywhere. Ruth’s words to Naomi are unforgettable. Multiple poetries, books, and songs were written and inspired by Ruth’s passionate plea to Naomi:
16 But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
17 Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17
This writing is so profound. This is truly a woman of character, and her life should be a model to all who desire to find a mate. A man not only wants a beautiful woman, he wants her to be loyal too. More beautiful poetry has never been written in the bible. In these words, lies a pattern for every man and every woman who choose to follow the way of righteousness. Ruth pledged herself not only to Naomi, but also to her destiny, her people, and her God. This example of loyalty is at the zenith of what it means to be loyal. Who are you loyal to? Who do you pledge allegiance to? Who are you willing to serve and honor other than yourself?
Ruth was willing to go with her mother-in-law to Judah, a place that was unknown to her. She was leaving her very own family and embracing a new life. It takes courage to walk away from that abusive relationship. It takes courage to say you “Won’t” when they ask you to marry them, knowing they have not proven or made an effort to become the man God wants him to be.
It takes courage to tell a family member to respect your husband and stay out of your marriage. It takes courage to tell your mother-in-law she did not lose a son; she gained a daughter. Relationship decisions can be difficult to make, especially when you are uncertain about your next plan. It takes courage to say “no” when you like what you have, even though it is not what God wants for you. Pray and ask God to give you the courage to make the right decisions in difficult situations.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Boaz told Ruth: “All my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.”
And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. Ruth 3:11
Good Character is everything, and Ruth was a woman of great character. Be someone people are proud of. Boaz did his homework; he enquired about her. He put her through the “Relationship Appraisal Process” (RAP). He wanted to make sure she is who she says she is. If a Godly man desires to marry you and inquire about you, what will people say about your character? You cannot control what people say about you because everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. You cannot control other people’s impression of you. Do not even waste your time trying. However, you do have full and total control of your character. Be someone your Boaz can be proud of. Be someone you can be proud of. Carry yourself with dignity.
Ruth showed remarkable faith for such a young believer. Faith that there is still a purpose for her life. Faith to trust God even when she could not trace God. Faith to believe that God was who He said He is. And faith to believe that God would provide for her and Naomi. It takes faith to believe in what you cannot see. I know sometimes it is hard to faith it, but that’s when God shows up and shows out. That is when God does his best work during the impossible moments in our lives.
We see in Ruth 1:18 that Ruth was determined to go with Naomi. As children of God, we must have a strong determination to follow God, even when it is difficult. Do not be easily influenced by what others say and do. Do the right thing, even when it is not the popular thing to do. Are you determined to stay faithful? Are you determined to hold on to your integrity? Are you determined not to settle? Are you determined to wait for God’s best?
Ruth did not sit down and throw a pity party after the death of her husband. She was ready to move on with her life. She was willing to work and do what was necessary to take care of herself and Naomi. You might have been in a failed marriage or relationship; it is time to move on. You have made some mistakes in the past, and you allow people to hold you hostage for what you did or did not do. Well, that season is over. Ruth recognized that as a widow she has to move on with her life. God wants you to move on purpose with purpose. There is so much inside of you to give to the world. It is time to let go of the past so you can love again. You are not a failure.
Ruth was not looking for a man; all she wanted was a place to live and to honor her mother-in-law whom she loves dearly. She was gleaming in the field, minding her own business when Boaz came by to see what was happening. God has a weird way of blessing us. One might say Ruth was prepared to be found by a man. The truth is Ruth already served well as a wife. She was not looking to be found by anyone. She has great qualities of a Godly woman, and a real man will be able to identify it. Stop putting all your focus on marriage and start living your life for God. You might just be surprised what God has in store for you. Boaz immediately recognized that Ruth was the finest jewel in his field. Boaz was an outstanding man, and he recognized that same trait in Ruth. It is not surprising that he wanted to marry her. A woman must know the kind of man she wants to marry, and a man must know the kind of woman he wants. When you have a clear picture of what you want, it’s much easier to find what you are looking for. Ruth was not looking for a husband, but Boaz found her anyway. Maybe you are putting too much emphasis on marriage and not on God.