I’m single, so I realize I’m not the best person to give dating advice. How about from God’s Word instead? In the book of Ruth, we learn helpful lessons about the courting period before marriage I hope to put to good use in my life!
1) You never know God’s plan for you. Boaz had no idea God was preparing a Moabite wife for him. When we’re having a hard time finding a spouse, it’s tempting to get discouraged. Take heart. You never know when your Ruth or Boaz may show up.
2) Work while you wait. Ladies, it may be a dream of yours to find a husband and be a stay-at-home mom. That’s fine, but don’t twiddle your thumbs in the meantime. Ruth didn’t wait for a man to come take care of her. She rolled her sleeves up and went to work in the fields (2:17). Start developing a strong work ethic now because you’ll need it in marriage too (cf. Proverbs 31:10-31). To the men, Boaz wasn’t living in mom’s basement playing video games. He was a hard worker too and had done very well for himself (2:1).
3) Look deeper than looks. Physical attraction is important, but our culture is obsessed with it. It’s all about hair, clothes, make up, and sexual compatibility. Ruth and Boaz looked beyond those things. They looked for strong character. Ruth could have chosen a strapping young man for a husband, but she chose Boaz for his heart (3:10). Likewise, Boaz didn’t choose Ruth simply because “she looks good to me” (contrast with Samson in Judges 14:3), but because she was kind, loyal, and hard working.
4) Men, be kind. There’s a myth out there that women are attracted to jerks. Don’t be a jerk to get a woman. Boaz spoke to Ruth with kindness, he protected her, and shared his good blessings with her. Women aren’t looking for jerks, but for kind men who are comfortable enough in their own skin to not change who they are just to make them happy. To insecure men, those men look like jerks; they’re not. They are like Boaz.
5) Ladies, be grateful for a man’s kindness. Some girls act like they’re entitled to be treated like queens because they’re beautiful. Nope. No one is entitled to anything, so when a man shows you kindness, let him know you appreciate it. Ruth didn’t feel entitled at all. She asked Boaz, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” (2:10) and thanked him for his kindness in 2:13.
6) Never put marriage before God. Boaz wanted Ruth, but God’s Law said he didn’t have first right to her. When she proposed, he couldn’t say yes yet (3:12). He refused to compromise his integrity just to make Ruth (or himself) happy. Instead of eloping, he stayed and obeyed the Lord. Sometimes dating clouds our judgment and we want marriage so desperately we compromise our core values and don’t consider the Lord. Don’t be desperate and don’t force it. Do things God’s way and you’ll never go wrong.
What do you think? What else can we learn from Ruth and Boaz? Share your thoughts below!