Hey, ladies! Posted this video on my YouTube channel a few weeks ago, when I was really needing to push myself back into spending quality time with the Lord. I pray it encourages you to do the same. Trust me, we need it far more than we realize.
You can read part one of this study here.
In further studying the book of Ruth, something astounding about her going after Boaz for a husband was revealed:
7.) Ruth didn’t marry Boaz just for her own happiness and well-being, but for others’ as well.
Ruth didn’t marry Boaz for a selfish reason. She didn’t marry him just because he made her happy. Ruth knew Boaz would be a major blessing for her mother-in-law, Naomi, as well, since he was one of her relatives, aka a family redeemer, someone who could buy back the land Naomi had lost.
Ruth was a treasure, a prime catch; she was beautiful both inside and out, yet she chose to marry a significantly older man rather than going after younger, “hotter” men. Had she chose to do the latter, her mother-in-law would’ve been abandoned to live in poverty with none to care for her.
Ruth wasn’t thinking about herself alone in her decision to marry Boaz, but instead, knew her marriage to him would be a ministry and blessing to someone else.
Too often we enter into engagement and marriage solely because the person makes us happy. We aren’t thinking about how our marriage can bless others and be a ministry. Happiness is certainly a by-product of a godly marriage, but it shouldn’t be the sole motivating factor as to why we do it. God is much bigger and much more generous than that. Which leads to the final lesson I want to share with you ladies:
8.) Ruth and Boaz’s marriage pointed people to God.
And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “ We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman.” So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”-Ruth 4:11-15 NKJV
Both the noble men of the city and the women saw God in Ruth and Boaz’s relationship and were very encouraged by it. They knew the union of this godly couple was special. And indeed, their marriage bore the grandfather of King David and from their lineage, Jesus the Messiah came forth.
Their union was a blessing, a ministry, and a beacon of Christ’s light to not only their community, but to the many generations that would follow.
For us Christians, it is the same. The weight of the legacy we leave behind will be according to our doing. We reap what we sow. If our marriage was ultimately about advancing the gospel and enlarging Christ’s kingdom, the legacy we leave will be great and will effect even the generations after us.
I don’t know about you, but I want my marriage to be a powerful force that echoes on long after I’m gone and resounds into eternity where I will see and meet the lives that are in heaven because of it. And I pray the same becomes true for you.
The iconic biblical relationship of Ruth and Boaz is one most single Christian women hope for. But this story—like all the other history recorded in the bible—isn’t just there to give us hope, but to teach us valuable lessons, especially on romantic relationships.
1.) Ruth chose God over a husband.
“And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 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.”-Ruth 1:15-16 NKJV
The primary and most important thing to note if you desire to marry a godly man someday is to put that desire behind you, and put Christ in front of you.
As a young and beautiful widow (her name means friend, companion, and “vision of beauty”), Ruth could’ve chose to go back to her country and her “gods” and get remarried. But she didn’t. She chose to remain with the Lord and His people, leaving behind her old life, and moving forward to a new land where God’s people lived.
If you really want a godly husband, recognize and embrace the fact that you already have one, Jesus, and that you will walk onward with Him no matter what you receive or don’t receive. If you can’t be faithful to Him, don’t expect to be faithful to a husband.
2.) Ruth desired and made sure she was discipled by a godly woman.
“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. 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 NKJV
Discipleship is crucial in our walk with Christ. When we allow godly examples to pour into us, we become more godly, and then we’re more equipped to handle marriage and whatever else God entrusts us with. We have to have a heart devoted to growing closer and more like our Savior. If we don’t desire and pursue godliness, we are setting ourselves up for disaster in marriage.
3.) Ruth worked hard.
So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.”-Ruth 2:2
Ruth wasn’t lazy. She worked all day in the fields with willing hands. She didn’t do it bitterly, she did it from love to help bring food home for her and her widowed mother-in-law. Be hard at work wherever God has placed you, whether that be in full-time ministry or at your job. You never know, your Boaz may be close by, which leads to the next lesson:
4.) Boaz made the first move.
Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”-Ruth 2:8-9
Before saying a word to Ruth, Boaz asked his men about her; he wanted to know what her reputation was like. Do you have a godly reputation, or a worldly one? Godliness attracts godliness. Her reputation drew a godly man closer; it caused him to take further interest. If a godly man asks about you and hears worldliness, he will more than likely back off.
So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”-Ruth 2:10-12
5.) Their first one-on-one time was out in the open with others, not alone behind closed doors—and again, Boaz gave the invitation.
Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back.-Ruth 2:14
The world is all about one-on-one alone time. That’s pretty tempting, and almost always leads to sin. Boaz respected Ruth and got to know her better openly, rather than privately. He wasn’t harboring lustful motives.
Back then, God’s people didn’t date like the world dates now. Godly people had accountably, and there is no godly reason why we should discontinue following this pattern. When we do, we often fall into sexual sin. You can choose never to date like the world does, and still end up engaged and married.
6.) When you’re ready, God makes things happen swiftly.
Ruth started gleaning on Boaz’s field at the beginning of the barley harvest. Barley is the fastest crop to harvest. She worked until the end of the harvest which could’ve been as swiftly as a month. When God deems you ready to inherit His blessing in marriage, you won’t have to court for years.
The world is all about “waiting” (though they’re really not waiting for anything, except to seriously commit), whereas those in a godly relationship don’t have to wait that long if Christ has already matured them to a place of being a suitable spouse.
Satan would love two godly Christians to spend time fearing and falling into sin, rather than being confident in their courtship and not wasting a lot of time so as not to fall into sexual sin.
Single sisters, my prayer is that you won’t read the bible as if it were just another book, but really study it, understanding what it really is: the inspired word of God, preserved for those who would inherit salvation, to equip and prepare us for eternity with Christ. In it we will find all the truths and lessons we need in order to live our lives as a living, pleasing, sacrifice to God in every area, especially relationships.
There’s more lessons, but I’ll continue sharing them in another post.
Much love to you,
“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” says your God. “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer. “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you. Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”-Isaiah 54:5-10
God is the Author of romance. He is the embodiment of love; He is love personified. When He speaks, it is from a source of pure, unadulterated, all-powerful, all-consuming love. There is nothing more intoxicating than God’s love.
Before midnight, February 22nd, 2009, I was intoxicated by what I thought was love. The affection and attention I received from guys controlled basically everything I did in life. My desire for love was so great, it influenced all of my decisions from the moment my eyes opened each morning. I would spend at least forty-five minutes on my hair and makeup before leaving for school, and my outfits had to be sexy.
Every weekend I went places with a motive: to find a hot guy and reel him in. I was always seeking attention, affirmation, and adoration from guys I liked. If I didn’t get what I wanted, and when things fell apart, it always made me sorrowful. My relational status dictated my demeanor and my outlook on life.
I was so consumed with finding “the one,” I was so lost in the feelings, the emotional high, the pleasure of being desired, that I had no idea it was an idol; guys were my god.
I worshipped being wanted.
I told people I was a Christian; I thought since I believed in Jesus and prayed that I was good. I was totally oblivious to the fact that I was breaking the very first of the Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me.” A “god” or an “idol” is anything you love more than god, anything that controls you, anything you can’t let go of. I allowed romantic relationships with guys to grab a hold of my deepest desire and greatest need and try to fulfill it. Obviously, they never did.
Whoever coined the phrase, “You’re looking for love in all the wrong places,” was quite wise. I was looking for love in the wrong places: broken, fallen, sinful guys. They didn’t know the Author of Love, they didn’t have him in their heart. They could never love me the way I so desperately wanted them to. There was only one Man who could love me the way I needed to be loved: Jesus.
On February 22nd, 2009 I finally awoke to that amazing truth. My last heartbreak jarred me. I had been inching closer to God, but that day I collapsed into His arms, and this time, I didn’t want to let go. I was done. I knew what I hoped in—the relationships I had dreamed of—were just that: dreams distracting me from the truth; the truth that my real dream Prince was there all along, waiting to sweep me into His adventure, into His great romance, and fulfill all of my desires.
I stopped searching for love in guys and began finding it in Christ.
His love was so sweet, so tender, so healthy, it healed me in literally six days. I no longer needed attention from a guy, or a boyfriend. I was single and happier than I’d ever been. Almost seven years later, and I am still more joyful than ever, in love with my Redeemer, my first Husband, my King, Jesus Christ. I was carried into a divine romance, and by God’s breathtaking grace, I will enjoy it for all eternity.
Have you been captivated by God’s love? Do share in a comment when your divine romance began and where it has brought you. If you have yet to experience God’s intoxicating love, I pray you consider what the idol is in your life, lay it down, and seek Christ. You will certainly discover all that you’ve ever needed is in Him. If you need prayer or encouragement, feel free to email me: BetterThanPrinceCharming(at)gmail.com
Jonathan Derek Sapienza, strong, beautiful weapon of righteousness. You remind me of Phoenix from Bryan Davis’s Reapers novels, with your devotion to godly principles, but of course, you are better because you’re also a son of God.
I want you to know I truly mean every word I’m writing. You really do weather me, you keep me balanced, you always hold me back from jumping off a cliff. You are truly my pillar, a strong foundation upon which I stand, and when I’m running in the wrong direction, you capture me and pull me back to safety.
I am speaking about one of your greatest gifts: discernment and wisdom. Proverbs says much about wisdom: it protects, it guides, it opens doors, it brings favor, and most importantly, it is the chief of all principles. After love, everything flows from wisdom. “The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” You certainly have the fear of the Lord, and I am an eyewitness of your ever-expanding wisdom.
This wisdom has grounded me, has kept me so many times from making foolish decisions and hurting myself. After being married to you, and experiencing just how much your godly wisdom and discernment has protected me, I see now that Adam’s wisdom and discernment was given to Him by God to protect Eve. Like all women, her emotions drove her. Her emotions, though a beautiful gift, were also her greatest vulnerability, and they began dragging her toward an extremely dangerous situation. This was when her husband was supposed to be her hero and rescue her. He had the wisdom and discernment to know that what was happening between her and satan was wrong, but he did not intervene.
I am so blessed, Jonathan, so grateful to be able to say that you, my precious husband, have always intervened. There were times in my stubbornness and passion that I did not listen and submit to your loving wisdom, and I suffered the consequences. But you, my faithful companion and hero, have always been there to lift me in your arms, carry me home, and nurse my wounds. You never shame me or scorn me for my foolishness and stubbornness. You are tender and graceful toward me and I absolutely treasure you, dear prince.
Though I’ve gotten wiser from more time with our Lord and from watching your example, there are still moments that I fail to submit to your caring guidance, but since Christ continues to flourish in your godly heart, you have only become more graceful and patient with me. This beautiful reflection of our kind Savior and Lord leaves me breathless.
I recall pastor John reading Ephesians to us as we stood at the altar:
““Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” (Ephesians 5:25-29)
O, precious beloved of mine, in our marriage, you have never—ever—asked me or enticed me to sin. You ensure what we watch is not sexually enticing or perverse or wicked; you gently help guard my heart, my mind, my eyes and my ears, as you likewise do for yourself. I watch you; your pure heart is clearly displayed in your loving actions. Christ’s purity in you is clearly manifested, shining off you, son of God.
If I could choose to go back in time and marry any of the godly men I know now, I would always choose you. You are a man after God’s own heart; a man of strong morale, granite character, and gentle strength. You are not a forceful wind, you are a gentle, guiding and refreshing breeze. You are a warrior prince with the breastplate of righteousness, a soldier who carries the sword, but is careful, patient, and wise in how and when you wield it. I am a warrior princess who practically never has her sword sheathed, and often swings too soon. You gently place your hand upon mine and lower my sword. You guide it back to the sheath and gently train my hands for God’s war of rescuing souls from our enemy’s clutches.
Too often, I allow the busyness of life to consume me, and I do not ponder and meditate on the amazingly wonderful gift I have been given. As so many words poured forth from my heart, I was taken aback by just how blessed I am.
My leader, my knight, may God so bless me and Arrow with many more years under the shelter of your loving guidance. I love you with all of my heart.
To my O so precious younger sisters in Christ:
Before I stopped chasing guys, and pursued Jesus, I treated God like medicine. I used Him when I felt bad, but once He made me better, I stopped taking Him in. Instead, I put Him away, and kept hurting myself with relationships I wasn’t ready for.
And though I didn’t know it until I was eighteen-years-old, that’s the reason I kept craving a boyfriend. I was looking for the love only Jesus could give me. I wasn’t satisfied because I kept leaving God and not listening to Him. I kept ditching Him and getting into relationships. I didn’t need a boyfriend, I needed Jesus. When I finally realized that, I stopped pursuing guys and started really pursuing Jesus. He began flooding my life with love and joy and for once in my life I FINALLY didn’t need or care to have a boyfriend or attention from a guy.
And guess what else? When I was ready for marriage (believe it or not, at age eighteen, after I surrendered to Jesus, I didn’t want a boyfriend anymore, but I looked forward to some day having a husband. I met Jon and we were ready by a year. After a year and two months, he proposed.
Being ready for marriage within a year or so is super important because of sexual temptation. As our pastor who married us would say, “if you’re in a relationship and not married by a year, you’re playing with fire.” So at 14, you’ll have to wait at least four years to be physical with your husband. You think you could really refrain that long the more and more you begin liking a guy? That’s why teenage relationships are very dangerous.
I know it can be especially hard going to public or private school, and God knows your friends are probably boy crazy, but when you allow Jesus to blow your mind with His love, you’ll be strong enough to wait on your future husband, and you’ll be the girl your friends come to when they’re heart broken and going through boy drama. If you find that satisfaction in Jesus and no longer seek a guy’s attention, it will be such a powerful example, you’ll be so extremely different, God will use you to save your unsaved friends.
Remember, YOU are the light your friends NEED. As a Christian, you alone have what they need to escape heart break AND more importantly, hell.
Maybe try to switch your focus and instead of finding your identity as some cute guy’s girlfriend, you realize you’re so much more special than that. You’re like a superhero, saving souls from the devil’s grip on their life. You’re a warrior princess, a leader among your friends and younger family members, placed in their lives by God’s will. You have a great mission. Will you train yourself for that mission, or train yourself to just be another girl guys use?
Praying for you,
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the does of the field, Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases. (Song of Solomon 2:7 NKJV
Note: She’s speaking to women.
I’ve known several sisters who have done exactly what this verse warns against. There’s a brother in Christ who catches their eye, they start crushing, but the guy never really pursues them. Some of these brothers were in relationships and eventually married the girls they were with, but until that day, these sisters were convinced that the brother was truly meant for them, and the girlfriend was a counterfeit. Whether she really was or not didn’t change their reality: the brother was not pursing them, and in the end, he never did.
It is crucial to your faith to refrain from opening up your heart to a man before the right time. If he’s in a relationship, it isn’t the right time. If he’s not pursing you, it isn’t the right time.
Sometimes, a sister thinks the guy is into her because he shows her attention. What I’ve found is that, often, girlfriends are good at being girlfriends, but not as friends. What I mean is, she’s faithful, committed, esteeming the man, being romantic, etc. but she’s not being a friend who just hangs out and has fun with him. So the man is seeking female friendship in a girl other than his girlfriend. He’s immature, she’s immature, and they haven’t yet realized friendship is lacking in their relationship. But that’s when the single sister thinks the guy likes her, when really, he just enjoys her friendship and is using her for the sake of his fun and enjoyment. He doesn’t want to be more than friends; he already has a girlfriend fulfilling that area of his life.
The reality check is you are an attention quencher, a fun-filler, but you’re nothing more in his eyes. If you were, he would make himself available, be open about his motives, and pursue you.
I understand this truth can hurt. This is why I exhort my precious sisters to not share deep friendships with a man. Keep it superficial and distant. When you get married, that deep friendship will have to get snipped anyway. Why do I say this? Because with women, adultery usually begins with emotional connection. A man is listening to her feelings when her husband isn’t. A man is making time for her when her husband isn’t. This quickly spirals into a physical relationship and now you are more than mere friends.
You don’t want to be a home-wrecker either. What if that brother comes onto you while still in a relationship? What if he then leaves her for you? Do you think God will bless that ignoble way of entering a relationship? And if you were able to steal his affection, what makes you think another woman like you can’t come around later on and do the same thing, stealing him from you?
You don’t want a man that is so easily swayed. You want a committed one. And that’s the irony of so many women who go after the married man because they find his commitment sexy. Guess what? He’s no longer a noble and committed man once he’s sinned with you! And neither is the unmarried man in a relationship. So BACK OFF. God doesn’t write messed up The Bachelor/Bachelorette stories (hence why those relationships always quickly end in divorce!).
If God wants you married, He’ll work it out, but you must do your part, which isn’t meddling with other people’s boyfriends or husbands. It’s being pure. That is the greatest preparation for a husband: purity. Your eyes and heart are not set on someone they shouldn’t be, they’re set on Jesus. And as you keep them on Him, Jesus will allow a godly single brother to see you. He will pray and pursue, and you can trust him to protect your purity, as you will his. And that is a relationship God will bless. Trust me, I know from experience.
Love you sisters,