Thursday, 11 April 2019

Ruth & Boaz 2 - Love & Perfection?



What do we look for in Love?


What do we look for in Love?

Can anyone really answer that question?


Perhaps we can look at this question instead.

What do we look for in a husband?






If you have not read the first part of the story of Ruth & Boaz please click through HERE and then come back to continue with this second part.



What do we look for in a husband?


Undoubtedly we will first think of

Love

Then perhaps our next thought might be

Safety  - there is definitely nothing wrong with us expecting to feel safe in all our married life

Companionship   -  after 40 years will he still be worth living with?

Self worth     -   will he understand our feelings and be willing to listen to us?

Contentment   -   I think we all yearn for a genuine happiness to be with him wherever and in whatever period of our lives that may be

Dependability/reliability   -   Will he be there when we need him "in sickness & in health", financial difficulties or just any situation big or small that matters to us?

Trust   -   can he be trusted in anything big or small, personal or public, does he stand on the truth?


Let me give you an example to show the great importance of TRUST.
Some years ago we were having some work done in the garden and at one stage the workman was in the garage when I went in looking for my husband.
Starting up a a little conversation with the workman about where Fred was he made this remark:   


"You should have heard what he said about you in the garage yesterday"

My first reaction was of Hurt because of the way the statement was made I knew the man did not mean Fred had been praising me.
However knowing my husband after all these years this reaction very quickly changed to 

Disbelief

This was because I trust Fred and know that he was not going to say anything unkind about me to this stranger or in fact to anyone, and Fred knows that I would not do that about him either.
I have in the past stopped having conversations and relationships with women who repeatedly malign their husband's character or laugh about them behind their back.

There must always be trust in any relationship but especially in marriage.
What harm can something like that incident with the workman do to a relationship if there is already an unsureness of trust.


The ideal thing is something that covers all those attributes we deem to be important and of course it leads us to thinking of 

Unconditional love

the type of love we see in the Lord Jesus.

Which is quite right because God's Word tells us what a husband should be like







Oh what unconditional love to give up your life for another as Christ did. 

In a marriage the Biblical Truth is that our husbands should love us as Christ loves and that fulfils all those things we listed above that we were looking for in a husband.    


However let us not neglect our part as wives and return the respect a good, truthful, honourable, christian husband is due as we also find in God's Word.       






This of course reminds us of those women I mentioned above who spoke badly of their husbands in my presence  -  they were not respecting them as God has told us to do.



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Ruth & Boaz 

I was very taken with Boaz
He just seemed to be the perfect man.

Am I married to a perfect man?   No

Did I think I was marrying a perfect man?    No

Do I look at this story and wish I had a perfect man?   Yes      Seriously No I don't.
That is not the reason we have that story in the bible, we are not supposed to end up discontented when we read it.


There are 2 reasons that I can see why this story is in the bible

  • It shows us the lineage of Jesus and we see that He was born into a family line which included this godly, good husband.
  • But I believe the main reason it is in the bible is to show us Jesus himself.


Boaz is an example of Jesus
In the bible we do not have a marriage relationship shown to us between Jesus and someone because He did not marry, but in Boaz, God is showing us the type of husband Jesus would be.

Why do we need this example?
Because we are the church and the church is the bride of Christ and we need to know that we have a Saviour who has all those attributes that a bride needs to be sure she will have in a husband.


Let's read through that list again.


Love

Safety
there is definitely nothing wrong with us expecting to feel safe in all our married life  Boaz definitely looked to the safety of Ruth

Companionship
after 40 years will he still be worth living with?   -  his character led to the knowledge that he would be a good companion

Self worth 
will he understand our feelings and be willing to listen to us?    -   did he ever give Ruth reason to believe he did not respect or understand her in fact he spoke highly of her behaviour throughout

Contentment  
I think we all yearn for a genuine happiness to be with him wherever and in whatever period of our lives that may be   -   even Naomi recognised that the relationship between Ruth and Boaz would be a happy one

Dependability/reliability   
Will he be there when we need him "in sickness & in health", financial difficulties or just any situation big or small that matters to us?    -   Boaz had in the past repeatedly proved his character in this way when he had treated all of his workers well

Trust   
can he be trusted in anything big or small, personal or public, does he stand on the truth?    -   Boaz proved he could be trusted in all things when he took Ruth's situation seriously and worked through the requirements of the time and culture and God's laws to make sure that he and Ruth would start their relationship off in the honest, right way.



Surely 
If we would want these things in a husband then we would want them even more in the Saviour we are putting our whole trust in.


Boaz was full of great qualities and can point us to the Lord (which is the reason of all Scripture) but he was not perfect.


God provided an example of the Saviour He would send - His own Son who is the perfect One.


God loves us with an unconditional Love and Jesus proved that to us,  to help us understand this we have been given the example of love from Boaz to Ruth.







The Book of Ruth may have been named after Ruth but that does not mean this book is only relevant to women.


Look at the truths men could learn and the good example they have here also.


We can always learn together.