Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered him, “The Lord bless you!” (Ruth 2:4 NKJV)
As I consider the words in this picture, they are words I would say to my daughter. They are words that I would want Sara to say about me when she is talking to others. They are words that I would want to demonstrate to my sisters in Christ. They are words I would want my mom or sister, neither Christians, to see and believe in me.
I love my daughter. I prayed hard to God that I would one day have a daughter and He has blessed me with my Libby. I want Libby to be loved all of her life. One day she will leave my home and seek the love of a man to be her husband. I want that for her…I want her to be loved and cherished all the days of her life. With that in mind, I find one of my greatest responsibilities to her is to love her mom in a Godly way…the way I want a man to one day love her. Of course, if I do that, Sara will be loved in the way her Heavenly Father wants her to be loved. Loving the women in my life is a tremendous responsibility that starts in my home but reaches into the church, into my earthly family, and into the world as I come into contact with others each day.
In thinking about the love of a man for a woman, the kind of love God calls us to, I was drawn to the book of Ruth. I encourage you to take a few minutes and read the book today. It is four short chapters and will not take you much time.
As you read Ruth, consider Boaz and how he loved Ruth. Think about the “what” he did and “how” and the “why”. We see that Boaz was generous with compassion (2:8-9), generous with compliments (2:11-12), generous with courtesy (2:14), generous with what he had (2:15-16), generous with his credibility (3:11-15), and generous with his commitment (4:9-10). Take some time and think about what Boaz did for Ruth and consider how that looks in your life with the women and girls you care about or come into contact with.
Then consider the “why”. Why did Boaz behave this way? I believe we find the answer in the verse above which are the first recorded words of Boaz. “The LORD bless you!” For Boaz, what he thought, said and did started and ended with God. We see from the book that Boaz’s intentions (obedience to God) matched his behaviors (what he did). Boaz treated Ruth and others in a generous and kind way because of his obedience to God. Boaz understood and received the love of God for himself which enabled him to freely give love to others. This manifests itself fully in his relationship with Ruth and echoes through eternity in the life of Jesus.
Consider Boaz today in your own life and in your relationships with the ladies in your life. Love them! Love them by accepting your place as a dearly loved child of God (Eph 5:1-2), consider how you have been forgiven (Eph 4:32), think of the way Christ put you first (Phil 2:6), drink from the longsuffering of God (2 Pet 3:9), consider how generous God has been to you (Rom 5:8), and remember how God puts up with you when you are ungrateful, cranky, or a disappointment (Lu 6:35). Make your “why” obedience to God in your relationships and the “what” and “how” will come and will glorify God.
Today, every day, remember that in Jesus Christ you are COMPLETE. Jesus loves you and for that you are free to truly love the ladies in your life. He loves you with an unfailing love that does not disappoint. In that you are free to love even when promises to you are broken, someone you care about has failed you, something is done to disappoint you. God has promised you love and succeeded in delivering over and over again…even when you don’t deserve it. His love, if you will let it, will fill you and leave you with a love worth giving.