One of the hardest things that I have found while walking with the Lord and serving in His Kingdom, is that the older I get, the more my desire for a husband and a family of my own grows.
I know that at my age, I am not alone in this. I am not the only one that, although at peace with my singleness, still find myself battling with understanding my desire for companionship. I at times find that I am wrestling to understand the sudden longing for something as simple as having my hand held, or wanting to be tucked under a protective masculine wing, to simply have companionship.
After all, the Lord said Himself that it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone. Yet, many of us in the Body of Christ and even in the world, have found ourselves over the age of thirty and just that, alone.
We find ourselves not only being asked the question of why we are still single by well-meaning others, but some of us are wondering where our ‘Boaz or Ruth’ is.
I don’t know about you, but I have heard many of sisters in Christ say, “I am waiting on my Boaz,” and there is nothing wrong with that. Many of our brothers in Christ are looking for their Ruth, yet we still find a lot of singles floating around congregations with some even settling for less than God’s best for them just so that they can have that covenant relationship.
But there is something divine to be learned about the story of Boaz and Ruth, something that I think many of us in the Body of Christ have missed and that is both Boaz and Ruth made peace with their circumstances and yet were diligent to do the work set before them to the glory and honor of God.
The truth is that many of us singles that are thirty-plus have a lot in common with this couple, and that in and of itself, should lend you more encouragement if you have found yourself less than hopeful in your singleness.
AGE WAS A FACTOR
Now although we can take a guess at the age of Ruth, making her between the ages of twenty-five and forty, (which is where many of us reside on the age line) our dear brother Boaz was easily EIGHTY plus!
You read that correctly. Boaz was the son of Rahab and Salmon. You know Rahab the harlot from Jericho? So brother Boaz, though hale, was mature of age, wealthy and hardworking, loved by his employees, and yet…single.
Boaz even goes as far as to make a roundabout mention of his age to Ruth when she visits him on the threshing floor, asking him to cover her as an honored servant.
Side note, if you were ever wondering why she uncovered his feet, many historians have said that when the wealthy would travel they would always take their favorite servant along with them. That servant would share their tent and cover, sleeping at their master’s feet, being covered with the end of their mantle…I digress.
Boaz awakes, understands what Ruth is asking and then praises her for “not going after young men,” but being righteous in her choice of seeking a kinsmen redeemer.
Ruth 3:8-13, “Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. And he said, “Who are you?” So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.” Then he said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 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. Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you—good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the Lord lives! Lie down until morning.”
THE BLESSING IN IT: Although Boaz was well advanced in age, the blessing that came was that because he had been diligent in tending to the business that the Lord had blessed and entrusted him with, that when Ruth finally arrived he was well able to grant her security, and not only her but her mother-in-law, Naomi.
He could have at any time picked a young woman to take as his wife, but for some reason, he chose to wait. Could it be that he had a nudge from God that prompted him to just continue to serve Him and be about the business He had set before him, that at the right time the right ‘one’ would be made known?
Be encouraged, my fellow Serving-Singles. God has not forgotten you. Keep being a good steward of what He has placed in your hands and do what He has tasked you to do in the meantime.
Which brings us to the next point…
DILIGENCE OPENED DOORS
Ruth, although she was the poor of the nation of Israel, was a widow, was a foreigner in a strange land, with a bitter family member to care for, she was diligent to get the job done, no matter the odds stacked against her.
The wisdom of the day for a woman like Ruth would have been for her to immediately seek new marital status especially considering the odds that were against her. Impoverished women in the Middle East at that time didn’t fair well, but instead of bemoaning her stakes she worked to improve them and trusted the Lord with favor as she did so.
Psalm 90:17, “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.”
The word ‘established,’ means to be recognized and generally accepted. The book of Proverbs tells us that our gifts and works will gain us notice and favor with Kings and men of influence. Proverbs 18:16, “A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.“
Ruth’s diligent work and willingness to put first-things-first not only established her but brought her before a very great man.
- Made room for her: The Reapers allowed her to glean among them. RUTH 2:6-7
- Put her in a place to be noticed: Her hard work and service was noticed by all and even caught Boaz’ eye. RUTH 2:4-5
- Established her: Boaz secured her place among his reapers and ordered them to leave more for her to glean on purpose. RUTH 2:8-12
- Brought her favor: Boaz put her under his protection. RUTH 2:9
- Elevated her: Boaz gave her a place at his table, shared his meal with her, and even gave her additional grain to carry home with her. RUTH 2:14-18
And let’s not forget, because Boaz still got up and went to work himself and tended to his business unto the Lord, he was able to be in position to see Ruth in the first place.
THE BLESSING IN IT: Keep doing what the Lord has set for you to do even though covenant marital relationship is close to your heart. The Lord knows. He has not forgotten you. We just need to know and recognize that He is always up to something even when it looks like nothing is happening.
So don’t count yourself out or disqualify yourself for any reason. God has got you and someone special for you.
PURSUIT BASED ON PURPOSE REAPS DIVINELY GREAT REWARD
When the time finally came, Ruth made herself available to Boaz even as he made himself available to her. I am sure that at this point there was some level of attraction between the two of them, but they didn’t choose to pursue a marital covenant relationship solely based upon attraction.
They chose each other based upon purpose.
Boaz was not the closest in line to be Ruth’s Kinsman Redeemer. There was another that was before him (RUTH 3:12-13). We don’t know much about this other man at all. All we do know is that Ruth didn’t pursue a relationship with him nor did her mother-in-law encourage her to do so.
At the end of the day, Ruth was led to choose Boaz based upon her interactions with him, his character, and his positioning for a purpose which ended up being divine, even if they didn’t know it at the time.
They both chose to come together to fulfill a calling. That calling was to raise up an heir for Naomi’s bloodline, who happened to be the grandfather of King David and thusly the forefather of Jesus Christ our Lord.
THE BLESSING IN IT: There is something so sacred and honorable about being able to make a choice about one’s mate based upon how their calling aligns with your own.
We Serving-Singles are in prime positions to make that choice and the choice is indeed ours. As the Apostle Paul said we are free to marry whomever we desire as long as they are of the Household of Faith (I COR. 7:39).
In other words, a non-believer is not a marital option (2 COR. 6:14-16). The beauty is there are so many options available within the Kingdom.
My prayer for all of us is that we keep our eyes upon the Lord during our seasons of singleness and that we don’t grow weary while we serve. I pray the Lord will open all of our eyes to the blessed partner that He has in store and that we are wise in our yes’s.
Be encouraged. Be diligent and delight in your season as you serve. Your Ruth or Boaz is definitely watching!
~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!