I have written something about marriage before, but I just love marriage so much, here I am again! Yay! Another post about marriage. And this time I will not be sharing about Adam and Eve, but about one of my favourite marriages from the bible. The one with Boaz and Ruth in it:)
Let’s first write something about what we all hear in our churches, conferences and other oh-so-Christian-gatherings. I will tell you the truth about marriage right now.
If you want to have the best marriage in the world, you ought to get married to that sweet girl who lives next door. Make sure you grow up together with her and win her over as soon as you both enter the same high-school. No one you like living next door? Manipulate your parents so that they will move. The sweet girl living next door is going to another high-school? Transfer to the same school. If you’ve got all of this covered, then make sure you do not kiss or sleep with each other until the wedding night. A proposal has to be on your knees and the wedding will have to happen either on the beach or in that small white church your parents got married in as well. Still going good? Well done! You just made it! Your marriage will be perfect, you have done exactly everything all Christians will tell you to do and the fairytale will continue up until you are both 98 and will die in each others arms.
Please do not feel offended, but just laugh about my sarcasm:)
So, now I will tell you a few things about Ruth.
- Ruth was not a virgin when she got married.
- Ruth and Boaz where from different cultures.
- Ruth had been married for ten whole years and not been able to conceive.
- Boaz was rich, but old (and most likely desperate to have a son to take over business.)
- Ruth owned nothing else then the dress she was wearing, she was as poor as Boaz was rich.
- When Ruth married Boaz, this was re-marriage, not highschoolsweetheartmarriage.
- While Boaz had been a believer for a long time, Ruth had just become one.
- Ruth had no one else then a grumpy old mother-in-law to speak for her.(Note the fact that in the whole book her family never does anything to keep her with them.)
So. Does that in any way sound like the way we are all ‘ought to be’ when it comes to marriage? No. No, it really does not at all. It seems to me, that in the church of today, Boaz and Ruth would have been told it was better not to get married. Or at least, Boaz friends would have told him he’d better get a girl who had been a believer longer, one that was still a virgin, one that could conceive..
BUT. When you go and read this book (which you should definitely do!) you will read this in Ruth 3 starting in vers 10:”The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that of which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. (11) And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character…”
There are a lot of things happening in these two verses. (The fact that he calls her his daughter, that Boaz has provided in work and food and still says it’s Ruth showing HIM kindness.) But I will just only get into the last part.
Boaz tells Ruth that all his fellow townsmen know that she is a woman of noble character(!)
While Boaz has enough reasons to show her the door, I think it’s this one thing that makes all the difference for him. Ruth may not be without a past, but he knows that she got through and has gotten out on the other side with a noble character.
And I kind of have the feeling that’s why he admires her so much that he gets into all the trouble of making sure he is the one that gets married to her and no one else. (He is not the next of kin, someone else is a nearer kinsman-redeemer and therefore has more rights than he does.)
The point is this. We can make up all these rules of how we will be perfect for marriage. We can look down on people who are not a virgin anymore, people who have been married before; we can believe inter-cultural marriages will not work etc. There is no formula.
There just is not. Every marriage takes a lot of hard work and commitment. No matter how it started.
I just love this story so much:) I can keep adding words, but I will stop now:)