Love is the greatest Risk: Ruth 3

I am sitting here listening to Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 as I write my next blog on singleness.

contradiction?

Maybe.

But I think Taylor has constantly hit on our culture’s view on relationships. Even the world looks at her as bold. but frankly she shows the consequences of allowing love of relationships without love of health in relationships to rule. Before you stop reading I promise I am not a Swift hater, I actually enjoy her music, but I think her album has allowed me to look at Ruth 3 in a clearer way. You see I read a article from TIME magazine and Taylor had said “I was thinking about this — boys only want love if it’s torture and a constant chase. Men want love if it’s real, right, healthy and consistent,”

Such wisdom from someone who is submerged in the world.

In Ruth 3 you find Naomi starting the chapter off. She thinks it is now time for Ruth to take steps towards getting married.

3-4 “Take a bath. Put on some perfume. Get all dressed up and go to the threshing floor. But don’t let him know you’re there until the party is well under way and he’s had plenty of food and drink. When you see him slipping off to sleep, watch where he lies down and then go there. Lie at his feet to let him know that you are available to him for marriage. Then wait and see what he says. He’ll tell you what to do.” 5 Ruth said, “If you say so, I’ll do it, just as you’ve told me.” (Ruth 3:-5)

risk.

She went down to the threshing floor (Ruth 3:6)

As women we desire intimacy more than anything. I walk through life simply desiring to be known. To be able to fearlessly put my heart on the table with all of the fears, hurts, pains, joys, desires, hopes, and for someone to unconditionally accept it, without giving the smallest wince.

Men desire a fight, a pursuit, to live an adventure. Men desire to protect, to keep something of value safe and provided for.

We see Ruth do something that is looked at as a HUGE NO NO in the “Christian” world, she went to Boaz.

I remember having this conversation with a dear friend of mine a month or so ago. She asked me my opinion on the whole women pursuing men thing. Before I answered from my own experiences both good and bad, I felt compelled to look at Ruth 3. Many different things can be said about this chapter but I believe when reading this chapter we often overlook a vital element.

Ruth went to the threshing floor. Boaz was already there.

The threshing floor was where the chaff and the grain were separated in the barley or wheat harvest. This symbolizes so much more than a place where grain was separated. It shows who Ruth was. A woman that grew up different morally but chose to neglect the former things and walk with God. Her character was constantly shown. 10 And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. (Ruth 3:10)

It shows who Boaz was. A redeemer, a man of character, hard work, and was not scared of taking a risk. Before he even knew Ruth was available he took a risk in allowing her to work with his people. He took a risk in giving her favor because he could see that she was different; she allowed herself to be separated by the chaff so that she could be better.

Both Boaz and Ruth had allowed God to do a work in their lives. They met on the physical threshing floor but spiritually they met where God had made them better. Then it was left in the other redeemer’s hands. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman. 12 And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I.

It shows who we should be.

Boaz and Ruth had to trust their relationship in another person’s hands. They could do nothing more than place their relationship in God’s (the ultimate Redeemer) hands and trust that His Will would prevail. But this was only done because not one but both Ruth and Boaz allowed God to make them people of character and when you know God has your best interest you are able to trust Him regardless of how bad you want something or someone.

Is it wrong for a girl to tell a guy how they feel? It depends on your heart. Because if the boy doesn’t reciprocate those feelings you will have to be okay with that. And you can only be okay with rejection, whether you put yourself out there or feel like you’re constantly being skipped over, when you believe you’ve been accepted by the only One who truly matters.

Ruth 3:11 reminds me of what Jesus told the disciples in John 14:13-14, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” John‬ ‭14‬:‭13-14‬ ESV)

This is important not because Jesus is a genie and he will give us anything if we say His name but in those days where rejection is surrounding your heart if you ask, He will remind you of your acceptance. It is important on the days where you feel alone, He will comfort you. It’s even important in the moments when your spouse has wronged you and things are chaotic, in those times your redeemer wants to bring you peace.

Ruth wasn’t scared of risk. And you shouldn’t be either, especially when it comes to risking your heart in God’s hands.
  

Be Not Quick to Wonder

So you’re single and have been desiring to be in a relationship for a long time. You try not to focus on it and choose to look at the things God has given you to focus on instead of future things but you find yourself wondering. Wondering at Bible Study when that new attractive individual starts coming around. Wondering if the person the friend of yours brought to hang out could be the one you’ve been waiting for. The wondering even spills into the random trips to the store when you make eye contact. The wondering doesn’t just stop at maybe they are it but as you continue your mind goes from meeting to being married and having 2.5 kids in a matter of minutes.

Yeah I get you. Being quick to wonder has been a constant battle but I am starting find myself silencing those thoughts.

One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.” Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.” So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech. (‭Ruth‬ ‭2‬:‭2-3‬ NLT)

Ruth wasted no time in doing what she was called to do. She put aside the fact that she was once married and desired to be married once again and focused on what God had placed in front of her. Her motive in going out to the fields was to provide for the ones God called her to. I like how the Bible says, “as it happened she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz” she didn’t seek it. Her sole purpose was providing and fulfilling the duty she felt God had called her to.

and that’s when she was noticed

The foreman said, “Why, that’s the Moabite girl, the one who came with Naomi from the country of Moab. She asked permission. ‘Let me glean,’ she said, ‘and gather among the sheaves following after your harvesters.’ She’s been at it steady ever since, from early morning until now, without so much as a break.” (‭Ruth‬ ‭2‬:‭6-7‬ MSG)

Boaz saw Ruth as a hard worker and so that sparked curiosity. I imagine that if Boaz saw something different in Ruth she must have been more serious or diligent in the way she worked. This curiosity allowed Boaz to question who she was. We see that he immediately finds out her past, “that’s the Moabite woman…” He knows right away the culture she comes from but more than her past the foreman also tells Boaz of her character she came with Naomi. She hasn’t taken a break.

she’s different.

He responds in pursuit. As you continue to read you see that Boaz invites Ruth to eat with him and shows her favor because her focus was her character and her character proved that she was trusting God.

These words be not quick to wonder have been bouncing around my head for the past few weeks. I realized that in those moments of looking at an individual and spending time wondering what I’m truly doing is turning that wonder into worry.

When we accept worry we must understand that saying yes to the wonder is saying no to the trust. It’s saying,”God you obviously don’t have plans so I’m going to think and mull over what I can do to take my life in control.” Not attractive huh?

We must choose instead to say no to the worry and say yes to the trust. Like proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭5-6‬ NLT)

When He is our focus the trust in Him is easier. In that trust we find that worry falls wonder isn’t a necessity and the paths to take are lightened because we’ve made Him our guide.

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I go where You Go: a Blog about Singleness

Successfully single. I never thought that was a possibility. And more importantly I would never describe myself as that. Why? Well because most days I would use at least 80% of my thinking daydreaming of what it would be like to have a husband, seeing those cute couples around me made me sad, I struggled big time with bad habits and frankly being single and successful didn’t sound like a possibility or like fun.

Happily married yes. Successfully single no.

I didn’t want to be good at being single because that meant I would stay single. Or did it?

That was until I decided to change my perspective.

God has really been speaking to me through the story of Ruth. There’s so much about loyalty, God’s provision and yes romance found in that book.

This story is set in Judah. A man and his wife are living in a time where God has withheld food and water from the people. The man Elimelech and his wife Naomi move with their sons to Moab to try and escape the famine. Before you start reading the first chapter you should know that the Moabites were people that God’s people were not really supposed to associate themselves with. The history of how the Moabites came to into existence is found in Genesis 19. Here you will see that Lot, Abraham’s brother and his daughter had a child and that is where the Moabite people came from.

Because of how the Moabites came into existence and the way they chose to live they earned a reputation of being people that were sexually perverted. So to say the least Moab was not a place God’s holy people should have been. But they went and they married their two sons to two Moabite women. Before chapter 1 is half way over Elimelech
And his two sons die and Naomi is left with two widowed daughter-in-laws.

But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. (Ruth 1:8-14 ESV)

Through out my life several people have told me things like, your husband comes when you’re not looking, he comes when you’re serving God whole heartily, it’s ok to go to a conference, school, program because you want to find your mate. So what have these things caused me to do? I’ve served and gone to community out reaches, conferences, and through my day to day life encountering people but not looking, just hoping that I just so happen to serve enough for a guy to notice, but those things didn’t work.

I’m not saying that the things people have said are not true but I am saying that we must be careful to produce Ruths not Orpahs.

And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where 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. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. (Ruth 1:15-18 ESV)

It’s all in the mindset.

Orpah was released as soon as Naomi said that there are no more prospects for her to marry. She left Naomi because Naomi could no longer give her what she desired, a husband. If we are not careful we will walk into volunteer positions, serving opportunities and every day life with the expectancy that God will bring us our spouses because you are doing A B and C. But what happens when He no longer chooses to give us what we desire? If you’ve produced an Orpah mindset you will go back to the perversion of the world.

why are you serving God?

Ruth on the other hand wanted a long list of things. Yes having a husband was on her list but having a better life was her priority and she saw that serving Naomi’s God and being a part of a community that worshiped the creator was a higher priority than anything else. So she followed so that she could gain that better life. She knew what the Moabite life would produce, and God’s way was a lot more hopeful.

So how does one learn to be successfully single? I’ve learned to walk with God. To choose to have no hidden motives when I serve Him daily. I choose to love my Heavenly Daddy because of who He is not because of the gifts He gives. I go where He goes simply because He knows how to get to my destination and I need Him every step of the way; married or single, working or unemployed, volunteering or attending. I need Him in every aspect of my life now are forever.

For the next few weeks I will be going through the book of Ruth and how it applies to our world today. I would encourage you to read the book of Ruth Follow me as I go

Always,
Mo Go
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