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Belles of the Bible: Ruth

February is about all things love—making it a perfect time to explore one of my favorite Biblical love stories and belles: Ruth.

The name “Ruth” means beauty, and this belle not only had outward good looks, but a beautiful heart as well. Ruth rose above extreme hardship, going from a destitute widow to marrying a “mighty man of wealth” (Ruth 2:1). Her story reminds us that our low points in life are never permanent and to always trust that God has a plan.


When it comes to an example of putting your money where your mouth is, Ruth is your girl. Despite multiple pleas from Naomi for Ruth and Orpah to go back to their own people to find new husbands, Ruth wasn’t having it. Instead, we get one of the most beautiful declarations of loyalty in the Bible.  

“And Ruth said, ‘Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.’” Ruth 1:16-17

This scripture demonstrates a couple key things to us:

  1. True loyalty means being there no matter what, especially when it might not seem advantageous to us.

  2. It is possible to have a beautiful relationship with your mother-in-law. 😉 

When Ruth entered into Naomi’s family, she did so for life. She wasn’t about to abandon Naomi when she was at rock bottom—much like how God refuses to abandon us. She instead decided to follow Naomi into the unknown, trusting that God had a plan for them both.

Grieving with Grace

Ruth was faced with immense loss in her lifetime. She lost her husband and brother-in-law in one fell swoop. Naomi had also been hit with an unimaginable string of events, losing her husband and two sons.

The emotions between the two women had to be incredibly raw—which in turn can make tempers short. But rather than becoming bitter, both found comfort in their relationship with each other and looked to God for support.  

When we lose sight of God while we are grieving, fighting often commences to fill the void. Squabbles over property take place of comfort and healing. This is why examples like Ruth and Naomi are so important: they serve as a guide to grieving with grace so we, too, can rise above adversity when faced with tragedy.

The Importance of Labor

When it comes to work, I love the old Southern saying, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” In other words, stop standing around hoping something good will happen and get to it yourself.

And boy, does Ruth embody this.

After returning to Bethlehem, Ruth doesn’t mope or wait around for a handout. Instead, she asks Naomi if she can get to work gleaning in Naomi’s kinsman’s field.

Ruth knew God would ensure she and Naomi’s needs were met. Ruth also knew that God loves hard workers and acted accordingly.

God smiled on Ruth’s determination and chose to bless her in the most wonderful way: by helping her find love again.

Courtship Done Right

Which leads us to our leading man—Boaz. Boaz immediately notices Ruth when she begins working in his field, and I’d like to think there was a spark from the start.

“Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, ‘Whose damsel is this?’” Ruth 2:5

Oh, she’s new in town, Boaz.

After Boaz notices Ruth in his field gleaning, the acts of chivalry commence. He instructs her to only glean in his fields and to stay close to his female workers. This gesture would ensure Ruth’s safety, keeping her from working around men who might not be as honorable as Boaz’s men.

Boaz also goes as far as to feed Ruth with his workers and instructs his men to drop a little extra grain as they harvest for her to glean.

And not only was Boaz generous and protective, but he was also honorable when it came to courtship.

In chapter 3, Naomi notes that Boaz is family, and it would be possible for him to serve as kinsman redeemer for Naomi and Ruth after the death of her sons. She then instructs Ruth to get dolled up and go find Boaz at the threshing floor where he was sleeping to make the ask.  

This was a risky move. If Boaz wasn’t honorable, things could have gotten dangerous for Ruth. But Boaz wasn’t that sort of man.

“And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. And he said, ‘Who art thou?’ And she answered, ‘I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.’ And he said, ‘Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.’” Ruth 3:8-11

Not only did Boaz not take advantage of the situation, but he also kept it quiet that Ruth was there at all that night—thus protecting her reputation as a lady. He goes on to marry Ruth, upholding the role of kinsman redeemer to protect Naomi’s linage.

In a time where courtship has become so casual, Boaz serves as a reminder of what true, Biblical masculinity and love looks like. It is generous, kind and protective.

In a world full of Judahs (Genesis 38:20-26), find yourself a Boaz, ladies.


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