- NOT EVERYONE WHO FINDS SOUGHT
- THE PROBLEM OF REAL MEN
- THE CAUSE
- INITIATING /= PURSUING /= LEADING
- LADIES TO PURSUE
- PURSUING, LEADING, AND SUBMISSION
- LOVE STORY AN ORCHESTRA
LADIES TO PURSUE
When a girl pursues, does it mean it is already out of God’s will? Is it even a sin?
This question leads us to the ultimate question that most of us are asking: Is it wrong for the lady to pursue?
To tell you straightforwardly, No, in a sense when it is in the center of the will of God. This has been partly explained in the previous discussion.
This mind-boggling topic would always lead one to the story of Ruth and Boaz in the book of Ruth. We can see in chapter 3 that Ruth is the one who initiated and in chapter 4, they got married.
Well, their story is not as simple as the above paragraph has narrated it. We can describe Ruth as a woman who is a bit aggressive, and strong. She’s a woman with boldness and principle, and of a noble character (as Boaz had spoke honorably to her (Ruth 3:10)). She persuaded Naomi to let her stay, even when Naomi tried to release her as they were both widowed. She went with Naomi to a land that she’s a foreigner of, and she humbled herself to glean on the fields to honor and serve her mother-in-law, and provide themselves food. To give you little bit of a background, in their culture, field owners let the poor people glean over the leftovers (Leviticus 10:9-10). In Ruth’s case, this is solely my opinion, we can think that she might have felt a self degradation with regards to the kind of a person she is. A strong woman with pride and dignity, chooses to do a poor man/woman’s job: to glean on fields, much more on a land where she’s foreign into. Yet she humbled herself for the sake of her mother-in-law.
It might be a question as to why Ruth needed to glean. In the olden days, the widows are regarded as really poor women (Deuteronomy 4:19-21). As men are the ones who should provide for the household, and for wives being left behind by their husbands, God has instructed his people to take care for them [the widows]. This is a concept we need to know why Ruth went to Boaz (Ruth 3:6-13).
Ruth and Naomi, after losing their husbands, are trying to look for someone who could “redeem” Ruth. During their times, it is a rule for them to marry a person in the same tribe, and that the widow should be re-married to the nearest kinship, commonly to the brother of her husband. Since both Ruth’s husband and his brother died, there’s no one else to accept (or redeem) her. The “redeeming” part is necessary for both of these women because they’re seeking for provision, or else they would remain consuming leftovers from the field, and soon starve.
How can it happen?
It’s okay for the ladies to pursue then!
If you’re a woman and you’ve become excited now that it is okay for you to pursue, I think you should reconsider your emotions because maybe that’s not God telling you to pursue right now. Maybe, just maybe, it is your impatience.
From Ruth’s story, it might be acceptable. But what about today? We also need to understand our situation and know the concept before we decide. Yes, it is okay for the ladies to pursue, but just like how guys should pursue, it should be done in the center of God’s will. Besides, Ruth did not pursue Boaz in the same manner that people today pursues, which we will talk about in the next paragraphs.
Ok, so ladies can pursue, but does it apply to every lady?
Ruth did not confess to Boaz like “Hey Boaz. I like you. Let’s get married.” She did not invite Boaz to some fancy dinner and paid for it, nor bought him his favorite shoes to let him see her pure intention and win his heart for marriage. She plainly unfold her reasons why she was there on the threshing floor that night.
Ruth pursued Boaz because first, he is the one nearest to their family that could redeem her from poverty and lack. Second, she did this out of obedience to God, in the form of Naomi’s instruction to her. Naomi sees Ruth as someone worthy to be a wife again, so that she should not suffer any longer. Lastly, she did it because her being redeemed will also bless Naomi. Ruth did not leave Naomi, rather honored her by serving and helping her, and at the same time, God honored Ruth’s choice. God blessed her as a consequence of her obedience and compassion to Naomi.
Actually, even before Ruth went to Boaz, he already treated Ruth differently but better than his servants on the field, even when she’s a foreigner in the land. She found favor in his sight (Ruth 2:13) and he even served her food (Ruth 2:14). He told his servants to let her glean, help her, not reprimand and rebuke her, and he did not even allowed his young men to go near her (Ruth 2:15-16). It’s evident that he has treated her like she is someone special and with kindness. You would say he liked her, as to how we interpret it these days.
Boaz might look like he’s passive and timid because even when he cared for her, and was also competitive, not letting any man near her, he did not lay down his intention to be her husband. He plainly served and cared for her. Although, those gestures are a manifestation of God’s plan, that Boaz is whom He prepared to redeem Ruth.
Considering these traits of Boaz, Ruth was not pursuing (chasing could also be the word) a random man who ignored her, or didn’t even cared for her. She did not chase a man who will break her heart, her dignity, and her principles. She did not pursue a man who is outside of the will of God, outside of Naomi’s instruction. She pursued a man who treated her good, with care, respected her, and even protected her. She pursued a man who would follow the protocol (when he waited for the other persons who could be her nearest kinship-Ruth 4) and do not do shortcuts, to honor God and their marriage. Thus, in chapter 3, she went to the threshing floor where Boaz was taking rest, and directly asked him for her to be redeemed.
We’re not supposed to pursue people whom we did not asked from God, and this could also go for the guys. There are times where the ladies should initiate, and times where men should. This here is situational which we cannot completely bound up, and it remains to be personal about what God’s plan for each of us is, which He could only reveal to us personally and to our partner. Either the man or the woman should pursue, their pursuit would be God-glorifying if they do it under God’s blessing. Simply put everything in this: Our chief goal is to glorify God.