A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND: Assessing Future Husbands with Six Diagnostic Questions, Part 2
I just read an article about dating, written by a TV news woman. (Am I allowed to call her a woman?) She and her husband began dating in the 90’s and have been happily married for over 20 years. She mentioned the difficulties Gen Zers face in finding the right spouse now, in the age of digital relationships, and offered good advice.
My opinion is that the greatest crisis for dating and marriage is the culture-wide ignorance (and rejection) of Biblical standards. Last time I suggested that knowing what constitutes a good man would help young women make good choices in whom they might date and ultimately marry.
I presented diagnostic questions that come from the little Old Testament book of Ruth. I have been dismayed at the poor choices I’ve seen young women make when choosing a husband, and I’m sure that the example of Boaz, Ruth’s choice, could save much heartache.
I should mention, in case you’re not familiar with the biblical story, that not only are Ruth and Boaz good role models for dating and marriage today, but God brought them together to become part of the lineage of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Okay, so last time I mentioned the first three questions. You might want to read part 1 to get a running start. Here are the last three.
4. Does he submit to God’s word and God’s will?
Though Boaz was a man’s man, he wasn’t a “my way or the highway” kind of guy. He was spiritually strong, but submissive to God’s will. This is particularly noteworthy when it came to the possibly of marriage to Ruth.
Here’s a young woman he must have felt a connection with, but one he had not pursued. Perhaps that’s because when he first met her, she was a widow in mourning. And later he might have felt, because he was older than Ruth, that she was out of his league. But in chapter 3, Ruth appears in the middle of the night and says, in effect, Let’s get married. You’re the redeemer I want.
He rejoiced, he thanked her, he was obviously happy about it, but he was very careful to say, “There is another redeemer. And so let’s go through the accepted process. I’ll talk to him today.”
Most of us might have said, let’s get married before that guy knows what happened. Forget him. But Boaz was trusting that God’s hand was leading them, and he wanted to make sure he followed God’s timing and God’s way.
5. Is there a heritage of faith in his family?
Of course, everyone has to start somewhere. You may be the first person in your family who is a Christian. But if you’re assessing potential husbands, it’s nice to know where the family is spiritually. For example, did you ever wonder why Boaz was willing to marry someone from a pagan country? Sure, Ruth proved to the whole community that she was a “worthy woman,” but not everyone would have wanted to marry an immigrant from a pagan country. Boaz did, and that seems likely tied to his own family.
Do you remember Boaz’s parents? His father is mentioned in chapter 4, but you have to go to the New Testament to be reminded of his mother. …Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse… (Matthew 1:5).
Boaz’s mother had been a Canaanite prostitute, but she was wonderfully converted and became the wife of a Jewish man named Salmon. Boaz came from a family of faith where they knew that God redeems sinners and makes them family. No wonder he was open to a woman who didn’t start out as a Jew or a follower of Yahweh!
6. Can you see Christ in him?
Throughout the short book of Ruth there is the image of the kinsman redeemer. Ultimately Boaz points us to Jesus. He is like Christ, even as he is an ancestor in the human line of our Savior. Sinclair Ferguson, a great Old Testament scholar, put it this way: “Those who knew Boaz even a little would know that his covenant God must be a God of tenderness and compassion, of great sweetness and gentleness in his righteous dealings with his children. We cannot hide what we really believe God is like.
Look for a man like Boaz.