Ha, ha. That title got your attention, didn't it? Well, true, that is what the subject is about, but it may take a different path then you expected. I have been going through the Book of Ruth in a Bible Study with some women, and this week is focusing on the PROPOSAL between Boaz and Ruth.
As I had told my husband (of all times, when he was proposing to me), I felt just the only right way for a guy to ask a girl to be his wife is when he's on one knee. I realize that process isn't the most common thing people do now-a-days, and it often isn't practical providing the observers, location, etc., but it was always just my dream and how I imagined things going. In the study of Ruth this week, her proposal went uhm.... just the wrong way for me!
Let me quickly summarize how things went. Naomi (her mother-in-law from her deceased husband) instructed Ruth to do a list of things:
4) Lie down
5) See where Boaz slept
6) Uncover his feet
7) Lie down
8) Follow the instructions her then gave
"Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor (after he's done eating and drinking...) uncover his feet, and lay thee down..." Ruth 3:3-4
Now, as much as I love my husband, it is very hard for me (even at his request) to take his shoes/socks off after a long day at work and rub his feet. What Ruth did was (remembering Boaz had come from a long day of outside work), uncover his feet, and SLEEP NEXT TO THEM. (It is suggested in this devotional book that Ruth probably had a hard time sleeping because of the trepidation or excitement she had. For me it
would have been the smell.)
My personal thoughts laid aside for a minute, it was a process she was willing to take that showed her humility, something I am sorely in need of. It was a gesture availing herself and trusting him immensely, so they would both remain pure.
Before this event, she had shown her female relative (Naomi) love, respect and care. (She had been gathering wheat to make and sell bread to buy food for meals.) During this event, she was showing a distant male relative pure love and respect. The most distant relative I can think on personally at the moment, are my cousins.
Again, I mean nothing against them as well, but there is absolutely no way on earth that I could muster up enough humility to not only uncover my cousin's feet after a long day of work, but spend all the horrible hours in the night sleeping at his stinky, sweaty, disgusting feet. I have asked my husband to shower after ONE DAY of mowing the lawn for a few hours. I cannot fathom SLEEPING by the feet of my cousin who has gone who knows how many days/weeks without a bath.
This is a great lesson of pure humility and self-sacrifice. God says in Proverbs 22:4 that "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life." With just this scripture, and just this one biblical example, we are shown ways that humility is to be revered and longed for in our lives. Not to gain a husband, as in the story of Ruth, for he first noticed her meek and humble spirit of service, but humility as a means of service towards others.
-- I know of a few friends who don't respect Ruth, and aside from my thoughts on the issue, whatever you think or believe, please only focus on the humility I see in this example --
By the way, not skipping the topic, the book also shared how in that place and time, this action Ruth gave toward Boaz could be considered a honest-to-goodness marriage proposal.
This guest post was written by Sarah Tate - a young wife and mother. Sarah and her husband are the proud parents of a 1 year old son, and are expecting their second child in December.