At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.” So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough. Ruth 2, verses 14-18.
Love preserves dignity. Love cherishes dignity. Love enhances, grows, celebrates, encourages, and fosters dignity. Do we?
I really enjoy different kinds of music. Not so much today’s music, though some of that is good as well. So I have a challenge for you. After you’re done reading this, go out and listen to a few songs on popular radio. The genre doesn’t matter: listen for what the lyrics say. When you’re done, ask yourself this: were the lyrics dignified?
Now, this isn’t the old “my music is better than your music” thing that parents argue with their kids; the parents are usually right. Undignified music is as old as the Marriage of Figaro, maybe older. But have we sunken even lower, even in some of the tamer music in today’s pop culture? Miley came in like a wrecking ball; what did she wreck? You know.
What would Boaz think? He was interested in Ruth, impressed with her, and favorable to her. If he wasn’t in love, he was on his way there. What was his reaction? It wasn’t some hip hop mess of libidinous savagery. It wasn’t some country bumpkin lovin down by the river. It wasn’t rock star bad boy metal crashing. It wasn’t even a melodious classical sonnet
Boaz treated Ruth with dignity. Maybe he even sang to her. Most popular lyrics are poetic in nature, or at least they try to be. The more you read the book of Ruth, the more it sounds like a story poem to me. It’s rhythmic in nature, almost musical in the way it romantically flows. Woven into that rhythm is the subtle dignity with which Boaz courted Ruth. He did nothing to shame her, or to make her feel obliged, or to make her feel uncomfortable.
Tell me, even when God is harsh with us, doesn’t God still treat us in ways that preserve our dignity? Seems to me that everyone on the radio could learn something from Boaz.
Lord, I praise You for the dignified way in which you treat us.
Read Ruth 2.
In your own relationship, do you treat your partner with dignity?
Do you expect dignity in return?
What have you done to merit that?