A Modern-Day Boaz

During our junior year of high school, my two best friends and I decided to put onto paper what we wanted in a husband someday. We drew out all of the physical details, such as his body type, height, hair color, and eye color, and then wrote down some specifics about what he liked to do. Apparently, I was going through a bit of a hippie-rock phase, as my man had longer hair and a soul patch, wore a t-shirt, corduroy pants, and Birkenstocks, and played the guitar. My two friends essentially drew their boyfriends at the time, neither of which these girls married.

It’s funny to look back on that picture. We were quite convinced that what a man looked like, and what he liked, was more important than what he was like. Nowhere on that picture is a list of his character qualities, because I hadn’t yet realized what is truly important to look for in a man. How many 16-year-olds do? But, 15 years later, God has grown my faith, challenged me in certain beliefs I’ve held about relationships and marriage, and shown me what is truly valuable.

My favorite story in the Old Testament is that of Ruth. Despite the urging of her mother-in-law, Naomi, to stay in Moab, return to her parents’ household, and re-marry, Ruth displays such a beautiful portrayal of loyalty when she clings to Naomi (Ruth 1:14) and says, “For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (1:16). This act of faith to journey to Judah, a commitment to her mother-in-law, her hard work in the fields, and her own lovely character, brought about a harvest of blessing upon Ruth, as God drew a man named Boaz to notice her, pursue her, and marry her.

So, who was this man named Boaz, and why do I encourage young women today to wait for a modern-day Boaz? Here are some key characteristics of a man who is marriage-material:

He is Worthy
Boaz was described as a worthy man (2:1) who believed in the Lord (2:4).
A modern-day Boaz will:

  • Have a good reputation because he’s proven himself to be a man of character and worth by his actions.
  • He will have a solid relationship with the Lord, which is of great importance for a woman of worth (3:11). Thus, you will be equally yoked in your relationship, with each person growing in their faith, serving the Lord, and evidencing the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

He is a Protector
Boaz encouraged Ruth to glean in his own field, so that she would be safe among the other women. He also charged the young men of his field not to touch her (2:9).
A modern-day Boaz will:

  • Protect your purity, as well as his own, by respecting boundaries. He knows that sex is a sacred act to be enjoyed only in marriage, and he appreciates your high standards.
  • Guard your heart, by making known his intentions to pursue you when the time is right. You will know where he stands.  He won’t lead you on by just “hanging out” with you for an extended period of time, enjoying the benefits of your company without accepting appropriate responsibility toward you.

He is a Provider
Boaz met Ruth’s needs. He gave her plenty of water to drink (2:9), provided meals for her (2:14), and gave her an abundance of barley to share with Naomi (3:15).
A modern-day Boaz will:

  • Work hard.  He is a mature, responsible man with right priorities. Being a provider is not about making lots of money. It’s about a man meeting the basic needs of his wife and children.
  • Properly understand a man’s Biblical role as the leader of the household. Under his leadership and banner of protection, you will feel safe and secure as his wife. This is because he has your best interests in mind, serves you sacrificially, and loves you as Christ loved the church.

He is Observant
Ruth caught Boaz’s eye (2:5), but he also noticed her inward character, good deeds (2:11-12), and kindness (3:10).
A modern-day Boaz will:

  • Find you attractive!  It’s important to have the “spark.”
  • Cherish your inner beauty.  It is good for a man to marry a woman with the kind of loveliness that cannot fade.  He appreciates these qualities in you, and will encourage you verbally when he notices you acting with integrity, kindness, and love.
  • Study you.  He will find out what makes you tick, and seek to understand you more fully over time.  He will notice what you enjoy, and do little things from time-to-time just to make you smile.

He is Compassionate
Boaz had care and concern for others, loving his neighbor as himself. As the owner of a field, Boaz showed generosity and compassion on the less fortunate by following Levitical law (Leviticus 19:9-10).
A modern-day Boaz will:

  • Look for opportunities to bless others.
  • Serve wholeheartedly
  • Give generously, as God prompts him to do so.
  • Be kind and loving to the “littlest and least,” not looking down on others in self-righteousness.
  • Utilize his spiritual gifts to edify the body of believers and honor God.

He is a Man of Integrity
Boaz knew that there was a closer relative who had “first dibs” in redeeming Ruth (3:12-13). He took the proper steps (4:1-6) to win her hand in marriage. In fact, he couldn’t even rest until the matter was properly settled (3:18). Boaz also had witnesses (4:9) to confirm that he acted with integrity.
A modern-day Boaz:

  • Does not manipulate, cheat, or lie.  He has nothing to hide.
  • Does what is right, even when it’s hard.
  • Respects the authorities in his life.
  • Heeds the wise counsel of a more seasoned Christian man, such as a pastor or mentor, who will come alongside him, ask tough questions, hold him accountable, and encourage him in Christ-likeness.

So, that’s a modern-day Boaz. What do you think, dear single, female readers? Is this the kind of man you want to marry, or would you pick different character qualities?

It is important to note that a young man will not have these character qualities fully developed. Boaz was an “older” man (3:10), and we shouldn’t, for example, expect a man in his mid-20s to have the same level of wisdom as the older men in our lives, who have many more years of experience and refinement. Furthermore, even men who have grown in character will disappoint, make mistakes, and willfully sin at times. That being said, we ought to see evidence that he is actively and purposefully headed in the right direction, and growing as a man of God.

I’m still waiting for the Lord to bring “the one” into my life. Many, many years from my juvenile drawing session with best friends, my eyes are now opened to what is truly valuable. Yes, this kind of man is rare, but he does exist. And as God grows me in Biblical womanhood, I see very clearly what I want in a future husband. It’s not about what he looks like or what he likes, but what he is like…a modern-day Boaz.


Lindsay Blackburn is an ordinary Montana girl who loves life and its many wild and crazy adventures. Follow Lindsay on Twitter @ellesbee.

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