Esther and Ruth are the only two books of the Bible named after women. Although the book of Ruth has only four chapters, it contains many vital principles that are important to our everyday life. One of these principles is integrity.
The story of Ruth and Boaz is compelling and fascinating. People often describe the book of Ruth as a love story, and although it contains elements of love, as the story unfolds, we were made to realize that it is more than just the love these two people developed for each other, it is about the things that made love possible. The main thing that stands out among these things is the integrity of Boaz.
Before we proceed, I will summarize the Book of Ruth for a better understanding. The first chapter of the book introduces us to the family of Elimelech. A Jew who moved from Judah to the country of Moab with his wife, Naomi, and two sons due to a famine that was ravaging the land of Judah. After Elimelech’s death, his two sons would marry two Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth while living in Moab.
Unfortunately, Naomi lost her two sons ten years after Elimelech’s death. Heartbroken and empty, Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem in Judah afterword comes to her that the famine in Bethlehem had ceased. Her daughter-in-law Ruth came with her since she had also lost her husband.
In the second chapter, we are introduced to Boaz, a relative to Elimelech, and a man of wealth and high social standing. Ruth goes to Boaz’s home to glean his fields. Boaz soon discovers Ruth and asks his servant who she is. Once he learns of who she is, he tells her to stay close to the other young women in the fields, not to go to another field, and that he has told his young men not to touch her. This interaction shows the gracious character of Boaz. He protects Ruth and allows her to collect some grains for her and Naomi. Boaz deals kindly with Ruth because he has heard of her faithfulness to Naomi.
In Chapter three, Naomi tells Ruth to cleanse herself, to put on her cloak, go to the threshing floor, uncover Boaz’s feet, and lie at his feet. The specific action would be to show Ruth’s dependence on Boaz and to propose to him to marry her. Ruth does as her mother-in-law requests. Boaz tells her that she is a “worthy woman.” However, there is a relative that is allowed to marry her before Boaz is, so he will have to see if that relative wants to marry her first. Ruth spends the night on the floor, in no way showing sexual immorality, and Boaz sends her home with six measures of barley.
In the last chapter, Boaz sticks to his word, and he goes to speak to the relative that was first in line to marry Ruth. He asks the relative if he would like Naomi’s husband’s house, which she is selling. The relative declines the offer and gives the land to Boaz because if he bore children with Ruth, those children would have to share an inheritance with his children. This transaction was taken place in front of the elders and the people in the area. Boaz and Ruth would marry, and Naomi, who was once left empty, was now made full through this new family.
What Is Integrity
Having summarized the book, we understand that Boaz was a man of high integrity. The word integrity means the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles and moral uprightness. The importance of integrity in men cannot be overemphasized. Like Boaz, a good man must have high morals and be honest and upright in his ways.
The Main Lessons We Can Learn From Boaz
The main behaviors of a man who possess integrity could be found in Boaz. These behavior include; showing respect to everyone, putting the need of others above their own, offering to help others in need, taking responsibility for one’s actions, being honest in all things, and being humble at all times. His first reaction to Ruth was not in charm but protection. He wanted to protect her without having any thought of sexual immorality, thereby highlighting himself as a man of integrity.
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Despite being attracted to Ruth, he knew there was another man ahead of him for Naomi’s land and Ruth. Boaz was more than happy to oblige if the man wanted to have the property, which would grant him the right to Ruth as well. He didn’t let Ruth leave after their conversation in the middle of the night to protect her reputation because she was a “woman of noble character,” neither did he think of taking advantage of her. He was a gentleman, even in a vulnerable position, and did the right thing.
What Integrity Does For Your Relationship
Integrity is crucial in fostering a healthy and fulfilling relationship. For any relationship to work, it needs to be anchored on the strong principle of integrity. Integrity allows you to do what is right at all times, being humble and honest, and looking out for others.
Without integrity in a relationship, there is bound to be distrust and disunity. If you do not have integrity in your relationship, your relationship will likely fail when you encounter challenges and difficulties.