“Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes”…. (Ru 3:3).
When I was a teenager I’d wear inappropriate clothing to get attention from boys. As women, we believe a false message that says our outer appearance is the most attractive thing about us. However, this is a farce, because “beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov 31:30)
We compare ourselves to other women, even as adults we do this. We give greater value to more physically attractive people. Yet, this is not what happens in the story of Ruth. Sure, Naomi, Ruth’s mother in law tells her to put on her best clothes, splash on some make up and go get her man, but Naomi didn’t understand that Boaz had ALREADY taken notice of Ruth.
“Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?” (Ruth 2:5).
Boaz begins to show immense favor and kindness to Ruth. She thanks him for his kindness while working in his field that day and asks him why he has shown her such favor, he says,
“I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.” (Ruth 2:11).
It was not Ruth’s physical appearance that drew her to Boaz, although I’m sure she was beautiful, it was her heart. It was her Godly character, and her selflessness that stood out to Boaz.
Little did Naomi know, Boaz’s heart had already been pricked for Ruth that day while she was gleaning in his field. As a woman, I used to think that I needed to perch myself up in places to be seen by men, making certain my physical attractiveness stood out the most. How foolish I have been! There is so much more about a person that goes beyond the surface of physical attraction and this is what Boaz saw in Ruth.
It is obvious Boaz figured out very quickly, without the help of Ruth’s sweet smelling perfume that he was one of the families “kinsman redeemers.”
“Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I.” (Ruth 3:12).
A kinsman redeemer was a man in the family who was next in line to marry a woman if her husband were to die. In ancient Israel if a woman had no man to provide for her, she would live a destitute life without much hope.
Ruth goes before Boaz and he already knew that he wasn’t the first in line. He had done his research and it was BEFORE Ruth came to him all dolled up. Any man who chases after a woman’s physical appearance is no man opening up your heart to be pursued by. That kind of pursuit will quickly fizzle. It is the heart of a woman that draws the most noble of men.
Jesus, I know I have believed the lie as a woman that my physical appearance gives me greater value. Yet, I know, in you this is not true. Thank you for my husband who pursued my heart first and not my physical body. Thank you for Godly men like that. Lord, do not let women believe there is no man who will pursue her in a God-honoring way. May we as women believe our greatest value is found in who we are, not what we look like. Jesus, be the most beautiful thing about me, Amen.