Christian living- dealing with one 'oops' at a time…

Posts tagged ‘Men’

A Real Man (Ruth 3-4)

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Here is Boaz, he has eaten and drunk and his heart is merry (likely a euphemism for having had at least a little alcohol). He gets into bed and a woman crawls in with him.

Now Ruth is young, beautiful, loyal, hard-working, and a Moabite (a people group the Jewish people at this time have little respect for). She is everything a man could ask for, and she is of a class of people no one cares about. Further she has only an elderly mother-in-law to look out for her. She is incredibly vulnerable, and she is lying at his feet, in his bed, at night.

Boaz could very easily take advantage of her, and then claim he mistook her for one of the prostitutes who often hung out around the fields at harvest time when they knew the men did not go home, even though he knew she did this with the hope of marriage.

But he doesn’t.

He protects her.

Instead of immediately kicking her out of his bed, he allows her to stay with him until morning, because he knows she is safe in bed with him. (This is true purity.)

He then protects her reputation. He wakes up early, or perhaps does not sleep, to make sure she is on her way home before too many people realize what she has done. He also warns his men not to let anyone know that there was a woman there.

Before she leaves, he provides her with grain. He knows she has not had a good night sleep and will likely not be in the best condition to glean, so he takes care of her needs.

He praises her. He assumes the best. He does not berate her for doing this, but instead looks at the situation through a positive lens. She could have gone after younger men, and there is the unspoken assumption she could have become a prostitute, or loose woman. Instead she turns to a man she believes is the one who is right for her, who will be her kinsman-redeemer. He does not assume she is a gold-digger or someone trying to trap him into marriage. He assumes the best.

He takes care of her problem immediately. It is the middle of the harvest, a time that is so busy that the men sleep on the threshing room floor instead of going home, but he puts his needs aside to make sure that she is cared for.

He obviously wants her, but he goes about things the right way. There is another relative who has a claim on her. He approaches this man and makes sure that he has permission to pursue her.

He knows that marrying her comes with obligations, and he is willing to accept those responsibilities. He will have to buy back her father-in-law’s fields and care for them for a son who will bear another man’s name. His first son will not be known as his, even though he will be the father who raises him, and he must hope for a second son to inherit and care for the lands he has loved and worked hard to make prosperous. He will have to train two sons as heirs, splitting the time between the needs of each estate. He will be a busy man until these boys reach manhood, and he is already an older man, but he takes on these responsibilities with pleasure and allows his first son to be laid on Naomi’s lap when the child is born, indicating that legally he is hers, to inherit all that her husband had.

Boaz is a real man. He does not give into his lusts, and takes care of his responsibilities without complaint. Let us train our children to know that this is what a real man looks like, and to eschew any teaching that implies the contrary.

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Why Do We Keep Separating the Men from the Women?


After a particularly great men’s conference, one of my male friends made the following statement. He said, ‘I wish my daughter had been there. I want her to know what kind of man she is to look for, and this speaker made it so clear.’

He has a point. A good one. Why should the other gender not know what the church is saying to their spouse (literal or potential)? Would the men have more of an incentive to be a wonderful man of God if they knew the women had heard the message as well, and were holding them accountable? Would the young girls choose more wisely, and thus motivate the boys to be better husbands, if they had heard what a mature man believes all men could and should be? Why do we keep separating the sexes?

The Pharisee-controlled society of Jesus’ day separated them; but the early church did not. Women supported Jesus’ ministry and sat at His feet to learn. Women were in the Upper Room, and told of the empty tomb. Women ministered with Paul and one taught Apollo along side her husband. With so many examples of the sexes together, why the over-fascination with splitting them up?

The sad truth is that more women probably watched the movie Courageous than men. More women currently attend Bible studies and have daily devotional time. More women work in the church. More women are told that they have to remain pure, but cannot expect this of their future husband. More women settle for men who are not what they should be, and then try to change them once they are married. More women are leading the homes because the man is absent, physically, or emotionally. Our notion of separate, but equal does not work. Men and women are to become one, not separate entities who split the work according to gender roles that make little sense now that there are modern conveniences and the children go off to school. And even if you choose to teach them that way, shouldn’t the other sex know what they can expect?

And our women’s groups seem to be compensating by throwing tea parties and dumbing-down the curriculum choices. Where one could once get fed deeply, a woman is more likely to be required to dress up like a princess at a pre-school party and asked ‘non-judgmental’ questions that have no right answer, rather than examine what the truth is according to God’s Word. Would this occur if the men were invited?

I am tired of women’s conferences that have no meat! (Literally and figuratively- have you seen the menus? Which begs the question: Who decided BBQ and wings were only for men? And how did I miss that meeting?!)

I want my daughters to know what a true man of God should look like, and I want people to stop implying that ‘real men can’t help themselves’ as a motivation to keep them modest. I want the men to stand up and protest any time it is implied that they are animal-like slaves to their hormones, because they don’t want their girls picking a man who is. Sure, modesty is good. But a real man throws his coat over the naked girl and saves her from the burning building without a second glance. He does not ogle her and then blame her for whatever wrong thing he does next.

I also want my sons to know that the good girls make the best wives and that they have no chance of getting them if they are not behaving themselves. I want them to understand that purity is for before marriage, and that girls can and do make the change. False teachings cannot be corrected when one side has no ability to say, ‘That is definitely not true’ and discuss it. Men and women’s roles in today’s society continue to be different- that much is true. But society is changing rapidly and the answer to how we keep up and remain godly lies in communication, not private lectures that are soon forgotten, and occasionally focus on an ideal that could only be achieved in the 1950s or before. Let’s stop playing around and get real.

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