I receive many emails and I am frequently asked these three questions:  How did you know Carl was the one? How do you maintain a healthy relationship? How do you know if he is marriage material? So I wanted to share some of my own personal experience along with a great Biblical based article I found about how to find your Boaz. It’s quite long so bare with me please :).

 

I grew up with dysfunctional relationships all around me and never saw what a healthy one looked like. So my compass for being in a healthy relationship was way off and I was actually not attracted to anything that was healthy. My major relationships were always unhealthy and dysfunctional and I was tired of going around the same mountain. I came to the end of myself and realized this tough woman I thought I was because I fought back whenever I was disrespected by my man, was just delusional and needed healing. I needed a new perspective on how I looked at relationships. I knew I couldn’t look to myself, T.V., movies, books, or a person’s opinions. Everything was too all over the place, everyone had a different perception and different standards at which they would put up with something or not put up with something. I heard everything from: “all men cheat, no one’s perfect, I see his potential, no one can define love because everyone’s definition is different, people change, he’s my soulmate”, I heard it all and I’ve said many of them myself. I asked myself would I want my son to be like any of the men who were my boyfriends? And the answer smacked me in the face like a ton of bricks! No…! I don’t ever want Jaden smoking weed, drinking, hanging in the clubs/lounges, talking to a bunch of women. I want Jaden to be disciplined in areas of life like attending church, reading the Bible, going to school, career, money, health, etc. I want him to know how to communicate in a healthy and loving way, I want him to get help when he needs it. I don’t want him to think it’s ever ok to put his hands on a woman, or curse at her, or put her down, even if she attacks him first. I don’t want him to think cheating is ok, and that looking at or treating women like sexual objects instead of living souls is ok. I want him to take responsibility for all his actions and not to make excuses. I want Jaden to know that he has to answer to God for whatever choices he makes. I knew the person God had for me wouldn’t just be potential. He would already be the man I would want Jaden to be like. Potential is the worst thing to hold onto with a person because it’s a picture we paint ourselves. It has our skewed view because we paint the person as another version of what we want them to be. But the truth is the person in front of you is who they really are and that future potential doesn’t exist. We have to be willing to accept them for who they are today. So how is anyone suppose to know what true love is? What is it suppose to look like? What makes a guy marriage material? Why would God leave us with no definition, no model to look at? That’s when I surrendered, I admitted that my feelings had failed me, that I had no idea what real healthy love looked like. I prayed, and I cried, and I prayed more. And God told me, to stop looking to other people and to myself for answers and pointed me to this verse in His Word… The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?(Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

 

I began to search the Bible for examples of love and marriage and finally found out the truth, and unfortunately it looked nothing like anything I’ve ever seen or heard before. I finally put all my trust in God and it was a painful process. But I healed faster than what I thought. I look back and I realize if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith and didn’t do those necessary things that were painful for a moment, I would have been in pain for the rest of my life because I was holding onto a person God didn’t design for me. I would have continued to push Carl away, because he was my first and only encounter of healthy love, God’s love.  Allow God’s standards to become your standards. Allow His examples of love and marriage to become your compass and your truth, because this world will tell you everything but the TRUTH! Your feelings and thoughts will also lie to you. But if you can align your thoughts and feelings with God’s Word, then you will know that you’re getting what God has for you. The story of Boaz and Ruth in the Bible is one example of what God has left behind for us as a model of whether or not a man is marriage material.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

In order to receive who God has for you, you have to know what to look for. Many women complain that there are no “good men” out here for them, when in reality, many women pass up the good men for the jerks because they cannot tell the difference.

 

Your Boaz should NOT be just about good looks, a nice smile, smooth words, nice job and car, muscular build, fashionable clothes, big connections, etc. If he does have all that, great! But that is NOT what you should be looking for.

 

If you want to recognize the guy that God is sending you, you must think like God. How does God choose? Let’s look at what God said to Samuel when He was selecting a king for Israel.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7)

 

A Modern-Day Boaz via Startmarriageright.com

by Lindsay Blackburn

 My favorite story in the Bible 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. Wait and observe how deep his Christianity goes. Does it show only when you are around, or is it full on all the time? Does he pray with you? Read the Bible with you? Attend church with you? Does he read the Bible, obey scripture, pray, and attend church on his own time? Is he respecting you according to God’s standards?

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. He’s disciplined in work and with money.

  • 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. (If he doesn’t read the Bible and attend church regularly he won’t know how to be this man)

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.

  • He will not abuse you: call you names or put his hands on you ever!

  • Does what is right, even when it’s hard.

  • Respects the authorities in his life.

  • Continually seeks 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.

 

These are some basic things to look for. God will not send you dysfunction or confusion. He will not send abuse or neglect. He will not send you selfishness or immorality. God looks at the heart and He will not send you a Boaz whose heart is not ready to be with you.

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