The Girl’s Still Got It: Chapter 6

Bible Study Blog "The Girl's Still Got It"
Chapter Six: “A Different Kind of Dinner Date”
Ruth 2:8–17

Midway through every well-plotted novel or movie, the hero and/or heroine reaches a point of no return and takes a brave step forward, closing the door to all that came before. We’re there, beloved.

Ruth has gleaned, Boaz has noticed her, and now they stand face to face. Though Boaz appears to be the one blessing Ruth, we’re reminded, “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). Once again, we see God at work behind the scenes, prompting Boaz to be generous, and reminding Ruth to be grateful.

1. a. Professor Katharine Doob Sakenfeld neatly sums up our hero: “Boaz is at once the upright citizen, the helpful relative, and the unmarried land owner.” Of these three roles that Boaz plays in the lives of Naomi and Ruth, is one more important than the others, or are all three of equal value? Why do you say that?
I think they’re all equally vital roles. Since the whole town respects Boaz, Ruth feels safe with him from the start. As a relative of Naomi’s late husband, he is in a position to assist the women. Though wealthy men often took more than one wife, Boaz’s unmarried status means he is free to claim a bride and be an honorable husband to her. And, because he owns land, Boaz can provide a proper home for her. God knew exactly what he was doing when he brought Ruth and Boaz together.

1. b. How does the Lord Jesus fulfill similar roles in your life—as a citizen of heaven, as your helpful brother, and as your bridegroom who is preparing a place for you?
When I think of all the ways Boaz represents our Lord Jesus, I get goose bumps—or “bumps of goose,” as my translator in Thailand phrased it a few years back. Either way, the prospect is thrilling!

Philippians 3:20 assures us, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” He reigns there, he is worshiped there, and we can trust him to safely convey us there. Where Christ lives now, we shall live forever: “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3). A solid fact without a hint of “maybe.”

Remarkably, Jesus claims us as his family: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50). I have three older brothers and two older sisters who kept an eye on me from the day I was born. Had I not been such a rebel, I might have reached out to any of them for help during my Bad Girl years. But only Jesus had the power to save me, and so he did.

As our heavenly bridegroom, Jesus promises, “I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Can you imagine what that celestial home will be like? A few years ago I read My Dream of Heaven, a nineteenth-century classic by Rebecca Ruter Springer. It’s not the sort of book I usually reach for, but I found her description of heaven comforting. Whether her vision is fiction or fact matters not; the real thing will be infinitely more than we can ever hope or imagine.

2. a. Boaz generously provides for Ruth with no apparent expectation of any return on his investment. The command found in Deuteronomy 15:11 may account in part for Boaz’s kindness. So might Proverbs 11:25. How would you explain his motivation?
Boaz is certainly “openhanded…toward the poor and needy” (Deuteronomy 15:11). And we saw from his earlier greeting to his farm workers and their joyful response that the idea of “he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25) is a reality in the life of Boaz. Yet, judging by his actions and words, Boaz seems utterly unconcerned about how he might benefit from being generous. It’s not about him, at any level. His motivation is of the purest nature, which suggests it’s the Lord’s generosity, pouring through his servant, Boaz.

Even so, I think Boaz truly loves blessing others. He’s that “cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7) Paul writes about, with the spiritual gift of “contributing to the needs of others” (Romans 12:8). Again, it’s our generous God, working through Boaz.

What It Means to Be Generous

2. b. Think of a time when you made a contribution prompted by guilt. Perhaps another time when you made a donation with a tax advantage in mind. Or maybe you gave to a cause that brought you some attention or recognition.
Oh, dear. It would almost be easier to mention the few times I gave without one of the above situations coming into play. But that wasn’t the question asked, so I need to be honest with myself and with you, and confess a recent example.

I was at a Women of Faith conference, sitting with the other speakers, watching the World Vision video with tears in my eyes. A wonderful cause, a trustworthy ministry. At day’s end, I hurried into the lobby and claimed the packet of a child from Ethiopia, delighted to pledge my support. So far so good. Guilt was surely part of the motivation, yet I hope compassion was a factor too. Surprisingly, the tax advantage didn’t even cross my mind.

Now, if only I’d kept my mouth shut and simply listened for God’s soft whisper, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21). Instead I looked for the first opportunity to casually mention to my speaking sisters, “I just sponsored a child…”

Groan. What was that about? It was about being prideful. About wanting to fit in. About hoping to be seen as generous. In a word, it was horrid. Not the giving…the telling. I’m still very glad I chose to sponsor a child, but my motivation wasn’t 100% pure.

Please, please forgive me, Lord. Help me open my wallet and close my mouth. 

Contrast those experiences with an instance in which you gave without anyone knowing about it.
I can think of such an instance. But if I tell you about it, that will ruin everything! I’ll just say that it was God’s idea, and for once I was quietly obedient. The memory of that day is sweet, unlike the sour taste I had in my mouth after blurting out what a good and giving girl I was. If I can keep that comparison in mind it might help me keep my giving—make that God’s giving through me—well hidden.

Why does Matthew 6:3–4 encourage us to be both generous and anonymous?
That’s how we keep our motives pure: by giving in secret, by telling no one, by asking our names to be left off the donor list, by passing on the perks that being generous can sometimes bring. Our accountant needs to know, but no one else does. And the reward doesn’t come in a refund check from the IRS; it comes from the Lord.

3. a. David repeatedly turned to the vivid imagery of a bird gathering its chicks under its wings to describe how God nurtures and protects his own.
On page 84 of the text I mention this photo being bantered about on the Internet:

Two Birds Beneath His Wings

Perfect, isn’t it? Of the verses listed from the book of Psalms, I find 36:7 most comforting: “How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Each phrase offers encouragement. God’s love never fails and is beyond price, yet he offers his love to us as a gift. Everyone at every level of society who runs to his side is made welcome. He protects, hides, comforts, and provides. No one, not even Boaz, comes close. Only God.

3. b. What aspect of being beneath his wings most appeals to you? Is it the closeness? The assurance of protection? The physical warmth? The sense of being hidden from view? The peacefulness?
I suppose it would be cheating to say, “All of the above” (smile). I didn’t actually list the aspect that most appeals to me, and that’s the sense of his presence. I love knowing I am never alone.

How is that essential need for intimacy currently being met in your life?
I lived alone all through my twenties and was truly happy doing so. Then, when I married my husband and welcomed him into my little urban nest in my thirties, I suddenly realized I was glad to have someone who loved me living under the same roof. Clearly the Lord brought about that change in me. I was content to be alone in my single years and pleased to have company when I married. Either way, I knew I wasn’t truly alone—ever.

If this need isn’t being met in your life, what’s an appropriate and meaningful way for that longing to be satisfied? And how might you put that in motion?
Though this question doesn’t apply to me, I’ll add that I still seek time alone with the Lord. My husband tells me he needs that too. Time to think, to read the Word in silence, to listen for God’s voice, to consider his counsel. Could be an hour, could be a whole day apart. I love my man, and he loves me, but we both love the Lord above all. Like the two wee birds in the photo above, we both seek the shelter of God’s wings.

Now its your turn to leave a comment at the bottom of our blog, perhaps sharing the answer to one of the questions that impacted you most, or a memorable truth you’ve learned from Ruth 2:8–17.

We’re at the halfway point, girlfriend, and will reach the end at Thanksgiving. I’m already thankful for you, and can’t wait to hear what you’ve learned. Blessings on your week!

Your sister, Liz

58 Responses to The Girl’s Still Got It: Chapter 6

  1. Linda Casella October 10, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Oh Liz you have made my day. I love the book of Ruth and you have given me much to think about.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2012 at 11:18 am #

      Thinking is a good thing, Linda! Blessed to have you with us.

  2. Sue October 10, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    am still a chapter behind, but i just wanted to make a comment on the picture beneath your wings. I was lucky to have a mother who encourage me to spread my wings. We feel so comfortable under her wings that sometimes it is hard to let go. Now as am older I have realize my faith and how God’s hands helps guide me and gives me the strength to spread my wings. Thanks Liz for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this bible study each week. Am learning alot.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      No worries about being behind, Sue. This blog will live on my website permanently, so read and post as time permits. I receive an email alert anytime someone leaves a comment on any of the weeks, so you can be sure I’ll be here for you when you post! As to spreading our wings, that’s certainly one of the challenges of being a mother–not clipping our chidren’s wings such that they can’t fly, yet not shoving them out of the nest too soon!

  3. Cathy Gross October 10, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Tucked next to God’s heart, nestled under His wing..what a place to be! And Boaz elicits that same sense of safety and security. His motives were pure. His thoughts were not for his gain but protecting others…he walked out his faith. When I was a young woman I met a man like this. He taught me all about God by action and never took advantage. Ruth could trust Boaz completely. She was safe in his care…just as we are with Jesus. No matter how far we fly, we are still tucked under His wing. Oh how I like it there!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      How wonderful that you met a Boaz at a young age, Cathy. Many of us met a man who was quite the opposite (my hand is up). Sadly, that negative experience may have made us fearful or cynical or vengeful, depending on our personalities. But God has a gentle way of softening our hearts such that we can trust again. What a loving Lord we serve! And YES, it’s grand to be tucked beneath his wings.

    • Clp October 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

      When you are in a season of the worst of times, it is so comforting to know we are never alone. God will never let go of us.

      • Janet October 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm #


  4. Helen Badman October 10, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    Years ago a wise woman said that a mother bird had to push her babes from the nest, to get them to fly and live. At the time my children were both gone and I had a serious case of “empty nest” . Reading that made me realize that while they had to leave to live, I would be harming them if I didn’t let them go… so I trusted God that He was giving them their “wings” and so must I.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2012 at 11:27 am #

      As I mentioned above, Helen, I’m so with you on that nesting experience! May our grown children fly like eagles (and stop by the nest now and again for a good visit).

      • Clp October 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

        Amen Sister!

  5. Vicki October 10, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Giving anonymously, for some reason, is very important to me. I don’t like seeing the long lists of donors in different newsletters. What do you think God thinks of those lists?

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2012 at 11:32 am #

      Well, we know from his Word what God thinks of those lists! Good for you, Vicki, giving on the QT. As our Scripture from this week’s study taught us, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:3-4

      • Clp October 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

        I will certainly be working on this.

  6. Janet Francis October 10, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Thank you so much for this bible study. I love the book of Ruth. I am trying very hard to only say what I feel and know about my life with Christ. I know He has blessed me in so many ways. Someone on FB once asked ” Do you really feel what you post or are you only posting how you want people to see you ?” Since then I have tried to only post what I believe about myself. I know that I love the Lord with all my heart and soul and we pray every day that this world would come back to Him knowing all the time that it won’t happen.

    • Clp October 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      I was made aware of posting things on FB to make myself look better. Sometimes I wish I could post anonymously. I want to spread seeds for Christ but I don’t want people to think I’m bragging about being a forgiven sinner.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      Oh my. Those words cut me to the quick (which is a good thing, if a little scary). One of the reasons I want to be completely honest on this blog is so you won’t see me as someone who has it all together, because I definitely do not! I also hope to encourage others to speak truthfully as well. Bless you for sharing this, Janet.

  7. Janet Prox October 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Whew! I am finally caught up. We went to Ireland on a tour and it put me behind the 8 ball so to speak. I found catching up a lot of fun as it was a constant on my mind. This weeks lesson has found me giving thanks and feeling joy to have someone care enough to help out in a tough situation and to feel the Lord’s provision through His servants. Thanks for the way you are breaking down this book and story. I have been learning a lot and feeling closer to my Lord at the same time.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Welcome home from Ireland, Janet! A perfectly lovely reason to be away from our study. So proud of you for catching up. If you are learning more and leaning into the Lord, then this book is doing what I prayed it might do!

  8. Shelly K October 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    I have a 6 month little boy and after reading today’s chapter I find myself praying that God will show me how to raise him to be a Boaz! I can’t imagine how proud Rahab must have been of her son.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:27 am #

      What a truth that is, Shelly! And how wonderful to be raising a son with that goal in mind. God bless you, every step of the way.

  9. Janet October 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    In this chapter I liked what I read on p. 83 “Ruth’s history is of no concern to Boaz because it’s of no concern to God.”
    A couple of paragraphs later: “Just as Boaz is looking to the future, we must do the same, beloved. Whatever we’ve done and wherever we’ve come from, let’s claim this day for the Lord and move forward, leaving our past behind in Moab.”

    I am so grateful that God can make us new again. I’m glad to be under His wings–where I can feel His presence no matter where I am.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Aren’t you dear to point out those lines in particular? Here’s the wild thing for me: I remember what I was thinking and feeling when I wrote those lines. The time of day, the slant of the light coming through my writing study windows, the sense of God’s presence in the room. If I ever write anything worth remembering, give the Lord all the glory, because I can assure you, he is the One who formed those words in my heart!

  10. Kelly October 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    I still can’t wrap my mind around God’s grace. It’s just too big!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      Absolutely HUGE, Kelly! “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” John 1:16

    • carol October 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm #


  11. Dr. Laurel Shaler October 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    This was another awesome chapter! I do agree that pride can come into our sharing our “good deeds” with others. At the same time, I think it can encourage others to give as well. I think the bottom line is what is our true motive. Even though Boaz enlisted others to help (so they knew what he was doing), his intentions were pure. That’s awesome. God does the same thing…He uses others to help us and He uses us to help others. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:35 am #

      You’ve offered a wise perspective on giving, Laurel. It really does come down to a heart issue. And our giving definitely can inspire others. Knowing my speaking sisters were sponsoring several children certainly inspired me to begin doing so. So, it’s not always bad to say, “Here’s what I’m doing.” As you pointed out, Boaz’s workers knew what their employers was up to, and it did not diminish the power of his generosity one bit. I just know when I’m encouraging and when I’m…well…bragging. Please, Lord, may it be lots more of the former and a lot less of the latter!

      • Steffennie December 28, 2012 at 4:17 am #

        I definitely agree that sponsoring a child and talking about it can be encouraging. I first heard about World Vision at a Casting Crown’s concert. My heart broke and a friend of mine and myself decided then to sponsor a child. Now, when I hear that people want to get involved in a ministry outside the church that helps children I always suggest World Vision.
        My little boy just turned 6. He lives in Malawi. I found out last year that he’s HIV positive, but thanks to God touching my heart he’s able to get medicine to keep him healthy. I’m not trying to brag at all. I just want to encourage people to get involved. I cherish every update, picture, or simple little notes that he sends me. I just pray that someday I’ll meet this boy. I already feel like he’s my son. It has to be God, because how else can you love someone so completly that you’ve never met?

  12. Sherry October 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    Liz, I love the imagery of the bird gathering the chicks under her wings that you shared with us. The aspect that appeals most to me would be His closeness. Knowing that God is always there, with me through every situation, gives me such a peace that only He can give. His closeness also gives me a sense of His warmth and protection.
    I also liked the idea of making a mental list at the end of the day, not of the things that went wrong but of the things that went right! What a great way to end the day by focusing and being thankful for the many blessing, big or small, God gives us each day! Thanks for sharing the verses … Eph. 4:6 “God is over all and through all and in all.” and Eph. 3:20 ….Almighty who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. These are great verses to remember especially during trials.
    Seeing how God is working through Boaz, to minister to Ruth, is a small glimpse of God’s love for us… caring, loving, protecting, ….. similar to the image of the bird gathering the chicks under her wings. Thanks Liz for yet another great lesson from the book of Ruth!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      It’s truly God’s Word and God’s lessons, yet I do love being on this journey with you. I’m glad the list idea has appeal. I’m still doing something I mentioned a few weeks back, and that’s reading a verse of Scripture just before I got to sleep and first thing when I wake up. Got it right there next to my alarm clock. What a difference that is making in how I start and end the day! Even my dreams are sweeter and less troubled. Thank you, Lord!

    • bonnie r. October 17, 2012 at 9:13 am #

      Making a daily list of my blessings helps keep me humble & grateful while bringing me a warm feeling of being protected & loved by God.

  13. hilary adams October 11, 2012 at 3:11 am #

    I have read several of your books, and when I saw this book on Ruth I rushed to buy it. Liz you have such a gift with words, you are a true blessing. I started to read and only found your blog this week. Thank you so much for your encouragement. Johannesburg is very much a me me me kind of city. He with the biggest and best toys wins. . . . so you are a cool quiet place to rest.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 11, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      We’re so glad to have you with us, Hilary! I’ve been to Jo’burg twice and have a sense of what you mean. The gap between the rich and the poor there is HUGE, with luxury car dealerships right next to the townships, with their cardboard houses and tin roofs. Of course, our American lifestyle has been me-me-me for decades. I fear what you are experiencing now is yet another western import. I love South Africa and its people especially, and am honored to know this blog is ministering to some of our sisters there. Ruth has much to teach us all.

  14. Becky Frith October 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    41 years ago God brought my “Boaz” into my life and I would like to brag on him a minute. An example of giving in secret happened just his week.When my husband went out to the mailbox he found money scattered about the yard and flower bed! It came to thirty dollars and we have no idea from whence it came. Sunday at church Don put the money into an envelope earmarked for clearing the church mortgage. In the place where he would have listed his name as the giver, he put “The wind”! This is not the first time he has given anonymously without thought of a tax deduction. It was truly a “Windfall” and only belonged to God. For me it is the sense of security and safety that makes me appreciate being under God’s wings and I know that God gave me my husband as a way to keep me safe and loved, just as He gave us Jesus.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 17, 2012 at 6:53 am #

      Love that story, Becky! A perfect example of a Boaz in action.

  15. Reeda Francis October 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Liz I have your book on Ruth on my Kindle I have’nt read all of it yet . Iove your way of explaining each thing that happens to Ruth and your own experiences. I am not that outspoken but the Lord is working on me every day. Your comment about reading a Scripure before you go to sleep and when you wake up should be all our goals. Keep up the good work and we will give God all the Glory.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 17, 2012 at 7:02 am #

      So glad you are reading along with us, Reeda. And yes, all the glory for every good work we do goes to God. I’m thinking my Scripture verse for tonight/tomorrow will be this one: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

  16. Brandi Luiz October 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    HI Liz, A little late in commenting this week, but here nonetheless. I was intrigued with the “hidden from view” aspect of being beneath HIS wings. I am a loud gal, loud laugh, loud voice, loud loud loud. I get teased alot for it and sometimes to be honest I get my feelings hurt, because I don’t mean to be obnoxious, I’m just more “loud” than other people. But thinking about being “hidden from view” is wonderful! I think I would long for that presence with HIM, being hidden and protected and peaceful is crazy wild for me to ponder, and for this I shall pray. Thanks Liz, love your blog, your books and your tweets! :~)

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 17, 2012 at 7:06 am #

      Brandi, I understand exactly what you are saying! I’m also…um…expressive (!), and so the idea of being hidden has real appeal to me as well. The other verse that speaks to my heart is Zephaniah 3:17, which says among other things, “he will quiet you with his love.” What a comforting thought!

  17. Deb V October 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    I also like the image of being tucked under God’s wing. To be protected by God and to know that he is always with me is very comforting. God’s love for us never fails. In the book of Ruth, I love how Boaz took Ruth under his care. He made sure she was protected from harm and that extra grain was put in her path so that she could provide for herself and Naomi. He truly was a redeemer for both women.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 17, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      I agree, Deb. Any good man might provide for and protect a woman who is to be his bride, but Boaz goes the extra mile, taking care of Naomi as well. I think God is showing us through Boaz that he cares equally for his chosen people, Israel, and for all those he has chosen to graft in. I’m so grateful to be part of the family, aren’t you?

  18. Kathy Welch October 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    I love the thought of “communion” in verse 14, chapter 2…….”have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar…” Such a beautiful picture of Ruth at her lord’s table and us with our Lord Jesus Christ being lavishly provided for. It reminds me of these words from the song “One Thing Remains”. “God’s love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.”

    • Linda H October 15, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      Love that song!! I repeat those words after I hear it over and over.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 17, 2012 at 7:16 am #

      Yes, a great song, and a great truth: “Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8

  19. Linda H October 15, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Psalm 57:1-3 from the Message Bible: Be good to me, God and now!. I’ve run to you for dear life. I’m hiding out under your wings until the hurricane blows over” I am so thankful there is shelter under His wings when the winds blow and blow. This Bible
    study is opening my eyes to His care and what He has given me. He brought my “Boaz” into my life 39 years ago. His recent heart attack and the storm we have been in these last few weeks has shed so much light on His love and care for me. He knew this Bible study would lead me and help me see those very things. Thank you LIz for your faithfulness in leading us to His word.

    • Kathy Welch October 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

      Linda H, I read your post, stopped and prayed for the healing of your “Boaz,” and for peace and shelter until the storm passes by.

      • Linda H October 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

        Thanks so much for your prayers. I am sorry I just saw this.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 17, 2012 at 7:21 am #

      God’s timing is always exquisite. Thank you for sharing what you’re going through, Linda, and Kathy, bless you for praying. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

  20. Betsy October 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    The bird photo is adorable. We raise chickens and the mother hen is a very protective female indeed! She, too, covers and protects her little chicks from the elements and predators. A wonderful imagery. I have felt the Lord protecting me in many was, and was completely at peace during a violent, physical personal attack. I knew He was guarding my life.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 17, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      Betsy, I am SO sorry you have been through that harrowing experience! Grateful to hear you had peace through your ordeal and a sense of God’s protection. Whew. And yes, I love that bird photo too. Sure wish I could give the photographer credit. It’s a beautiful, colorful image of love and protection. “I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” Psalm 57:1

  21. bonnie r. October 17, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    (1.b, 3.a, b) I approached being single from a different perspective than Naomi. Growing up with an unaffectionate father, I sought – emotionally – for a replacement in each of my relationships with men. Foolishly feeling that my main goal in life was to be a wife & mother – I withdrew from college before ever attending (I later re-enrolled at the age of 46 & took night classes while working during the day). After suffering through many years of 3 failed abusive marriages by doing things my way, I finally sought the Lord’s help & his plan for my life. In what can only be described as a “God-thing”, my compulsion & desire for a marriage mate disappeared, seemingly overnight, without my even realizing it & I have been single for the last 24 years . Jesus became my “bridegroom” when I “returned” to him – my eyes were opened to the love for me of both my physical & heavenly fathers & I realized that I could have a happy life without being married. It’s hard to understand why, after accepting Christ at the age of 13, it took so long for me to learn my lesson, lose my stubborness, & reach out to God. I have asked for forgiveness from God, & also from my children – for subjecting them to that difficult period in their lives. I am so grateful that God protected me through all those years of numerous crises & gave me peace when I “returned” to the “shadow of his wings”.
    (2.a) I feel Boaz’s kindness was motivated by his love for God.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs October 17, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      Only the Lord knows why some of us have to do things the hard way (I sure am a prime example!), but if the end result is being utterly sold out to Christ, then however rocky the path was getting there, it was worth it all. I’m guessing you feel the same way, Bonnie. Now we have to trust him to use the foolishness and faithlessness of our past in the the lives of those around us, covering our sins with his grace. As I quote in Week 7 of our study, “I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:16

      • bonnie r. October 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

        Finding peace through Christ has, indeed, been worth the agony I put myself through before arriving there. 1 Timothy 1:16 – what a perfect verse! My prayer is that the peace I have found will be an example for others who have yet to find it.

  22. Linda Carpenter October 28, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    I have always agreed that works should be done in secret when possible. But then there is Mathew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” So, maybe, like everything in life, there is a time to speak and a time to be quiet. I keep praying I know the difference even when sharing the love of Christ. Or prayer…do we only do it when we go in our room and close the door? Yet we benefit from prayer together. I’ve even heard some who have been thanked for setting an example by praying in resturants before their meal. Praise God, He knows our heart and understands our motives! I, too, most like the image of the bird reminding me that he is ever near…not just near but close to his heart!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      You’ve made a very valid (and scriptural!) point, Linda. Our good deeds will invariably show, even if we don’t draw attention to them. I think the key is Who gets the glory. As Matthew reminds us, our works are to glorify the Father, not us. As long as that’s what’s in our minds and hearts, we’re good to go!

  23. Michele Lemiere November 27, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Boaz as the perfect representation of our Lord. Jezus is an upright citizen in heavan, a helpful relative for me and the brigegroom Who prepares my place in heaven. All thiese without asking anything in return since I cannot do anything to earn it. Thank You Jesus.

  24. Steffennie December 28, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    I love this study. It’s really the only way that I get to be a part of a Bible study. I really appreciate the work that you do Liz and the other comments are a blessing, too. Thank you to everyone who contributes.
    In this chapter I felt like the biggest truth I found was that no matter how desperate our situation may be God sees us. He has a plan of provision. He’ll never leave us or forsake us no matter what we do or say. For me that’s beyond comforting and brings a special kind of peace to my heart.
    The only other time that I feel a peace that strong is when I play my flute. It’s definitely a gift from God. I only had lessons for a short time. I knew how to play the B flat scale and “Hot Cross Buns” when we started homeschooling. I loved to play though, so I taught myself. If you talk to instructors and other musicians you’ll find out that the flute is one of the hardest instruments to learn to play. I’m not bragging, because that’s how I know it’s a God thing. Everything I taught myself came from Him. Playing in church was what I wanted. My pastor gave me a hymnal and said when you can play 1/2 of this you can play on stage. So, with God’s help and my parents and grandmother I learned every song in the hymnal in a month. The pastor was shocked and said I was a genuis. I said no, but God is. When I had hand surgery I was told I would probably never be able to hold my flute again and yet I did. I think it’s because God knew all along the peace that it would bring me. Right now I can’t play at our church (it’s a different one) and am stuck only playing at home. But when I play all my stress, doubts, and anything else bad is gone. I’m sitting in throne room of heaven. Jesus is on the throne and I’m at His feet. Every note brings me peace and gives Him glory.
    Not sure why I shared that, but maybe it’s a God thing because I just started typing and that’s where it went. Hopefully it encourages someone. Remember that no matter what you’re never alone and nothing is ever impossible with God. After all He’s the master of making the impossible possible.