Queen in Gold
You’re either reading this because you’re convinced a woman should NOT make the first move and you’re hoping I’ll add some substance to your beliefs, or you want to invite some guy for coffee and you’re hoping I’m going to give you permission.
Honestly, I’m old-fashioned; I like the idea of the guy making the first move.
I started pondering this concept, trying to figure out if there’s even any biblical support for it and I happen to believe there is. BUT there’s also Ruth and her successful first-move-making story.
For a full biblical perspective, I think it will be best if we start there.
The story of Ruth
The book of Ruth is a beautiful love story and a mere 4 chapters long. It won’t take you that long to read, but here’s a recap anyway:
Ruth, a young Moabite widow, finds herself in Israel after marrying into a Jewish family. As a poor, foreign girl she needs to go out and look for food for herself and her elderly mother-in-law.
Like a movie plot, Ruth ends up picking up leftover grain in a field belonging to Boaz, a far-off family member of her late husband. Boaz was one of Ruth’s guardian redeemers.
“A what?” you might say.
According to the Jewish customs of that time, if a man died leaving his widow childless; one of his family members was obligated to marry her to give her the children her husband never did.
We see something of Boaz’s character; he was caring and protective towards Ruth. We also know Boaz admires Ruth for leaving her homeland to care for her mother-in-law. There is, however, not much talk about Boaz’s redeeming obligation towards Ruth until...
Her mother-in-law decides to intervene.
She lets Ruth take a bath, put on perfume, and get dressed in her best clothes. Then she instructs her to go to the threshing floor at night, where Boaz would lay down after he had eaten and drank enough to be in “good spirits” (Ruth 3:7).
Ruth was to go lie down at his feet!
Let’s be honest. This was a bit more scandalous than your subtle Christian-girl kind of move.
When Boaz awoke in the middle of the night, startled by the girl in his bed, Ruth innocently reminded him of his responsibility as guardian-redeemer of their family. He was a man of good character, so we don’t read about any funny business happening that night.
But he was a man, who woke up to a pretty girl at his feet. So the next day Boaz got his ducks in a row and arranged to marry Ruth.
In terms of first move making; Ruth pretty much nailed it. And the whole story is written in the Bible!
Context and application
Context is an important word when it comes to interpreting Scripture. The Bible was written in a different day and age from the one we live in. It was also written about and for specific people. This certainly doesn’t mean it can’t be applied to our lives, but all these things should be taken into account before drawing any conclusions.
Let’s look at a few specifics in the Ruth story:
Ruth received counsel in her actions from her mother-in-law. It wasn’t even her own idea.
Most of my attempts at drawing a guy’s attention in my single years were very much my own idea and often something I was a little bit embarrassed to admit to the wise counselors in my life.
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14
You might find yourself in a similar situation; for some unknown reason the guy you like just doesn’t seem to do anything.
I believe that if a man is certain about a girl; he’ll do something about it. Yet, my only substance for this belief is the way I’ve seen it play out in my own and my friend’s lives.
But undeniably, the story of Ruth reveals that SOMETIMES guys just need a little nudge...
“How do you expect a man to lead you in a relationship if he has not led you into it?”