A True Man
Manliness is one of my favorite topics. It’s also an extremely confusing one. If you listen to the world, there are a hundred different voices telling you what a man is. God has a voice as well.
This week Boaz took to the stage as we entered chapter two of Ruth. Boaz is a true man. He is a man who loves his God, is a provider and protector, and is kind and gracious.
A TRUE MAN LOVES GOD
The first time we see Boaz he is returning from a trip, probably a business trip. He greets his employees with a blessing! Now that might not be as readily acceptable in our culture, but you can still be a blessing. You can greet people with encouragement. Don’t be a Debbie Downer! And furthermore, he knows his people and business. He immediately notices Ruth is not part of the normal group of people in his fields. He may have spotted her because he thought she was attractive, but when you look at the report his field supervisor gives him there is more to it. He doesn’t just tell him who she was but tells him her character. Boaz cares about his people and he cares about the outsider, the down trodden. Men, you need to be able to say as Paul did, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV)
PROVIDER AND PROTECTOR
A true man might be well represented by an anchor. When life and the world pushes this way and that like the waves, the anchor keeps the ship securely in spot. You also need to be secure and locked down. This will help you provide and protect. A woman, your friends, they will all know that they can count on you and that gives people security. After learning about Ruth he goes and talks to her (he initiates). He tells her that he has ordered his men not to harass her. She is safe while she stays in the company of his people. He further orders his men to draw water for her. This might sound like chivalry in action, but this actually bucks culture where it is women who draw water for the men. Remember how Abraham’s servant found a wife for Isaac? Read Genesis 24. Men, we have more than just an example in Boaz to provide and protect; we have a command. Paul charges us, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8 ESV) He has denied the faith and is worse than unbeliever. Let that sink in!
GRACIOUS AND KIND
A true man goes above and beyond. If the average person is willing to do a certain level of kindness, then he will do a step above. He is setting the bar higher. Boaz invites Ruth to join him for dinner. She is an outsider collecting leftovers and he brings her in and has her eat amongst his people. Then he tells his men that going forward to let her collect anywhere and in fact to leave some bundles of wheat for her. Just as the Lord shows kindness to draw us to repentance (Romans 2:4), men, we are commanded, “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV) God uses our kindness to draw people to repentance!
Let me leave you with one last thought on manliness. Today we have put off manhood for far too long. Too many males stay in an extended period of adolescence. Step up and become a man. You are going to need your brothers to make this journey and they need you. Right now you have some guys in your life wanting desperately to be men. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17 ESV) Society needs it and your God demands it. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV)
Post by Chris Bowers