Ruth listened to Naomi and did exactly what she said. She wandered into his house after dark. She made her proposal. She woke him up and began begging him to help her.
Boaz sees Ruth’s proposal and immediately does the right thing. He doesn’t condemn her, he doesn’t gloat, instead, he humbly thanks her and tells her the way she is going about this is wrong. Whether it was wrong because of the nature of the proposal, or whether it was simply wrong because someone else should have been asked first, he doesn’t embarrass her. He handles her kindly.
It’s easy when we see someone else who is making a mistake to judge too harshly, criticize, and make them feel bad about themselves. While we may be right to confront sin in the life of someone we care about, the way Boaz goes about confronting Ruth is so beautiful. Here, we see Boaz like Jesus in the New Testament. He could have called her out, slew names at her, made sure she knew how bad she was, and done it all in the name of being “loving enough” to say hard things. He still confronted the error in her ways, but he did it in a way they left her with hope not shame. He did so in a way the emphasized love, not rejection. Like Jesus handled the woman caught in adultery. He told her to sin no more, but he protected her from the social judgment of others.
We could take a page from Boaz’s example here. We need to learn to speak kindly, lovingly, and graciously, even when confronting sin in the lives of those around us. All of our words should be aimed towards building someone up, not tearing them down.