Another thing to Boaz’s credit, what he did was not easy. From a strictly instinctual view point, he’s an older guy who has a beautiful, young, and reputable woman throw herself at him and beg him to marry her. He could have. He could have married her and had her as his wife. He clearly cares for her. From the day they met he gave her extra food, and in this chapter gives her a few months worth of food. He cared for her and desired her. Then she shows up in his room throwing herself at him. It would have been so easy to have what he wanted, a beautiful wife, a son to take over the family business, and maybe some companionship in this life.
Boaz didn’t do the easy thing, he did the right thing. He did the right thing. He tells her how honored he is, and how much he would love to marry her, and be with her, but someone else is in line before her. There was another man who had to refuse before he could seize the opportunity.
Culturally we don’t get this very well. We pick our own spouses to the idea of being in love with someone and saying no because someone else has first rights seems crazy. Historically, it isn’t. Boaz was allowed to work a deal with the man, he was allowed to help make this happen, but ultimately it was not his place and he had to seek approval.
A lot of times in our lives we’re given two options; an easy way and a right way. The easy way usually promises the thing that you want, but it usually costs you more than you know or can imagine. The easy way is usually louder, more in your face, and seems like the way to go. Then there is the right way. Unfortunately the right way is rarely an easy way. It’s usually more difficult and requires us to trust the results to God. There is always an easy way and then there is a right way.
Boaz wanted to be with Ruth, and it would have been easy, but it would have cost him his integrity. It would have cost him his relationships and even his community. It would have been easy but it also would have been costly.
He decided to do the hard thing. He told her they would go through the proper channels. He would speak with the man who had rights to marry her. He would do the hard, right thing to help ensure that when God finally blessed him with Ruth, it would be in the right way.
What easy choices have you made? What compromises have you made at work, with your family, finances, priorities, and time to get what you want? What can you do this week to start doing the right things?