In these days when we can find a date with the quickness of a swipe or a tap or a click, it seems like finding a genuine relationship is next to impossible. I think we can relate to the fear that Tobias has about entering into marriage with Sarah. Although most of us aren’t exactly afraid of dying on our wedding night, we always carry a small fear whenever we enter into a new relationship that something will go wrong. This can often lead to us sabotaging ourselves without even realizing it.
In the summer, I was asked out on a date from someone I met at church, but when he called to tell me he was coming to pick me up, he mentioned that his family was in an emergency situation. I told him that we can have our date another time and to stay with his family. However, I ended up crying after ending the call because I saw that minor obstacle as an omen that things weren’t going to work out with this guy. I was ready to give up on him before he could ever get a chance to prove himself.
It wasn’t until I talked to some friends that I realized how selfish I was acting. I was punishing this guy for something completely out of his control. While I was able to go out on that date a week later, the cynicism I had ended up costing me in the long run because the guy never called after our second date and I haven’t seen him around since that summer. Something I learned from that experience, however, is to not make dating an all-or-nothing situation. In the passage from Ruth, we see that Ruth is grateful for Boaz’s kindness, but doesn’t think there is anything more behind his actions. She accepts his kindness at face value. Never does she think that she owes him anything more than her gratitude. I also learned the importance of having friends to confide in when you’re dating.
Once Tobias was assured that things will work out with him and Sarah, he was completely open to marrying her. In a similar way, it’s not until Ruth realizes how important Boaz is that she starts falling in love with him. Both of them relied on the help of wise friends.
Proverbs 12:26 says “The just act as guides to their neighbors, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Make sure that your friends help you out in your relationships by keeping you from being emotionally overwhelmed or expecting too much. Good friends will also be honest with you when they know that something is wrong.
STUDY QUESTIONS: Do your friends help you understand your relationships better or do they tend to sabotage things or put you into a mindset in which you end up sabotaging yourself? Do you have friends who seem to flatter you and just tell you what you want to hear or do your friends have a good balance of support and honesty? Someone I follow on Twitter said “Don’t just surround yourself with people who validate what you already think you are. Real support is honesty.” How can you balance out honesty and validation in your friendships?