v 11. Now don’t worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman.
Naomi was an essentially practical woman. She wanted to see Ruth settle down and find a caring husband (v 1). Boaz was not the young man Ruth might have fallen for (v 10), but clearly he was an honest and probably wealthy citizen – after all he owned land and employed workers on it. So Naomi hatched a plan to which Ruth agreed. ‘Have a bath, put on your best clothes, dab on the best perfume and get under the corner of his bedclothes.’ (vv 3-4) Not exactly what mother might advise these days! Ruth just got on with it, played the part Naomi had planned for her, and virtuous Boaz dealt with the situation gently.
Boaz’s response to Ruth indicates that she had a good reputation in the town and he was not willing to compromise that, hence Ruth’s departure before dawn. (v 14) She had made her feelings about Boaz known to him, and Boaz now knew enough about Ruth to trust her.
Finding the right partner in life is not generally done like this, but being sure of your man or woman is a vital ingredient in life. Wrong, or unwise, decisions in this area bring a great deal of pain; the other side of the coin is equally true – there is enormous joy when a couple feel they were made for each other and experience both pleasure and harmony in a relationship.
In your prayers today remember families where this joy is not experienced in the way it might. Sometimes love grows cold, and a relationship loses its spontaneous joy. Pray for the hand of God on families that struggle with relationships, that joy and harmony will be rekindled.