Trap Church: The Trouble with Ruth & Boaz
If you’re anything like me you find romantic relationship advice repulsive. Far too often I find trolls flooding my timeline attempting to pull us in with their “10 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Healthy” and “8 Reasons to Say I Do.” Why don’t they ever give us something we can use like “99 Ways to Dodge a Fuck Boy,” “21 Excuses to Avoid Listening to His Mixtape,” or “10 Ways to Keep Your Edges and Prosper.”
Please let me know if I require too much; however, if you agree, you may go on reading at this time.
If you have ever been outside of your home, near the internet, or in the parking lot of a church you may be familiar with Boaz. You know, the stranger people are always telling you to wait for. Maybe this just happens where I live. The moment church folk sniff out the fact that you’re single it becomes their sole mission in life to identify your Boaz, and since you wouldn’t mind someone to chill and binge watch ratchet television with you go with it for a while. Hell, Boaz even seems nice at first. You take all of the social cues. You show up to the singles mixer. You begin… the list. Please do not act like you have no idea what I am referring to.
I remember when I started my list. The ladies at the retreat told me to be thorough. I had a full two pages in ten minutes; and, on paper, my husband served life---and since God is in the business of answering prayers I had to make sure I didn’t leave anything out. Unfortunately, as I was writing and editing my list whilst simultaneously waiting on Boaz these old bats forgot to mention their marriages had basically been arranged. You know most of the women trying to marry you off grew up in small towns with a population of 100 so he was the only person in the neighborhood that wasn’t her cousin. They also didn’t have to deal with the way the internet has made dating a melting pot of WTF.
So while you’re out here comparing your dating life to that of a woman who grew up in 1922, looking for Boaz, and editing your list all the Jacobs, Abrams, and Daniels are being snatched up like the big piece of chicken at the cookout; but darling don’t you worry because this testimony sharing I’m doing is meant to edify.
For years, older women and leadership have been pushing this whole Ruth and Boaz paradigm but I am out of Monopoly money; and I no longer have the patience to deal with all the men who think they have a chance because they faithfully attend the noon day service. So, there I was minding my own business when Number Two frolics into my inbox.
Point of Clarification... before I go on let me make it clear this is where we will learn about the trouble with Ruth and Boaz, the implications for young Women being taught to wait on him, and why you should stop preparing for Boaz and get you a Naomi.
Where was I? Oh, yes, Number Two falls out of the sky into my lap; pranced his happy ass into my life when I least expected it. Naturally, I began to refer to the list. Smells good? Check. Looks good? Check. Check. Educated? Says so on his Facebook profile… Check. Employed? Check. Loves God? Check. Car? Check. Well, so far so good.
He had all the right everything which meant he had to be Boaz. Right?! Yeah, no. Like most relationships it went really well for a spell. I even kept it to myself like Black Twitter told me to so that it could have time to mature without interference. He brought out the best in me… until he didn’t. Within a couple of months the lies he sold began to fall apart. The bachelor’s degree was a certification he never finished at a technical school. The job he loved was through a temp agency and it was his fourth in a matter of weeks. The car he drove wasn’t his. His 2000 Acura was parked at his mother’s with some kind of ailment; and if you brought up his past relationships they were all evil and crazy, but it was too late for me. I had fallen. Hard.
I began to make adjustments. Don’t judge me--- I was convinced he was Boaz. Number Two just needed time to work through this season of his life, and since I am a praying woman it must have been my assignment to help him realize his potential. Tuh. I had bought so far into the dream he sold and the lust verbiage of the church that I was forcing this piece of a man into the image the church had nurtured in my head. So I was confused when the half of man standing before me wasn’t enough to complete the picture the church had helped me to draw in my heart.
I wanted so much to be a Proverbs 31 Ruth that I lost sight of where God was calling me. I spent my time focused on becoming the woman Number Two had prayed for. I was devastatingly broken and Number Two was content with our arrangement so he never noticed. I will even go as far as to say that I prayed a king into his destiny and lost the queen along the way---my loyalty to Number Two began to lessen me. I became comfortable with convenience because what if Number Two was my last chance at happy. What if he was Boaz? What if I wasn’t working hard enough, praying hard enough, praising hard enough for my relationship? As a result, I began to question God.
How could this man be Boaz? I’ve read the passages forward, backward, and inside-out. Love doesn’t feel this way. Love isn’t this kind of heavy. It’s heavy but not the kind of heavy that leaves you on the couch for a week without an appetite staring off into the distance. It’s heavy but not the kind that tells you what you’re feeling is crazy and you’re the reason he can’t spend time with you. It’s heavy but not the kind that purposely ignores your calls and leaves you to wonder for days at a time what you could have possibly done wrong. It’s heavy but not the kind that critiques you until you’re left questioning your worth.
One day I knelt down in my prayer closet and cried out to God,
“This man cannot be Boaz.”
And it was then I realized Boaz isn’t even Boaz.
People have turned the book of Ruth into a melodramatic love story and it is; but not in the way they would like it to be. Boaz is often depicted as this super good dude who saved Ruth and then they lived happily ever after. That’s nice and all but that isn’t exactly how the story goes. Boaz is the epitome of a dude caught slipping. If you’re familiar with the story at all… never mind, let me serve you the cliff note version real quick so we’re all on the same page:
Naomi is married to Elimelek. They have two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. Ruth and Orpah are married to Mahlon and Kilion. Elimelek, Naomi’s husband dies. Ten years later, Mahlon and Kilion die. Then it’s just the ladies. Naomi tells Ruth and Orpah to go home to their families. Orpah peaces out. Ruth says no. Ruth vows to stay with Naomi forever, ever. Naomi and Ruth go to Bethlehem. Ruth wants to look out for Naomi so she goes into a field and begins to work it. The field belongs to Boaz, who happens to be kin to Elimelek, the deceased husband of Naomi. Time goes by. Ruth keeps working the field, Boaz tells his people it’s cool, and Naomi begins to plot. Naomi, being the wise woman of God that she is realizes security is important. Naomi sends Ruth in to Boaz in the middle of the night when he is in good spirits. Insert side eye. The next morning Boaz is like, yo, I can’t just let you leave like this. Skip some details. Boaz goes to town to inquire about the land that has been left to Naomi through Elimelek’s death. The land; he asks about the land. The dude next in line for the inheritance is ready to take it but then Boaz throws out that if he takes the land he also has to take Ruth. Insert side eye. Dude, is like nah, I have to take care of my own estate. Boaz is like cool, I’ll keep her. Boaz marries Ruth. God blesses the union with a child. Many years later we get David.
Got it? Read it again to be sure.
Answer this question. How many times in life is a good dude going to wake up with a wife? After the predicament he was put in what else was he going to do except take care of Ruth? Women were property in this context. Ruth has gone into him in the middle of the night. Now, he has no choice but to take care of ole girl. This often happens in middle class neighborhoods. Have you ever heard of the shotgun wedding?
Anyway, Boaz even tried to pass the responsibility on. This was not a man in love. This was a man who set his eyes on the possibilities of acquiring an inheritance. He went to the market after his encounter with Ruth like, “Whose man’s is this?”
One could even argue that he was simply trying to follow protocol but let’s be real here. He wanted someone else to pick up the check. Boaz was like, “Yo, check this out. Naomi done fell through with the plug but I know you been waiting in line for a minute so what’s up? You going in or nah? If not, I’m going to slide through because Ruth isn’t trash and Naomi is the goat.”
Issue: You ask me not to be gold digger then you tell me to model myself after a female Biblical character who married for security.
Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with marrying for security. I am the girl that accidentally fell in love with dude I met online and later found out he was a struggling rapper between staffing agencies. Do you really think I would’ve chosen that circumstance? I mean, yes, those back rubs and sweet words were nice but who was gone keep us warm when the lights got cut off and all we had was his mixtape.
Note: Ladies, in 2016 it is imperative that you have your own. Note 2: If you are an aspiring rapper this is not a shot at you unless you seriously have absolutely no future as an artist because your music is trash.
Note 3: Those aren’t your friends if they haven’t told you.
Note 4: Number Two, if you’re reading this please just leak the mixtape on Twitter.
So, yes, the security marriage is okay in my book, however, these old bats been telling us to wait on Boaz like it’s going to be an epic love story. Something like when Dwayne came for Whitley when she was about to marry the corny dude or when Carrie saw her new closet for the first time. We have been set up for the okie doke. We have been creating lists trying to build this ideal Boaz and the Boaz we have been taught to build can’t even see himself in a tied fourth quarter game with only seconds on the clock. This fantasy does not exist.
Men worth marrying and people in general are more David than Boaz. We make mistakes, we acknowledge them, and we try to grow. There is no man greater than a man that can admit that he is flawed and seek God in repentance. Wait, darling, for that man.
David was humble and repentant, reverent and obedient. He prayed prayers like,
Lord, I’m trash but I’m trying; and I know I can’t do it without you.
That is the kind of man that will love you and me the way that God loves us; a man after God’s own heart. When I finally released Number Two I silently apologized to him. He was terrible to me but I was worse to him because he was never graced to become who I was praying for him to be. I know that now.
Ladies, that trash ass dude who repeatedly visits your DMs talking about what could have been if things had just been different whilst he has a whole ass family sitting in the next room is not the end of the road for you. Think of it this way... YOU could be his family sitting at home thinking everything is beautiful and harmonious meanwhile he’s beating his meat to someone else's videos and nudes in the bathroom because he is unfulfilled and selfish.
Sweetheart, there is hope. Don’t sell yourself short. God blocked him for a purpose. Walk through the fear of what could have been and acknowledge that it will never be again because as long as you sit in it you’re entertaining phantom fantasies missing out on divine appointments and realities. And yes, I know, that’s deep.
Someone tell the very black, very loud choir this is their cue on the Grace, Faith, & Gangster Vol. 1 Mixtape.