Give me a biblical example of a good husband.
It was something I asked God one night. And I was glad I had approached Him on the matter, because my son voiced a similar question soon after. When I first prayed about it, two men came to mind; Boaz from the book of Ruth, and Joseph, Mary’s husband and earthly father to Jesus. Because there’s a little more information on Boaz, I chose to focus on him and his attributes. If you’re unfamiliar with the story start there—read the book of Ruth in the Bible.
Who is Boaz? And what makes him special? Here’s five traits to look for.
1. He is man of worth.
Chapter 2 of Ruth is where we first hear about Boaz. Told he is a relative of Naomi (Ruth’s mother-in-law), he is called a worthy man. Now, some translations say great wealth, but if you go to the original language, the transliteration of the descriptor is words like force, strength, might, ability, or wealth. As you can see those words have more to do with quality of character than possessions. It’s important to note the significance of this trait during this time frame, because it takes place during the time of Judges, which means Boaz lived in a time when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6, 21:25). Boaz must’ve made quite the contrast against lesser men. He was a man of worth, living in a time of subjective morality, and known by all to be such.
2. He is an encourager.
When he goes to check the progress of his laborers, the first words out of his mouth are a blessing. Paraphrasing some of 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15, Paul said to honor, encourage, and always seek to do good. The more we learn about Boaz as his story unfolds, the more we will see this mindset operating in his life.
3. He offers favor, provision, and protection to someone who needs it. (Proverbs 3:27)
When Boaz discovers the woman gleaning with his reapers is Ruth, knowing who she is he tells her to stay with the women who work for him, so she will obtain what she needs, and he has further instructed his men to make sure she is safe from harm and insult.
4. He values a heart that seeks God.
Boaz tells her he’s already heard about her. He knows she’s left her homeland to stay with Naomi, and all that she’s doing to help her. But he doesn’t tell her any of this until she asks why he is being so kind to her. Afterward, he pronounces a blessing of a full reward for seeking refuge from God. That word full means complete, and perfect.
5. He sees commitment as a good thing.
Ruth lay at Boaz’ feet while he slept, which was essentially a marriage proposal of that time. When he woke, saying her motive was noble, he quickly committed to marry her if a closer relative wouldn’t. I won’t go into the other man’s reason to not marry Ruth other than it would corrupt his own inheritance, but it does show that Boaz valued Ruth’s character above all else. And according to law and tradition, the first male born to them would keep the dead relative’s name alive. In other words, Boaz was willing to honor the dead relative above himself.
Do such men exist today? Because, like in the days of Judges, we live in a culture that continues to ebb toward one that is morally subjective. Even so, I believe men of worth not only exist, but they stand out as Boaz did when he lived.
You’ll recognize a Boaz when you meet one.