Biblical advice for single women

Thanks to Greg D. for pointing this one out. (Link). Below is the text listed in the linked picture.

To all the girls who are in a hurry to have a boyfriend or get married, a piece of Biblical advice: “Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz.” While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don’t settle for any of his relatives; Broke-as, Po-az, Lyin-az, Cheatin-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Lockedup-az, Goodfornothin-az, Lazy-az, and especially his third cousin Beatinyo-az. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz.

Though humorous and hopefully it was portrayed in a jovial manner, the fact remains that the theme of Ruth is much larger then just good advice about dating. Obviously I don’t know the context of the sermon or if this was just a humorous illustration for a larger point, but in isolation this is exactly what not to do with a biblical text and portray it as what it actually means. I guess I would make an observation and a question.

(1) The wordplay here off of Ruth is both humorous and memorable. I am sure that the teens at this rally chuckled, snickered, and whispered to each other, “did he really say that?” In that regard, finding ways of making biblical stories memorable, this I think is a good example. As actual exegesis, not so much.

(2) How far can a non-exegetical sermon go in order to teach moral lessons before it turns from memorable to non-biblical? The point is not that we should teach teenagers (or everyone for that manner) about biblical relationships but rather should we teach these things apart from the larger theological context. For example, there probably are some good lessons to be learned about relationships in Ruth, but why are those lessons important? In my limited understanding of Ruth and where it sits in the cannon it was important that the idea of the kinsman redeemer be fulfilled because of the linage of Christ. Ruth, the ancestor of David from whom Christ eventually came, was not a Jewish woman by birth and therefore was unqualified to be in the line of the promised seed. However, because of her relationship with Boaz, God’s promise to Abraham (even going back to Eve) was continuing to be fulfilled. By making Ruth a lesson about relationships, the faithfulness of God is being overshadowed.

Therefore, I would be of the opinion that applications such as the one linked to above can be done, but they must be done in the theological context of the book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *