“I don’t want a Paw Paw!” exclaimed a 50 something co-worker a few years ago. After we stopped laughing at her comment, we resumed our conversation about her struggle finding mature men who were marriage material. Clubbing was out of the question and the men that she seemed to be meeting were too old (and set in their ways) for her tastes. “They are either too old to remember what it was like to be in love with a woman and treat her well or too hurt by past relationships to try” was her pointed observation.
“I want my Boaz” she said with a cheery grin on her face. “How do I know him when I see him? Maybe I’ve met him already?”
I leaned on her office door frame and replied, “I don’t know if you’ve met him already but remember that “Boaz ain’t broke or broken.” We burst into laughter again. “I don’t mean that Boaz automatically has lots of money (that is a plus). What I mean is that Boaz, the one that you’ve been praying for God to send, is not broken emotionally, physically, financially, or spiritually, He’s whole.” She nodded her head in agreement and said, “Amen to that!”
The story of Ruth and Boaz in the Old Testament is not only one of the greatest love stories but it shows us women what to look for while waiting for our Boaz…it also shows women what Boaz looks like. Boaz’s actions toward Ruth showed that he was whole emotionally, spiritually, financially, and physically.
Ruth 2:1 says that Boaz was “a man of standing.” Some translations say he was a man of “wealth and influence.” It wasn’t the fact that he had wealth that made him whole; it’s what he choose to do with his wealth. In Ruth 2:8 he even advises her on where she’d be safest. Later in that same chapter, he showed his generosity by inviting her to join him at the noon mealtime and giving orders to his men to help her while she is gleaning. He didn’t try to manipulate her, but he showed her and others that he was genuinely concerned all the while encouraging and protecting her.
Those of us over 40 years old have a unique set of issues when it comes to rediscovering love and embracing authentic romantic relationships. We meet people who are dealing with decades of relationship games and are very skeptical, in some cases, that true love still exists.
One definition for broken is separated into parts or disconnected. Broken men are separated into parts and sometimes are often nursing wounds from past hurts. A whole man may still have personal and professional disappointments but he has learned to allow God to heal him.
Next week, we’ll explore more about how Boaz ain’t broke physically, financially, spiritually.
Shewanda Riley is a Texas -based author who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow her on Twitter @shewanda.