Ruth is known for her faithfulness to Naomi, marrying Boaz and being included in the lineage of Jesus. Those are all awesome, however, the story of Ruth holds much more hope for single women than just being nice to people and getting the rich guy.
Ruth was widowed at a young age during a time when women who were not married and/or had no children did not have a lot of hope. When her husband died, the only hope she would get remarried was for her family to find her another husband. Instead of staying with her family and what was familiar, Ruth chose to go with Naomi to Judah. They had to travel by foot, they may have had a donkey, but the Bible does not say one was available. Two women traveling alone through mountain paths was very dangerous. Yet, Ruth chose to travel with Naomi.
When they arrived in Judah, Ruth had to find a way to get food for them. She chose to pickup leftover barley after the harvesters in a local field. This was not a safe place to be either, the field workers did not treat the young women gleaners well or the owner of the field could have told her to leave. Boaz, the owner of the field she chose to work, honored Ruth for taking care of her mother-in-law and not only allowed her to work in his field he told her not to go to another field. Boaz also told his workers not to touch her and make sure they left extra barley for her to take home. While Boaz made the work a little safer for Ruth and more productive, she still had to work in the field each day picking up the barley and preparing it to take home.
At the end of the wheat harvest, at Naomi’s instruction, Ruth went to the end of harvest party and waited for Boaz to go to sleep. While he was sleeping Ruth laid at his feet waiting for him to wake up. Had any of the other men in the room seen Ruth she would not have been safe, but she was obedient to the instruction of Naomi. Recently, I was told Christian single women should not talk with or interact with men. If a woman wanted to get married, she should tell a married woman in the church who would find her a husband.
When Boaz found Ruth at his feet, she asked him to marry her (Ruth 3:9). Boaz accepted her proposal. The story of Ruth is a description of a strong young woman who was widowed yet not afraid to follow her heart or wise guidance. The story also tells us women don’t have to wait on the guy to make the first move.