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*Courtship or Dating, Part 3: Parental Protection from the Dating Game (Ruth 2-3) *
/Preached by Pastor Phil Layton at Gold Country Baptist Church on January 24, 2010 /
www.goldcountrybaptist.org  
/ /
We’ve been studying the book of Ruth on Sunday evenings and taking time to look at its principles in light of how men and women get together in modern times, and observing that many of the 20th century American patterns of recreational relationships are not only a far departure from the safeguards young people used to have in parents, community, and church, but many premarital practices of even Christian culture often depart from biblical principles.
And though modern terminology we use may not be used in the Bible (even terms like relationship or more specific cultural terms like a suitor calling on a girl or courtship or dating or boyfriend or girlfriend or going out, etc.), and though a manual of methodology for meeting and marrying in detail isn’t given in the Bible, we do have God’s Word that is sufficient for all of life and godliness.
And though Scripture speaks to our life and culture, I want us to again start trying to put ourselves back in biblical life and culture.
I have some visuals that I hope will help us have a picture of and better appreciation for the historical setting of Ruth and Boaz.
<CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDES ONLINE>
  
The book of Ruth is as much or more than any part of the OT, a drama, in several acts or scenes, a true story told through the skillful inspired writing of the narrator.
Ultimately it paints a vivid picture of the drama of redemption and redemptive history.
The Drama by Sight & Sound Theater of the book of Ruth paints a faithful and moving portrayal of this story.
The picture from Ruth 2 illustrates the unique plight of a young lady without the protection or provision of a man, which is where we left off with last time.
The biblical concept of male headship is the loving leadership that protects; normally fathers, then husbands
 
Women’s liberation as a movement largely has attempted to “free” women from all such authority as young adult daughters, to be independent feminists who don’t need a man and are so much better off on their own.
But actually biblical truth protects women and promotes godly femininity.
God’s truth is what truly sets free.
In the book /Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, /the first chapter defines true biblical masculinity and femininity in a way that a friend here pointed out is so wonderfully shown in the story of Ruth and Boaz.
/At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent /[loving] /responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships /(Boaz models this)
/ /
/At the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationships /(Ruth does)
1 Cor.
11:3 (NASB95) /But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and *the man is the head of a woman …*/
 
Under the loving authority and headship of Christ, a woman is designed by God for the loving authority and headship of a Christ-like man.
Last week we saw that the father is the authority and head of his household (his wife and his children), to exercise loving leadership in providing, protecting, and if and when he gives his daughter in marriage to a man, biblically what is taking place in the wedding ceremony is that mantle of headship (loving, leading, providing, protecting) is transferred from the girl’s father to her now husband.
That’s the normal biblical pattern (a beautiful pattern) but Ruth is in a unique situation as a widow, with no father or male in her life, but as she models and honors that abiding definition of femininity, and as she honors and loves the parent she does have (in Naomi), she is blessed, and it goes well with her, as Scripture promises, not because the exact midnight method on the threshing floor was or is how all should do it, but because she loved and honored authority.
Ephesians 6:2 /Honor your father and mother// (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 /*/so that it may be well with you/**/,/*/ and that you may live long on the earth.
4 /*/Fathers/*/, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction /[or nurture and admonition] /of the Lord./
Note that “Fathers” in particular are singled out for a primary role in the raising of children (the Bible doesn’t define children by pure  age but child suggests a stage of life while dependent upon parents financially, etc., v.1 says they are to obey; Col 3:20 “/in all things/”)
* *
*God’s Word recognizes there isn’t always father in the picture or other ideals, but the principle should still be followed of honoring parental or other godly authorities that exist*
         i.
Illustrated in Ruth’s situation (widow far away from home, former family background and upbringing was pagan, Moab known for Chemosh cult of child-sacrifice, etc.) 
       ii.
Illustrated in Ruth’s loyal love (1:8 – Ruth 1 may be greatest OT example of it) and faithful submissive honoring attitude to Naomi who didn’t always have an honorable attitude
 
Ruth 1:20 /She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; *call me Mara */*[bitter]*/, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
21 “I went out full, but *the Lord has brought me back empty*.
Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?” 22 So Naomi returned, *and with her Ruth the Moabitess*, her daughter-in-law … /
/ /
Ruth 2:2 /And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “*Please let me go* to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor.”
And she said to her, “*Go, my daughter.*”/
*2:11* /Boaz replied to her, “*All that you have done for your mother-in-law* after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me / *12 (NIV)* */May the Lord repay you for what you have done.
May you be richly rewarded by the Lord/*/… /(probably referencing the 5th commandment)
/ /
/22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that *you go out with his maids*, so that others do not fall upon you in another field.”
23 *So she stayed* *close by the maids* /[notice how she repeatedly obeys and honors authority, and note the loving protection] … /And *she lived with her mother-in-law.*
/
 
*3:6 */So she went down to the threshing floor *and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her.*/
 
/16 When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did it go, my daughter?”
/[NIV says Ruth “told her everything …”]
 
One way a daughter can honor her mom is telling her everything, her relationships, feelings, etc. Ruth didn’t tell Naomi, “It’s none of your business, hey, respect my privacy!” Be open, be honest, be honoring of parental authorities, and God says it’ll go well w~/ you.
iii.
Illustrated in Boaz honoring Naomi as Ruth’s only remaining parental authority (3:15-18)
 
Boaz wasn’t just courting the daughter; he was courting the future in-laws, too.
A godly man should wisely note Boaz’s example:
 
*3:17 */She [Ruth] said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, ‘*Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.*’”
Then she said, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.”
/
 
Naomi knew the character of Boaz because he had demonstrated it (an issue that gives parents much angst when they aren’t getting to know the one interested in their child because she and~/or he are not honoring parents but are making their own privacy paramount instead of parental blessing).
Notice here mutual respect shown by a parent to a man interested in their daughter when he honors and respects their authority.
This is such a key principle in God’s Word.
One week ago Sat., an article came out in NY Times (1~/16~/10) on a 15-year-old named Tess Chapin who illustrates the opposite of the concept of loving and honoring authority we see in this book.
Tess violated her 11:30 pm curfew, coming home after midnight and having drunk alcohol, and her parents grounded her for 5 weeks, meaning “no parties for Tess, no sleepovers, no Sweet 16s, no hanging out at a friend’s, and certainly no hanging out at a party where there is no parent present and possibly alcohol served” but apparently she wasn’t grounded from Internet networking, and she quickly started what the NY Times called in their article title:
*A Facebook Movement, Against Mom and Dad*
… This is teenage rebellion, electronic style — peaceful, organized and, apparently, contagious [over 1,000 friends from multiple high schools quickly became supporters, protesting her parents] … So basically, Tess explains on her group page, she made an honest late-night mistake.
Her parents flipped, and they grounded her for five weeks — “thats my childhood right there,” she wrote.
“please join so I can convice them to unground me.
please please please.”
….
Tess said that she recognized only about 35 percent of the names.
“Have never met u but I pledge to make a statement so I hope this works,” wrote a young [man] in a typical sentiment of support displayed on the Facebook group’s wall … one agreed with Tess that “parents can be stupid.”[1]
[But of course, kids can’t be?
Why wasn’t she grounded from Internet?
Too inhumane?]
The same week another story came out about a 4-year old boy who rebelled against his pre-kindergarten class rules about hair and rather than the parents teaching the little rebel to honor authority, they are leading the charge in protesting the school board to let the 4-year old disobey the rules (who’s the head of that household?)
That type of attitude may get you a lot of media attention and it may go well for you as far as Facebook friend numbers, but God says it won’t go well with you in life and you won’t enjoy long life
 
     iv.
Instructed in Scripture (Eph.
6:3; Prov.
1:8, 6:20, 1 Sam.
15:23)
 
Both fathers and mothers have authority over both sons and daughters, and remember: loving authority is for a kid’s protection
 
Proverbs 1:8 /8 *Hear* /[i.e., hear and obey]/, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are *a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck*.
10 *My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent* …/
/ /
*6:20 */My son, *observe the commandment of your father* And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; 21 Bind them continually *on your heart; Tie them around your neck.*
22 When you walk about, *they will guide you*; When you sleep, *they will watch over you*; And when you awake, *they will talk to you.* 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are *the way of life* 24 To keep you from the evil woman… /
 
Listen, any young person hearing this message, God has ordained parents for your protection, not to ruin your life but to keep /you /from ruining your life with the wrong kind of relationship.
And women need godly protection and covering not because there’s something wrong with women so much as there’s something wrong with men, and good men know it and will seek to protect women and children from bad men.
That’s what godly men do.
If you want to enjoy life and for it to go well with you, then obey and love and honor God through your parents and authorities.
Before you say “what right do my parents have to interfere in my life” or “what do they know,” before you justify stubborn rebellion read 1 Sam.
15:23 (NKJV) /For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you …/
 
       v.
Implications from Scripture:
1.      Single moms may be recognized as heads of households
2.      Moms and other family members may be involved [in the premarital relationship] (Gen.
21:20-21, 24:28-32) 
 
In Gen 21:20, the mother gets a wife for her son in the absence of the father.
In Genesis 24, the brother of the young lady is very involved in the unique premarital process of Rebekah (cf.
Ethan).
In Esther 2, her relative Mordecai is very involved in her life and pre-marriage and post-marriage counsel, in the absence of parents.
3.
Godly believers and leaders in the church should be involved prior to marriage as well as after (Lk 1:39-56; Titus 2:2-8; 1 Pet.
5:5, Heb.
10:24-25, 13:7, 17)
 
Mary the pregnant virgin at that critical time in her life goes to visit Elizabeth and spends 3 months with her before marrying Joseph, a beautiful example of a Titus 2 relationship of the vital role an older woman can play in the life of a young bride (NIV):
/4 Then they [the older women] can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands /
 
1 Peter 5:5 (NKJV) /Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders.
Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud… /
 
Hebrews 10:24 (NASB95) /and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near./
13:7 /Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith … 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account.
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