Ruth

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

(Proverbs 31:10-11, NIV)

Many a single Christian women find themselves singing the, “Boaz, Boaz; I cannot wait to meet my Boaz” anthem.  This anthem can be heard in many a singles’ women church conference, seen on social networks worldwide, and placed on vision boards of single Christian women everywhere.  Yet, few women have ever stopped to ask the question: What was it about Ruth that drew Boaz’s attention?

You see, once upon a time I sang the “Boaz Anthem” too.  I was one of those women who sang the “Boaz Anthem” from the rooftops, out of my car window as I drove to work each morning, and also as I got dressed for Sunday service.  And why not?  Boaz was a wealthy entrepreneur who had much to offer a wife.  He was caring.  He was nurturing.  He was a leader.  I even imagined him as being handsome.  Most importantly however, Boaz was, in essence, a type and shadow of the King of kings, Jesus Christ, who would eventually come through his bloodline.  He was a redeemer.  Strong qualifications for a mate, right?  I would say so.  However, as I would later come to realize, the “Boaz Anthem” – although justified – did not give credence to or even acknowledge the type of woman Ruth had to be in order to catch and maintain the attention of such a man.

“What were those characteristics,” you ask?  Let us take a look.

Ruth was selfless (Ruth 1:16-18):

After her husband, her brother-in-law, and her father-in-law all died, Ruth had the opportunity to return to her hometown of Moab.  Despite Naomi’s continual attempt to persuade her to do so, Ruth refused and promised to return to Judah with Naomi.  In doing so, Ruth made a conscious decision to denounce the customs and gods of her hometown in an effort to fully accept and participate in the customs and worship of the Judean people.  However, although her decision was a gallant one, the decision to follow Naomi into Judah as a widow meant that she was now going to be an outsider in a strange land, destitute, and quite possibly the subject of unspeakable prejudices and cruelties.  Ruth was not deterred.

Ruth was loyal (Ruth 1:22):

Despite being able to return to her hometown of Moab, Ruth chose to remain at Naomi’s side.  Although the components of their mother/daughter relationship was not explicitly expressed scripturally, it would stand to reason – as a result of her actions – that Naomi was good to Ruth and vice-versa.  There was a strong connection between the two women, a connection so strong that Ruth had preferred to continue into Judah knowing full well the consequences of doing so.

Ruth was industrious (Ruth 2:2-3):

Upon arriving in Judah, Ruth immediately began to seek sustenance for herself and Naomi, both.  She did not however seek said sustenance by peddling, nor did she decide to steal.  Rather, Ruth made up her mind to work for her grain by threshing the leftover stalks of wheat overlooked by the field hands.  This was difficult work.

Ruth’s reputation preceded her (Ruth 2:6,11):

Boaz himself characterized Ruth as a woman of noble character.  Not because he had watched her for months.  Not even because they had volunteered together at the church’s annual picnic.  No.  Boaz characterized Ruth as a “woman of noble character” simply because he had heard about her decision to forsake her hometown and return to Judah with Naomi despite the possible consequences.  In fact, the entire city of Judah was abuzz with what she had done, and because of her sacrifice the residents knew her collectively even before they knew her as an individual.

Ruth was gracious (Ruth 2:13):

Upon being recognized by Boaz and instructed to remain in his fields, Ruth thanked him for his kindness and favor unto her.  As opposed to giving Boaz a simple, cursory thank you, she politely addressed him with a servant’s heart and did not seek to be his equal.  Ruth did not operate in a spirit of entitlement or in a spirit of “what have you done for me, lately?” Rather, Ruth operated in a spirit of pure thanksgiving and acceptance.

Ruth was teachable (Ruth 3:5-6):

Despite having no further obligation to her mother-in-law, Ruth allowed Naomi to direct her.   Naomi instructed her in the way to gain Boaz’s full attention.  In turn Ruth did not waver, nor did she question Naomi’s instruction.  Rather, Ruth listened attentively and followed Naomi’s coaching to the letter without hesitation.

Ruth was submissive (Ruth 3:7):

As part of Naomi’s instruction, Ruth was directed to curl up at the feet of Boaz as he slept.  When she did, Boaz recognized this act as a symbol of submissiveness as well as availability.  Yet, even as Ruth performed this act she still realized that the choice to redeem her, or make her his wife, was Boaz’s decision.

Ruth was patient (Ruth 3:18, 4:1-11):

Before Boaz could have taken her as his wife, there was one thing left to do.  He first had to make sure that another relative, closer in relation to Naomi, would relinquish all rights to Ruth’s dead husband’s property as well as any claim to Ruth as his wife.  As soon as that matter was settled, Boaz was then free to marry Ruth and welcome her into his family.  Not before then.  Ruth, without meddling, had to await the outcome.

Now, mass media has led us all to believe that being a woman means being in control, being non-conforming, non-yielding, loud and obnoxious, independently independent, and lewd.  Yet, with Ruth as our example, we have seen that nothing could be further from the truth.  What if the characteristics Ruth possessed were more common place in today’s society?  What if instead of single women looking for their Boaz, they were more about the business of becoming more like Ruth?  What if characteristics such as submissiveness, industry, nobility, and patience were adopted by more of today’s women? Would not there be more Boaz(s) in search of their Ruth as opposed to Ruth(s) in search of their Boaz?

Beloved, I leave you with these questions.  I ask that you reflect upon the answers honestly using Ruth as your baseline.

Are you selfless?

Are you loyal?

Are you industrious?

Are you of good reputation?

Are you gracious?

Are you teachable?

Are you submissive?

It is my prayer for you today that you will allow the Holy Spirit to replace the world’s fallacies as it relates to the behavior of women with that of God’s truth.  I pray that as you subscribe and strive to become a woman of noble character, you will remain yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit. As you commit to adopting more and more of the characteristics that made Ruth attractive to Boaz, I pray that God will not disappoint.  I pray that you will relinquish the “Boaz Anthem” until you are well prepared to sing your “Ruth Song”.  Lastly, I pray that God will cover you under his protective wings and keep you free from temptation and distraction as you prepare yourself in and through God for marriage, the way He intended.  I pray this prayer in none other than the matchless name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Alleluia!

Know that I love you, all.

Red Shoes and Nobility,

Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes.

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A Home Vandalized

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,

Who is in you, whom you have received from God?

You are not your own; you were bought at a price.

Therefore honor God with your bodies.

(I Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV)

Imagine, if you will, being gifted a priceless mansion, the kind of home of which you had always dreamed.  The kind of home that could easily grace the cover of a haute home magazine, yet a house that boasted all the comforts of home.  A house that had been meticulously planned and executed, from the square footage of each room right down to the interior design.  Imagine being gifted a home for which no expense was spared; a house that was, in a word, perfect.

Now let us suppose for a moment that the house you had been gifted was in fact your body.  Let us imagine for a moment that your body, your temple, was in fact crafted with the finest materials, the most expensive upgrades.  Let us imagine for an instant that every aspect of your body was created to interact directly with your surroundings; your feet to walk, your hands to heal, your mind to innovate, etc.

Genesis 1:27 tells us that we were made in the image and likeness of God.  Why then would one want to deface that which, in essence, is created perfect?  Many of us would not deface our homes, million-dollar or otherwise; yet many continue to deface their bodies with sexual sin.  In much the same way that graffiti defaces a home, immoral sex – sex outside of God’s design of marriage – defaces the body.  In 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul writes that anyone who commits sexual sin is sinning against his or her own body.  Using our analogy means that you – the homeowner – are the one deliberately wielding the sledgehammer and paint can with the expressed intention of destroying your home.

Paul continues, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV).  It is therefore vital that we heed this warning, not only for the primary benefit of honoring God with our bodies, but also for the added benefit of protecting ourselves from the consequences of sexual impurity.

It is my prayer for you my brothers and sisters that you will begin to rethink the dangers of participating in pre-marital sex.  I pray that you will begin to see in the physical the spiritual consequences of sexual sin.  It is my prayer for you that you will choose this day to relinquish the “paintbrush” to your heavenly Father, trusting Him to maintain your temple until such time as you are joined together in holy matrimony with your mate.  Finally, I pray that God will reveal to you the blessings associated with living a life of purity unto Him.  I pray this prayer in none other than the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Alleluia!

Know that I love you, all.

So that none should perish.

Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes

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Counting the Costs

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”

(Luke 14:28-30, NIV)

We were on a mission to find and purchase two computers today.  A laptop for my daughter, and one for me.   I enlisted the help of my son who immediately posed the question, “Mom, what is your budget?”

At first I was impressed at the wisdom of my eighteen year old son, but then his question got me thinking.  What if I had gone into the store to purchase the computers, chose the two I wanted, made it all the way to the counter, and had the cashier ring me up only to find out that my card was declined?  What if after spending the two hours in the store to select the brand we thought best would suit our needs, it turned out that the cost of the computers were prohibitive?  After a few moments of silent thought it became obvious that counting the cost of and planning my purchases were indeed an imperative part of the decision-making process.

In much the same way, counting the costs of our daily decision-making play a huge role in other aspects of our lives.  Whether it be through budgeting our time, budgeting our finances, or budgeting our talents, counting the cost is vital in everything we do.  For example, investors count the cost of their return on investments.  Bankers count the cost of the interest they stand to gain or lose on a loan.  We do this because we are always in search of the outcome that will serve us best in our physical, chronological, and financial lives.  Yet, whenever it comes to the spiritual aspect many fail to count the cost of the day by day decisions they make seldom thinking of the fallout said decisions will leave behind.

This lack of spiritual planning can oft be found in human sexuality.  Many thrust themselves into casual sexual relationships without weighing the consequences.  Many put the ‘cart’ of sexual intimacy before ‘horse’ of marriage and expect a great outcome.  Many often end up either hurt, betrayed, or in a vicious cycle of guilt and shame.  While those who still manage to get married, even after premarital sex, often find themselves victims to unsated jealousy as well as the need to control the other person.

If we were to stop for a moment, however, and meditate on the word of God we would see that on this He is clear, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4, NIV).  Now, “If marriage should be honored above all, and the marriage bed kept pure,” does that not mean that anything outside of those boundaries are not aligned with God’s design?  Does that not mean that although the world might be shouting from the rooftops that nothing could be further from the truth, does not the word of God warrant some thought?

Beloved, what is your budget?  How much time are you willing to invest in an effort to continue living outside God’s protective boundaries?    What do you think will be your return on investment?  I leave you with this:  The next time you find yourself thinking about participating in premarital sex, ask yourself and truly reflect on the following questions:

  1. What part of my future will I forfeit if I commit to executing today’s decision?
  2. What do I stand to gain by going through with it?  Do I stand to gain that which is temporal, or that which is eternal (good or bad)?
  3. By committing to this act, what transactions am I making in the spiritual realm?
  4. What spiritual alliances will I form?
  5. What consequences will I have set in motion not only for myself, but for my direct descendants?

Know that I love you, all.

So that none should perish,

Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes

#theproverbs31womandoesexist

#sheexistswithinyou

#restoringtheancientpaths

#restoringgodlymarriage

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Red Shoes

And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

(Ephesians 6:15, NIV)

For as long as I can remember, red has always been my favorite color.  I enjoyed red in my wardrobe, red on my walls, red on my vehicle, red in my cookware, writing instruments, and stationary.  To me, the color red always seemed to announce that it had just walked into the room – especially on the feet of a confident no nonsense woman in a pair of 3” high stilettos.  Demure.

But as I matured and grew in my relationship with God my perception of the color red changed.  As opposed to viewing the color red solely as a palette by which to decorate my personal items, I perceived the color red through the lens of the price of salvation, the blood of Jesus that was shed for us.  Sacrifice.

And so as I committed my life to walking with the Lord I made it my goal to put on the whole armor of God in an attempt to counter the attacks of the enemy.  Subsequently, part of my armor became my red shoes. “Fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,” (Ephesians 6:15, NIV) I made it my mission to be ready at all times to share God’s peace wherever my feet would go.  Whether it was through my actions, my words, my writings, or my interactions with others, I always sought to reflect the tangible love of God, just as tangible and as obvious as my red shoes.  And so it is in this context – the concrete and tangible love of God – that I start this blog.  Real.

“The Girl in the Red Shoes” therefore, is dedicated to the women who have committed to walking the walk of purity as they wait for their mate, as well as those who may be considering said lifestyle.  It is my hope, my prayer actually, that we will go on this journey together in an effort to encourage, strengthen, edify, and celebrate each other as we do more than talk the talk.  Let’s walk the walk, together.  Gracefully.

Know that I love you all.

So that none should perish,

Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes

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