It’s the greatest love story of all time! Every time I hear a Christian say that about this movie, it makes me want to vomit…or smack some sense into them (in the name of Jesus of course). The Notebook is NOT a great love story whatsoever. The girl falls in love with a boy, gets moved away by her parents, meets another guy and gets engaged to him, meets back up with first boy, gets into a sexual relationship with him, later breaks up with fiancé, and ends up dying with husband (who is first boy) in nursing home. That is not a great love story, that’s a story of unfaithful cheating to a marriage commitment.
Relationships, dating, and marriage is always on most every teenager’s mind. They are in search for a great love story to inspire them. They need a clear, real, and biblical example of a romantic relationship before marriage. That’s the book of Ruth!
I see 7 helpful hints (truths) regarding a pre-marriage relationship in Ruth 1 – 2.
First, godly relationships require faith (Ruth 1:1-4). The book of Ruth starts out with a statement saying that this story is in the setting of the time of the judges ruling. The judges rule was murder, mayhem, and chaos. On top of that, Ruth is the widowed daughter in law of her widowed mother in law. Unlike the movies, life isn’t always pretty. But God is in control to bring about His right person for us at just the right time.
Second, godly relationships require obedience (1:6-18). Ruth exercises selfless obedience to her mother-in-law by taking care of her out of obedience to God. You’ll only be as loving to your future spouse in your house as you are to your parents there too!
Third, godly relationships require godly attraction. Ruth was interested in Boaz who was a leading, godly man. Boaz was attracted to Ruth who was a godly, humble woman. Be attracted to godly hotties and hunks for the right reason…they love Jesus!
Fourth, godly relationships require godly masculinity (2:8-9). Boaz is a stud who takes care of Ruth from the get-go. Guys, be a dude who takes care of your girl…not advantage of her. Girls, find a real man who takes care of you and not use you!
Fifth, godly relationships require godly femininity (2:10-13). Ruth was such a sweetheart to Boaz. She didn’t play the sickening feminist card. She genuinely showed thankfulness and tenderness toward Boaz. Girls, don’t be the dude, be a godly woman.
Sixth, godly relationships require godly conversation (2:14-16). Taking the relationship lead, Boaz treated Ruth to a meal to show her he was really interested in her. Guys, use opps like restaurants to get to know your girl, ask her questions, and TALK!
Seventh, godly relationships require the gospel (2:17-23). Boaz was a redeemer for Ruth which meant he had the right relationship and resources to take care of her. While the book of Ruth is true and helpful for pre-marriage relationships, it is also a clear picture of Jesus’ redeeming relationship with His bride: the church. Check it out…
In the very beginning, God starts off with creating one man and one woman in a marriage relationship. Must be pretty important! He says, “…a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). Well get this, Paul takes that exact same verse and says that it’s a revealed mystery as to why God started everything off with marriage…because ultimately it’s a picture of the one flesh, eternal, loving relationship of Christ for His bride: the church (Eph 5:31-32)! Since that is true, let me leave you with four final thoughts on how to have a godly pre-marriage relationship. First, don’t over date! Jesus only has one bride. Second, reflect the gospel. Guys, lovingly lead like Christ; girls, humbly follow like the church. Third, raise your requirements. Only date those who follow Jesus and love their church. Fourth, remember you’re taken. God has someone special set aside just for you! Now that will lead to a faithful and committed marriage relationship where everyone will say, “That’s one of the best love stories ever!”