Are you a young woman in the dating scene today? Or the parent of one who is? Romantic relationships are certainly exciting to contemplate and be a part of. But please be careful! These relationships can come with a high price tag emotionally and physically.
If relationships are not handled God’s way, you may make mistakes or get involved in situations that create lifelong pain and scars. The best way to avoid painful emotions, bad experiences, and regrets is to set high standards—God’s standards as presented in the Bible—for your behavior and for the type of guys you consider as serious possibilities. You need a measuring stick, and God has the perfect one for you right in His Word.
The book of Ruth offers great guidelines for what to look for in a potential romantic relationship (if marriage is God’s will for you). Look at the qualities highlighted in Boaz, the man Ruth is interested in:
Godly. Look for a guy with a passion for Jesus. This should be #1 on your list. Boaz asked God through prayer to bless Ruth (2:12).
Diligent. Look for a guy who’s a hard worker. Boaz was a careful manager of his property and wealth (2:1).
Friendly. Look for a guy who will be your best friend. Boaz gave a warm greeting and welcomed Ruth to his field (2:4,8).
Merciful. Look for a guy with compassion for others. Boaz asked about Ruth’s situation and acted on her behalf and in her best interest (2:7).
Encouraging. Look for a guy who contributes positively to your growth (in spiritual matters, character development, educational and personal interests). Boaz pointed out Ruth’s strong qualities and spoke of them to encourage her (2:12).
Generous. Look for a guy with a giving heart. Ruth needed food and worked hard for it. Boaz saw that, appreciated it, and arranged for her to be given extra food (2:15).
Kind. Look for a guy with a kind heart. Boaz obviously cared for Ruth’s well-being. He also cared for Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi thanked God for Boaz’s kindness toward her and Ruth (2:20).
Discreet. Look for a guy who will protect your reputation. Ruth went to see Boaz in the evening, and he honored her purity and sent her home from the threshing floor before daylight (3:14).
Faithful. Look for a guy who keeps his word. Boaz followed through on his promise to marry Ruth (4:1).
Boaz sounds like a great guy, doesn’t he? Do you know anyone like him? If not, be patient. Guys like that are definitely out there!
Now, here’s a great tip for discovering these character traits you are looking for. Choose to focus on group activities rather than on being alone with an individual guy. Use group activities (preferably get-togethers with Christians) to observe the behavior of the guys in your group. Being part of a group also lessens the temptations that can come up when you’re alone with a guy. Another benefit of group activities is the experience you gain in learning to talk to and be with the opposite sex.
Most of all, have fun getting to know the others in the group and make some great friends as well!
Question: Can you share any other ways that you have discovered character (or the lack thereof) in someone you were dating?
For more insight into navigating the choices before you, read my book, A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices.