Real life Ruths

I was going to give this example and Donal mentioned some of this in his post on Sunday, and his post on women delaying marriage discussion is relevant.

One of my friends is a slightly shorter-than-average, single 27 year old who is actively involved in Church, plays guitar for worship sometimes, holds a steady construction job, and has a heart for ministry to high school and young adults in the long term. Let’s call him John. John was interested in a few women, but they were generally uninterested in him and/or were wishy washy about being in a relationship with him.

For example, John was enamored with one girl who was wishy washy about him, and I talked about it with him through the whole process. Let’s call her Sam. It was somewhat of a supposed mutual interest situation where they hung out and talked about a relationship, but never made any tangible steps toward it mainly because of Sam. This was over a period of about 3-4 months. I advised John that it was clear that Sam was not very interested in him because if she was then she would reciprocate and want to be in a relationship with him. A woman who is interested in a man will do everything she can to be in a relationship with him. This is the typical guy like girl but girl thinks she could probably do better or just likes the attention type of scenario. It could also be that she was not mature enough. I’m not sure which it was, and I know the girl fairly well.

Anyway, Sam was visiting her parents out of state for a few months before coming back to the area, and John got the notion to fly out to see her unannounced to surprise her. I cautioned against this because going that far for a girl that is clearly only semi-interested in you is over-investing in something that is not there and unattractive. I outright stated that it wouldn’t work because she’s ambivalent about the relationship, and nothing would probably convince her otherwise even a supposed huge romantic gesture. The bad thing was that the couple of her friends who John talked to thought it was a great idea “because it was romantic.” Unfortunately, although John agreed with me for the most part, he had his heart set on doing it anyway. I told John that if it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t work out, and he should give up any notion of a relationship with Sam.

Y’all know how that turned out if you can’t guess already.

John took and flight out AND drove 6 hours to meet Sam. That’s dedication right there. Undeserved dedication. Sam was clearly shocked when John showed up. Sam was happy in a way, but it obviously did not influence her to want to be in a relationship with John. Sam did not spend any time with John other than talk to him once when he came by. Honestly, that’s exactly what she should do if she’s ambivalent about a relationship. Thankfully, since I am pretty close to John and basically called out what was going to happen, he ended up coming to terms with the whole thing (perhaps on his own, perhaps a bit with me as I don’t want to take credit for his maturity). It took John a few weeks to get over it, but he did and moved on. He overcame the adversity, and he came away with a more mature outlook on relationships.

After this “disaster,” John decided not to go looking for anything after that for at least a few months. The old ‘got burned by a woman’ type of deal.

Enter your real life Ruth

Ruth 3:1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek [a]security for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Now is not Boaz our [b]kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. 3 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 It shall be when he lies down, that you shall [c]notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.” 5 She said to her, “All that you say I will do.” [1]

[1] I suppose you could argue my example of Ruth is a bit different because it was a kinsman redeemer situation, and it was at Naomi’s advice. I’m using it to illustrate a woman who went out of her way repeatedly to meet a man who she liked with potential to be a good husband.

She’s a mid-20s, slim, feminine receptionist at the Church he attends and has some but not great overlap in their circle of friends. Let’s call her Katie. John and Katie have seen each other and greeted each other at Church. They peripherally know each other having seen each other at a few events. However, they’ve never really talked beyond some superficial conversation.

Katie is interested in John. Thus, Katie gets her friends to talk to John to find out more about him. Katie asks about John when talking to John’s friends to find out his background and assess his character. John is being mentored by a family in the Church, so Katie goes to talk to them about John too. Katie starts going to Church and casual events where John is at specifically. Katie strikes up conversations with John at those events. Katie spends more time with John than anyone else at these events, and she is interested in having deep(er) conversations about relationships with him.

I’m a bit fuzzy on if Katie mentioned she was interested and single or had his mentor mention it, but John had already known from how she was acting that Katie was interested. John knew this because Katie made it known through conversation she was single, made it a point to keep coming around to events he was at, kept talking with him, and virtually made her interest almost overtly known. John eventually asks Katie out.

In this day and age, they kept things on the down low because in some circles going out = getting married. Thus, they want to keep things chill because you’re just investigating to see if a relationship can work. They hit it off on a date or two every week over the course of a month, and eventually finally decide that they want to make it serious. John and Katie been together 4 months not including that initial 1 month of dating to get to know each other, have met each other’s parents, and are progressing toward marriage.

Points to learn from

I suppose it’s no surprise to say that Katie came about 95% of the way by putting herself in good situations to get to know John’s friends, John’s mentor family, and John himself. Katie leveraged her social network very well like I recommend for both men [and women]. This is the power of a woman who is interested but not overbearing and feminine about exploring a potential relationship. It’s about doing your homework and constantly putting yourself in good situations to meet a man you’re interested in. Katie made A LOT of background stuff happen to put herself in a good situation only really stopping short of asking John out.

John has no qualms about asking women out, especially if he is interested. However, we could say that this relationship virtually came to him. It is one of the best relationships he has had because of Biblical principles, AND she was clearly interested in him. To paraphrase him about a month into the relationship:

I never realized a relationship could be this way. It’s awesome. This relationship can’t compare to the previous relationships at all.

To quote him 3 months into the relationship:

[Words] don’t even come close to describing this absolutely amazing, talented, hard-working, beautiful, and servant-hearted woman! I am beyond blessed to have this gem walk along side me in this life and honestly can’t thank God enough. The value she adds to my life cannot be measured. She is in every sense of the word, a gift. Her heart is one of a kind and I’m honored that she has decided to share it with me.

Sounds like a man with an amazing future helpmeet. Unlike the previous potential relationships that I counseled John on, there is none of the difficult BS of playing games, figuring out if a woman is serious about a relationship, or just wants to be in one because she is lonely. I told John after he said those things to me that “yes, that’s what a relationship is supposed to be like. Nothing can compare to a relationship based on Biblical principles, and also with a woman is very interested in you. It’s night and day.”

He found a woman who was actually very interested in him and was relatively mature for a relationship. Such a thing requires both the interest of a woman and a willingness to cultivate toward Biblical roles and responsibilities prior to marriage. Since Katie was prepared and mature for a relationship, she did almost everything possible to put herself in a good situation to be noticed by John.

Generally speaking, men that want to be married the hardest thing is to also find a woman that is God-fearing and also interested or attracted to them. Given that this is the case, I think that women have the solid potential in playing a real life Ruth situation, especially if they get their friends on board and are willing to go to events where single men are and converse with them. Most women who I’ve talked to about this have told me they tried, but when I hear their story they only tried once and then gave up when it didn’t work. Alternatively, it turned out bad and the man wasn’t interested, so it’s obvious that it doesn’t work. I question this as a lack of perseverance.

This is not the norm for single, Christian women, so if you’re a single Christian man reading this don’t expect a woman to fall into your lap like this. Take the initiative, and seize the opportunities. However, it is a pretty good example for women who are interested in marriage to follow if they are not getting tons of interest or can’t find anyone.

The pool of quality marriage candidates for Christian marriage is very small. You gotta take the opportunities you’re given and make your own opportunities when there are none. Both men and women.

Their saga is to be continued…

This entry was posted in Advice to Christian women, Godly mindset & lifestyle and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Real life Ruths

  1. Pingback: Real life Ruths –

  2. anonymous_ng says:

    @DS, great story, and instructive too.

  3. J says:

    Thanks for posting that. Great example of how a woman should begin the courtship process methinks. Rather than being a bump on a log, she’s presumably praying about finding a husband but also acting in faith (doing her part) and trusting God to do his part.

    IMO, many single ladies in the church don’t understand this…or maybe it’s just that their expectations are unrealistic. Most of the time things won’t happen on the courtship front until a lady signals some interest. Without that first step, the whole process grinds to a halt.

  4. thedeti says:

    Katie did exactly what a woman in her position should do. She needs to make her interest clear and known. She doesn’t have to remove her clothes and offer herself up for sex – that’s a strawman the ladybloggers like to crow about. No one is telling women they need to sleep with men. NO one is telling women they need to “chase” men. We are, though, telling women they need to make their interest clear and known.

  5. thedeti says:

    Don’t do what John did with Sam. If you are having to work your tail off to qualify for a girl; if you are meeting her 90% to her 10%, if you are putting in 90% of the effort to her 10%, if she’s “meh” about you, if you’re having to negotiate with her for time with her; if you’re having to beg and plead to see her — end it with her. It’s not going to work.

  6. Cassie says:

    @ deti

    Katie did exactly what a woman in her position should do. She needs to make her interest clear and known. She doesn’t have to remove her clothes and offer herself up for sex – that’s a strawman the ladybloggers like to crow about. No one is telling women they need to sleep with men. NO one is telling women they need to “chase” men. We are, though, telling women they need to make their interest clear and known.

    You’re right, Katie did very well there, and she didn’t cross the line that we ladybloggers would have a problem crossing. Though you misunderstand what it is that we have a problem with. I mean yes we would all have a problem with advancing sexually like you said, but that’s an extreme that doesn’t particularly hit on what we have a problem with in regards to what you always tell us we should do. What you often say we should do that we have a problem with is asking a man out – aka, taking the lead in the courtship/relationship. We have a problem with the role reversal that is involved with asking a man out, rather than him asking us out. That would make us the masculine ones, and the men the feminine ones as far as roles go. I don’t think any of us (I certainly don’t) have a problem with doing anything that Katie did.

  7. thedeti says:


    Why is asking a man out “taking the lead in the courtship/relationship”? To me that is simply showing interest in a man. You’re not planning or directing anything. You’re not expecting him to “submit” to you. You’re not making any decisions other than “I like this guy and I want to get to know him better”, which is pretty much the same thing you’d be doing if he had asked you out.

  8. Cassie says:

    @ deti

    Because to be the one to officially ask someone out on a first date is to take charge of the situation and take the relationship to the next level. In a woman’s eyes, in this way, asking someone out on a first official date is no different than proposing marriage. It’s not merely showing interest in a man to us. Maybe to a man it would be. But to a woman, if she has to be the one to take charge like that, she will view the man as a spineless coward who couldn’t even buck up enough courage to ask her out, and we’ll have serious doubts about his willingness to show courage in other more important ways, such as protecting us in a dangerous situation. It would make it extremely difficult to have any respect for him as a masculine man. I mean, if there’s one thing a woman won’t respect, it’s a coward.

    So yes, we should do what Katie did and make our interest in a man known to him. Then we should expect him to be brave enough to make the move and ask us out (if he’s also interested, of course), just as Katie did. It’s like you said – if you have to go 90% to their 10%, then don’t. If a woman makes her interest crystal clear, and a man still doesn’t ask her out, then he either isn’t interested enough to bother or he’s too spineless to do so. Either way, a woman asking a man out on the first official date is not a good way to start a relationship. (Though asking out on subsequent dates after a budding relationship has begun is a very different matter.)

    I suspect this is one of those differences in male vs female ways of thinking.

  9. Cassie says:

    I should mention that there is a difference in asking a man you’re interested in to “hang out” or to invite him along on a group thing, as opposed to asking him on an official first date. The former two things are a way to get around a guy to try to get to know him better, the latter one is crossing the line.

  10. J says:


    I can see where you’re coming from and perhaps it is generally best for a lady to allow the guy to ask her out first, but I wouldn’t draw a hard rule on it. There may be some situations where it is not cowardice that is preventing the man from moving forward. We’re not always adept at picking up signals — I’m a pretty observant guy but I’ve still missed ’em at times.

  11. Cassie says:

    @ J

    There may be some situations where it is not cowardice that is preventing the man from moving forward. We’re not always adept at picking up signals — I’m a pretty observant guy but I’ve still missed ’em at times.

    That makes sense. How are we to know that the guy isn’t catching on to our signals (especially if we’re being overt about sending them), as opposed to him just not being interested in us?

    And for the record, I didn’t mean that if a man doesn’t ask us out that we think he’s a coward. We would first think he’s not interested in us. But if we learn that he is in fact interested in us and wants to ask us out but doesn’t actually do it, even after we’ve shown him that we’re interested in him, that’s when we think he’s a coward.

  12. hearthie says:

    Another reason is that being desired is VERY important to a woman. If you’re just humoring me… um, ew. Just don’t. It’s depressing and demoralizing. That whole, “responsive desire” thing. You don’t want to be wondering, “If I never asked, would he have wanted me?” We’ll put the cake *right in front of your nose* if we have to, but actually asking?

    I probably would, because I’m forward and intense. But it would hurt a little.

  13. donalgraeme says:

    Some get it, at least. I’m glad things seem to have turned out well for your friend John.

  14. J says:

    @Cassie @Hearthie

    I hear you about wanting to be desired and it certainly tends to work better if the script reads like the story DS posted. From the sound of things, you ladies probably are doing/did fine in the signaling department. But there are a lot of gals who struggle in that area. So your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to educate them, ha!

    As an example, the last girl I courted would send some small signals (enough to draw me in) but then she would literally run away (not kidding) from conversations with me. At that point, I completely wrote her off in mind. Now it’s a long story, but eventually we did end up going out. However her inconsistent signaling almost kept us from starting. And she basically had to ask me out because I read her signals as being 180 degrees off from what she thought she was sending and I started to lose interest because of that.

  15. Elspeth says:

    For the record, signaling is good. I am all for signaling as my husband would attest.

    I like what Hearth had to say though.. My problem is with the woman being forced to take the lead. Does not bode well for the marriage and there will always be women (people of both sexes, really) who are just not very forward. But since the man has to lead, then…

  16. hearthie says:

    I told my husband that I was a leprechaun and if he caught me he could have three wishes. I was 14, so *I* think that was pretty bold. (Also extremely naive, but … 14).

    This is why older people watching the younger people courting and giving them helpful shoves and advice is useful. Not all chaperoning duty should be negative.

    You did well by your friend, DS. I’ve had similar conversations with women friends over the years, and “s/he’s just not that into you” never seems to be something people can hear.

  17. Excellent post. I’m hoping to put up a little more on this topic myself in the next few days.

  18. From what I’ve seen and talked with women, I think the vast majority of them can do a lot more signalling and being proactive about influencing background variables — friends, family, mentors, and placing themselves around + starting up conversations + inviting themselves over — in order to increase chances of finding a man who is interested in them that they are also interested in.

    I generally agree that women shouldn’t be asking men out, but they should potentially learn how to express very strong subtle interest moving toward potential overt interest. Having your friends or their friends mention it is a good start, and potentially even saying you have interest “in the type of man he is” is good too. I’m pretty smart, and honestly when I look back to the years before I started learning about how women signal interest I was completely blind to about 90-95% of things that women did that they said showed their interest. I remember once when a woman said she was interested in me. and I didn’t believe her. Yeah, men can be that dense at times.

    However, some men that women are potentially interested in simply aren’t ready or they aren’t looking for what you offer in particular. The mindset that really helped me go about all of this is that I’m looking for someone that I’m interested in that is also interested in me. You can’t have just one… so it’s not a good idea to get invested in any one person before you actually decide to be in a relationship much less go on a few dates or even are not asked out.

    Proactive, interested, and reserved. It’s hard to do without practice, ladies.

    Thanks for the kudos everyone. I’m giving it my best.

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  21. I once told a girl (we were close to being a couple) to look into the Book of Ruth when I told her that it isn’t all the time guys have to make the first move or initiate. She didn’t believe what I said until she came to those verses. She changed her mind but it took her some time to digest the information. This is an excellent post which reminds me of that conversation I had with that girl. If I have the opportunity in future to advise young men, I would encourage them to read the Book of Ruth and highlight these verses to them.

    Reading the discussion here and over at… The Practical Conservative, I realised that we’ve fallen so deep in the rabbit hole that we’ve discarded the teachings of old — particularly from older women to young girls — in relationships and homemaking. When feathers of mature, married women were sufficiently ruffled about the advice that their daughters should be more forthcoming in making their interest known to the men, it’s a clear symptom that the environment for men, in terms of relationships, will not change anytime soon.

  22. feeriker says:

    .When feathers of mature, married women were sufficiently ruffled about the advice that their daughters should be more forthcoming in making their interest known to the men, it’s a clear symptom that the environment for men, in terms of relationships, will not change anytime soon.

    Further proof of my assertion that older women have almost completely abandoned the practice of giving counsel to the younglings. Given that most “older” women these days are as foolish and lost as their daughters, that’s probably just as well.

  23. @ chokingonredpills

    Reading the discussion here and over at… The Practical Conservative,

    That was your first mistake.

    Groups of women talking about men quickly devolves into the blame game and/or oppression.

    I think it is abundantly clear by now (or should have been) that women can’t observe the learning process a man must go through to become masculine without falling into some sort of mischaracterized trap on who he’s becoming.

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  25. Agree. I’m gobsmacked at how women who claim that they are red-pill can miss the point easily.

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  27. sheasjorney says:

    wow this was such a good read im sort of like katie as i went to church events where the guy i liked was at but if u read my blog i went about it the totaly wrong way.but i got through that and kept going to the events he would be at but im also very shy and if something dosnt work the first time i give up thinking it will never happen ,….but theres something about this guy that i just cant shake i cant stop thinking of him hes a youth leader in the church band hes an all round family man,but im the same as katie ive hardly talked to the guy after i made that embarrassing mistake……….

  28. @ sheasjorney

    It sounds like you’re somewhat insecure about a lot of things.

    If you’re a newer Christian, it’s best to focus on being more strongly rooted in the faith and developing your femininity prior to going for a potential relationship.

    If you’re not secure in who you are in Christ and as a woman then it will cause a lot of problems down the road because many of your fears will be projected onto the man and onto the relationship. Build a strong foundation now and go for a relationship later, instead of trying to build a relationship on a shaky foundation.

  29. sheasjorney says:

    ok but this was like 6months ago ive grown alot since then i get what you mean though .

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