It bears saying at the outset, this teaching will not exhaust what can be learned from looking at the life of Boaz. There are many ways in which this man exemplified true manhood. Granted, he was an imperfect man, but he did follow the perfect God; and upon being introduced to him in the second chapter of the Book of Ruth, there are many things that men, young and old, could learn about being a man from Boaz. Here are just some:
He was a Godly man in the everyday details of his life (Ruth 2:4). If you read through the second chapter of Ruth you are able to, in essence, follow Boaz around for a day. Shortly after he is introduced to us we see him greet his workers by saying, “The LORD be with you” (vs.4b) and they responded back by saying, “The LORD bless you!” (vs..4c). Given the narrative context, as well as what follows, the implication is: he had a good testimony his workers and his workers respected him. Such is one example of being a godly man in the everyday details of life. In this immediate example it was in the context of his ‘work life’ but there are is much more godliness exhibited in the day recorded in Ruth 2.
From his first conversation with Ruth, God was in the middle of it (cf. Ruth 2:12). Speaking to men, you want to be that kind of man. Not in an odd way. Nor in a super spiritual/ pseudo spiritual way. But quirky behaviors not withstanding, you want to be someone who talks about God and the things of God with the person you’re going to marry or are married to. Speaking to women, this should be part of the litmus test for the kind of man you will or will not marry. Most likely, being that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Lk 6:45), if a guy never, or rarely, talks about God, some alarm bells should go off in your mind.
He served Ruth, provided for her, and wanted to protect her from embarrassment (Ruth 2:14-16). Jokingly, sometimes people will say, “Chivalry is dead” – perhaps you’ve heard that expression before. The idea of chivalry was derived from, what some would call, the ideal qualifications for a knight; including characteristics like courtesy, generosity, and valor. So from a Biblical standpoint, that kind of behavior is never “dead” for the godly man because he wants to be like His Lord, courteous and generous and noble towards his wife, or wife to be. And in light of our consideration of Boaz, early on in his relationship with Ruth he exemplified each of these qualities as he provided a place for her at mealtime (vs.14), commanded the young men not to reproach her (vs.15), and sought that her dignity would be protected as the reapers purposely let bundles of grain fall for her to glean (vs.16).
He exemplified godly leadership (Ruth 2:15). For starters, Boaz wasn’t afraid to give orders and provide direction. Not in a dictatorial way; but a fatherly way. When Ruth left the table Boaz commanded “his young men” (vs.15) with the directions provided in the previous point. Those young men saw true manhood on display as Boaz not only respectfully showed concern for Ruth’s well being and dignity, but that he commanded them to as well! And in that, he was a role model for the young men he employed.
In Boaz, men and women have, in example form, a picture of an imperfect man following the perfect God and exemplifying the qualities of a godly man.