Thursday, September 22, 2011
Ever Had to "Pull a Ruth"?
If you are not familiar with the book of Ruth from the Bible and how she connected with her husband, Boaz, we strongly encourage you to read it or check out my blog post titled "The Book of Ruth Lends Dating Advice." In reading, "Get Married - What Women Can Do to Help It Happen," I happened upon the phrase "pulling a Ruth," and found it intriguing and timely.
Author Candice Watters also calls it "chasing the plane." You know, the classic scene from the movies where a couple has gotten off track and it's usually the female who ends up getting on a plane to start a new chapter in life. Tears stream down her face as she looks back and with a sweet sigh to everyone's relief, she finds her love chasing the plane mouthing the words: "Come back - I love you!"
Basically we're talking about forcing his hand. Call it an ultimatum. Or don't - but that's what it really is. Candice candidly tells of how she and her (now) husband Steve had been hanging out as friends for approximately a year during college. All the while she was developing deep feelings for him and longing to become his wife - waiting, praying and hoping. Steve didn't seem to have a clue or had some hangups and continued casually dating a few other girls. No other guys would ask her out because they were always together. But the friendship was not going anywhere. Her mentor and modern-day-matchmaker of sorts, Mary Morken, encouraged her to "pull a Ruth."
Candice wrote, "Getting on the plane ends the 'going-nowhere chapter.' What comes next could be the 'he chases the plane' chapter or maybe the 'she meets her future husband on the plane' plot twist. You never know how the man in your life will respond. He might take a small step that proves to be in the right direction. He might exceed your expectations and ask you to marry him. He might, unfortunately, prove he's not ready to be a husband. Whatever the outcome, you have to give him a chance to make the move."
Unfortunately, these types of measures are necessary in today's post-marriage culture because we do not have family structures, a stable society and social supports that work together with God's work of bringing mates together. Most singles are left floundering without a clear path to marriage or even knowing if a potential mate believes in marriage. There was a day when parents were highly involved in helping their children find a mate. These days, many parents are divorced themselves and encouraging their offspring to save the risk of divorce and live together. And many men were raised without a strong father figure to give them the confidence to move forward in a relationship.
All this to say ... don't be afraid to pull a Ruth or ask him to chase the plane. Be aware of the risk of losing him. But if your desire is to be married, hanging out indefinitely as buddies is not going to get you any closer to that calling. Far too many couples allow fear to keep them frozen. How much time are you willing to invest in being frozen?