Happy Valentine's Day...The Love Affair
THE STORY OF A LOVE AFFAIR (HAPPY VALENTINES DAY)
CRONACA DI UN AMORE Michelangelo Antonioni Italy, 1950
Drama, Romance, Crime
A wealthy industrialist becomes curious about his trophy wife Paola’s past and hires a private investigator. The detective discovers that she had fallen desperately in love with the handsome Guido as a young girl, and may have participated in a crime to win his hand…
While this story lends a hand in creating excitement and euphoria it still leaves us empty, mainly because we know it’s just a movie script.
The Plot: At a detective agency in Milan, Carloni is looking through photographs of an attractive young woman, Paola Molon Fontana, given to the agency by her wealthy industrialist husband, Enrico Fontana.
The couple were married seven years ago, shortly after meeting each other. Fontana's recent discovery of these old photos have aroused his suspicion, and Carloni is hired to uncover whatever he can about Paola's life before her marriage. Carloni travels to the town of Ferrara, where Paola spent much of her youth. The detective soon discovers that she was best friends with two girls in town. He goes to the apartment of one of her friends, Matilde, and learns from her husband that Matilde's friend Giovanna Carlini died in a tragic elevator shaft fall a few days before she was to be married to Guido Garroni, a local boy with whom Paola had also been involved. When the sullen Matilde arrives home, she refuses to cooperate with Carloni. After the detective leaves, Matilde writes a letter to Guido, alerting him that a suspicious man is investigating Paola's past. The start of a great Plot. But it leaves us still empty.
I want in introduce you to one of the greatest loves stories and leave you with some tools that are guaranteed to help you if you pay attention to the narrative.
I am a pushover for Cinderella stories with a dash of intrigue. The biblical story of Ruth and Boaz is all of that and more. Inspiring to Christians single or married, this love story displays God’s sovereignty over difficult circumstances in every stage and season of life. Woven throughout, God’s lovingkindness shines in each detail. While in Judah, God orchestrated a wondrous plan for a man named Boaz to take Ruth as his wife, give her a child, and provide for her and Naomi. What's remarkable about this plan was that Boaz was suited as a “kinsman-redeemer” to take her as his wife.
The book of Ruth found in the Old Testament is one of the few Bible stories told from a woman’s viewpoint. It’s backdropped by famine, cross-cultural marriage, and tragedy. Inspired by deep loyalty, two widowed women, in different seasons of life, join to make a journey across boundaries. Destitute, empty-handed, and alone the unseen Sovereign Hand of a faithful Father guided their footsteps. Boaz and Ruth’s inspiring story moves from despair to hope and foreshadows Jesus’ own redemption for us.
Point to Ponder: Your circumstance is yours; it doesn't matter what you are going through, it matters what you think as you are going through it.
Ruth shows her love by putting her mother-in-law’s needs above her own. She searched for a way to support them both. Mosaic law provided for those less fortunate by insuring some of the crops were left from the harvest (Leviticus 19). The edges of the fields provided food to be gathered by those in need. Ruth found a field where she could work picking up grain the harvesters left behind. She began early in the day and labored through the day, taking only a short break.
Before we move further…ask yourself these questions: What season are you in? Do you even know? Who or what is guiding you? What are you waiting for? What have you done to move you into position to receive what God may have waiting for you? Are you willing to go to the edges and gather leftovers for those in need? Boaz, a man of wealth and influence in the community, owned the field. News had already spread about the Moabite’s kindness and loyalty. When he went there that day, a young woman, dusty and hot, bent over gathering sheaves of leftover grain.
Boaz Bible Story so Inspiring to Christian Couples
Ruth and Boaz’s lovingkindness toward others is an inspiration for couples today. The Hebrew word, hesed, brings abundant reward into their romance. Translated into English as love, mercy, faithfulness, loyalty, goodness, and lovingkindness hesed is an attribute of God shown in action throughout the book of Ruth.
Point to Ponder: It matter what you say but it matters more in your action towards another.
We see it in Boaz’s treatment of Ruth, but even before they met, in Ruth’s kindness to Naomi. It is found in Ruth's sacrifice when she left her homeland and her willingness to embrace another’s. She demonstrates it when she leaves behind the Moabite gods and embraces the God of the Israelites. Ruth displays it as she works diligently in the field. She exhibits it in her actions of obedience and humility at the feet of her kinsman-redeemer. Instructed by Naomi, Ruth quietly lay down at Boaz’s feet after he fell asleep after a day of work. Startled awake, Boaz, recognized Ruth’s act as inviting him to become her kinsman-redeemer and he knew it also to be an act of kindness, Ruth 3:8-10.
“This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor” Ruth 3:10 NIV.
However, a closer relative existed. Graciously Boaz promised to see Ruth redeemed whether through the nearer relative or by himself. When the nearest kinsman declined his role as kinsman-redeemer, Boaz bought the land and pledged himself to marry her. Boaz did the right thing in the right way. It’s an example for couples today as well.
I must interject here: When I met my wife, there was no hesitation. Some of you are going to have a problem with this…that your problem not mine. The first thing I did was give her complete access to my phone i.e., face id and code, she was added to all accounts nothing secret, she knew about anybody and everything, I welcome her into my life; just as Christ welcomed me into His.
The problem in today’s marriages is “The men have not learned how to love the wife in their lives as Christ loved the Church and gave his life for it.
The inspiration for Christian couples also flows through the parallels of our redemption by Jesus Christ. We too were empty-handed and lost. Jesus Christ willingly paid the price for our salvation. He became like us, taking on humanity but without sin. While once we were destitute and broken, we now have hope.
We Can Learn from the Story of Ruth and Boaz
There is always a bigger story. We, like Naomi, are prone to desperation in situations. God guided in unseen ways to bring Ruth and Boaz together. Though the events may have seemed circumstantial they accomplished eternal import.
God is at the helm. His Sovereignty encompasses our lives and moves happenings to accomplish His will. Ruth and Boaz found each other because a Sovereign Hand lead in the everyday affairs of their lives.
Lovingkindness is a divine attribute. Boaz and Ruth’s coming together is much more than a sweet Cinderella story. Lovingkindness in action and affection is an attribute of God the Father. One whose life belongs to Christ, who is filled with His Spirit will reproduce His fruits. Christian faith is marked by lovingkindness.
Jesus is the Ultimate Redeemer. Boaz and Ruth’s love story pictured something yet to come. Jesus, our true Kinsman-Redeemer came that we might have life. His lovingkindness rescued us from our sins and redeemed us from eternal separation.
Joy and hope are never out of grasp. No matter how dark life becomes, Jesus is still our joy and hope for eternity. “Happily, ever after” in this life is just a shadow of the glorious truth that awaits.
This 2023Valentine’s Day
Let us stop pulling out all the stops to only fall back into the existence of our failed relationships. Let’s look at what this real love story can enlightened us to be each and everyday verses a day.
Lesson #1 – There is Hope Even in the Most Devastating Times of Our Life
Lesson #2 – The Past is Not Our Final Destination When We Trust God
Lesson #3 – Doing the Right Thing Often Takes Great Sacrifice
Lesson #4 – Sharing Openly About Our Relationship with God Brings Intimacy to Relationships
Lesson #5 – We See a Preview of Christ’s Redeeming Power
Lesson #6 – We Must Be People of Character Even When We Think No One is Watching
Lesson #7 – God Uses Unlikely People for His Purpose
Ruth reminds us that no matter what lies in our past, and no matter how difficult our circumstances may be, a little bit of faith makes a huge difference. And even in our obscurity, and in the mess of what may be our lives, God finds a way to use the most unlikely people in ways that we could never imagine.
Amen!!! Happy Loving-kindness Day.