Struggles of Joy #9

Chapter 16

It had been two days since Boaz and Ruth had their first marital argument. They made small talk about the weather and the market place, but Ruth was getting more and more frustrated with their relationship. Knowing that she needed to tell Boaz that she loved him dearly, it was hard to be around him. Her pride would not allow her apologize to him, no matter how much she wanted to. Ruth couldn’t imagine what would happen if she were to come to him and he mocked her. What would happen if he laughed at her because she could not tell the man she loved that she loved him? “What kind of love is that,” he would say. “Leave me and find a man that you can love!”
            As Ruth thought more and more about her love for Boaz, she became convinced that she had made the mistake and she needed to talk with him. She became so convinced that she got up and went in search of him. If he won’t take me back, then it will be a family obligation marriage, and so be it. May the Lord God Almighty be praised with my actions today.
            After searching for a while, she found him on the threshing floor. He was absorbed in doing his work so she sat and watched him. She had held this position just two nights before as a widow, and now she held it as a married woman. So much could happen in just a little while. Taking a deep breath, she headed down to speak with her husband.
            “Boaz, do you need some help?” Ruth was trembling as she approached him. If she kept the conversation to small talk, then he might be more open to what she had to say later on. He looked up at her and attempted a smile but it was obviously forced. “Alright wife, help me.” He emphasized the word wife and Ruth understood his meaning. This was not a good time to speak with him, but she swallowed her fear and sat down.
            She cleared her throat, trying to free the anxiety as well, but it proved fruitless. “Boaz, I” she paused and swallowed, desperately trying to control her composure, “what happened yesterday, well, I_”
            “I get it Ruth. We don’t need to go over this anymore.” He interrupted her and threw all of her thoughts away. She didn’t even feel like trying to explain her feelings if he didn’t want to listen. But, once again, she felt like she needed to stay and talk with him, so swallowing her pride, she continued.
            “Boaz,” she struggled, “that’s not how I feel.” There, she had blurted it out and now she just had to explain herself before Boaz could speak again. “When I came to you before, when you were here, I was a love sick woman. There was no one else I wanted to be with except you.” She quickly lowered her eyes so she could miss seeing his response. “I was horrified that my feelings wouldn’t be returned. I_” her voice cracked and her eyes began to get teary, but she pressed on. “I couldn’t believe that you would ever return the feelings, and so that’s how I acted. I didn’t want to bother you in your celebration. I thought that you had married me only for family obligation, and it was destroying me. I didn’t know how to behave around you. I was continually thinking how I could be married to a man who didn’t love me.” She could go on no longer. It was too hard to speak with the large lump that had formed in her throat. Blinking back tears, she saw Boaz move closer to her and afraid he might hit her, she cringed. Instead, she felt a comforting hand on her shoulder.
            “Ruth, my beautiful wife,” he whispered in her ear, “I have caused you to cry. I’m so sorry I misunderstood you and made you doubt. I love you, Ruth. I love you from the bottom of my heart and that will never change.” His voice was gruff, but Ruth could read the honesty in his voice. “I am so sorry this misunderstanding ever happened. We were meant to be together and now, look at us, we are hardly able to talk to with each other. Ruth, what have I done?” He bent his head and let his sobs of sorrow and joy mingle with Ruth’s. They held on to each other and shared in their feelings.
            “I love you Boaz, my beautiful husband,” whispered Ruth into her spouse’s ear. “I will love you till the day I die. I promise you that.”

Chapter 17

            The city gossips now had many juicy items to chat about, but Ruth didn’t care. She and her husband were happy together and they loved each other. There was nothing that could make her regret taking that first step in proposing to him. They had now been married for 2 months. They had their arguments, of course, but they always worked them out. There was nothing that could separate Ruth and her lover.
Ruth thought back to something that Naomi had told her right before she got married. “Be sure to have struggles of joy, not struggles of grief.” That is how she wanted to live her life. She wanted to have struggles of joy. She wanted to remember that even when life was hard, the good times were going to come. That is how she and Boaz lived their lives. Times would get hard, she knew that, but she was ready to take them on. She was ready to live life as a struggle of joy.