I’ve always been troubled by the story of Boaz found in the Book of Ruth. While there are plenty of biblical narratives that horrify me–Hagar, Tamar, and other “texts of terror” as Phyllis Trible called them–the story of Boaz is uniquely problematic in how it has been interpreted and applied by some Christian traditions, particularly among evangelicals. What is so insidious about this biblical re-telling is how the relationship between Boaz, a wealthy landowner, and Ruth, a foreign widow, is idealized as some kind of romantic love story.
Waiting for your Boaz is a popular blogging platform among single white evangelical women who desire a husband. Their Facebook page alone has nearly 300,000 likes. For purchase on the main site is a book entitled 31 Days of Prayer for your Future Husband: Becoming a Wife Before the Wedding Day. The premise of Waiting for your Boaz is that if single women quit searching for a husband (i.e. dating) and pray for one instead, God will “write your love story” and like a matchmaker, will bring them one eventually.
While there are many troubling theological issues at play in this framework, for this particular piece I will focus on the cooption of the biblical narrative to uphold a worldview in which the fate of women is left to the whims of men and a male God.
Head over to Feminism and Religion to read the rest of my post.