This may seem inappropriate, but it is funny. I got a good chuckle from it anyway.
It got me to thinking seriously though, too, as I do often literally pray, “Lord, bring me my Boaz.” I was married to Broke-az Po-az Lyin-az Cheatin-az Dumb-az Drunk-az Lazy-az Beatinmy-az for sixteen years, and, trust me, there was nothing funny about that.
I wonder though…..do I really want Boaz? What would I do if a Boaz came into my life? How would I respond to him?
My grandma once told my mother, “You’ve been married to E so long, you won’t ever know how to have a normal relationship.” Now, my mother wasn’t normal. She was narcissistic and cruelly abusive, and that was her adoring mother blindly saying those words to her. But, Grandma’s words are ringing with an element of truth in my ears. Was I married to R so long that I will never know how to have a normal relationship?
A dear friend of mine is a mother above all else. She mothers her children. She mothers her animals. She mothers me. I adore her, and I relish the reparenting that she provides me with. But, like any rebellious natured child will do, I got frustrated with her mothering the other day.
She had an epiphany as she laid upon her bed. It was of me and a recently widowed home schooling father of four. Granted, from what little I know of him it would indeed seem perfect. We are both continuing to home school as single parents. My oldest son organized a speech class and participated in Lincoln Douglas debate, as do his boys. My oldest two boys took ballroom dance classes, as do his boys. We both hold to deep religious convictions and would classify ourselves as conservative (though I was very pleased over Christmas when my oldest son made a passing statement about how open minded I am).
I do long for a companion, but I have really wrestled with the idea of her epiphany.
A couple of days ago we were texting about the whole thing, and I said the following, “Not to be too touchy feely but I really need a man who genuinely loves me and makes me feel special anyway. After what I’ve been through I think it would be a bad idea to settle for an opportunity and live in another woman’s shadow. That might turn me into a drunk.”
She responded, “I don’t understand, but I trust your instincts.” I got frustated because I just did not see how she could possibly not understand.
I answered, “After being married to a man who absolutely hated me and damaged my psyche so badly I think I really desperately need a man who truly loved me.”
She asked, “What makes you think a man who lost his wife couldn’t love you? I think you’ll know if they love you. Whoever he is will be a lucky man.”
I wrote, “Awww, thank you. I don’t know. It just seems like it could easily be a matter of convenience simply because it’s too hard to be a single parent trying to home school. I don’t think I would know. I’m too messed up. I’ve thought about it a lot lately because I was feeling my singleness during the holidays. If I did ever date I think I would want D and W.B. involved in some way because they are men whose judgment I trust.”
She simply said, “My guess is that he just wants someone to love.”
I left for town later on and, alone in the car, I prayed, “Lord, is it her, or is it me? Why did she not understand? Shouldn’t it be obvious? Or, are these my thinking errors again that the counselor talked about?”
I heard a still, small voice whisper in my right ear, “It’s you.”
I ranted at the Lord because He’s big enough to listen to me and my whining and still love me. Why is it me? What do You mean? This is a man who, from everything I’ve heard, was married to an amazing woman. She was a really special person. How could he ever, ever be interested in someone as damaged as I? Really, I deserved R because my mother had already twisted me into a mess of nothingness. I am foolish to pray for a Boaz! Why doesn’t my friend see that?
The still, small voice answered, “Boaz married Ruth, a Moabitess, and it was a marriage of convenience that resulted in happiness and blessing.”
[I haven’t even met the man, let alone gone on a date with him, so marriage talk may seem a little junior high schoolish. But, let’s be realistic. At our ages, with our responsibilities, we aren’t looking for a date for Friday night just to be cool. Any relationship must be weighed for it’s future potential, or it’s a waste of time. Time taken away from wounded and grieving children that need their parent at home with them.]
The Lord’s response gave me quite a bit of food for thought.
I am ashamed of where I come from. My own mother taught me about sex at a very tender age when I should have been innocently having tea parties. She hated me, starved me, and beat me from the time I was very, very small. My sense of nothingness sucked me into an aberrant lifestyle of drunkenness and promiscuity. My once successful father joined forces with some of the other wealthy business owners in town and formed the drug ring that brought meth into this area. A drug ring that has haunted and tormented this community, ruining countless lives. My dad eventually spent time in the state prison for manufacturing and selling a controlled substance. I hate where I come from. It is bitter to wear this shame publicly.
But, the Lord reminded me that Ruth’s family tree began with an incestuous, drunken, manipulative romp in a cave. Certainly there was shame to bear with that family history, too.
Then, He spoke to me about choosing relationships based upon commonalities. Close, covenantal relationships should be based upon shared beliefs, shared convictions, shared goals. They should not be based upon shame and resolve to accept punishment for former sins, whether they be your own or your ancestors. Boaz was impressed with Ruth’s good character and treatment of Naomi. Likewise, Boaz was a just man. They were both devout, though she was a convert. Nonetheless, she was every bit as devout as Boaz, raised as a Jew. Those were the bases for their relationship. And, that brought happiness and blessing.
Why would I assume that seeking a relationship based upon shared convictions and character is akin to settling for a matter of convenience? Suddenly, my friend’s confusion made sense. My thoughts on the matter are fairly nonsensical.
My thinking errors that were programmed into my soul by my mother and then reinforced by my husband tell me that a good man will never want me. My mother’s repeated, “No man worth having will ever put up with you!” clings to my back with its long, black claws. Her disgusted tone and twisted face stand before me still screaming, “He’s only with you because……insert reason….he doesn’t want to be alone…..he’s trying to make his ex jealous…..you make good money.” Always though, the message is the same. I am unlovable, and I am merely convenient at the moment.
Perhaps it’s time I call my mother’s ghost and her demons liars. Perhaps I should honestly give the idea of a Boaz more than just the lip service of an empty prayer. Perhaps it’s time for me to honestly give myself the chance of something better than Broke-az Po-az Lyin-az Cheatin-az Dumb-az Drunk-az Lazy-az Beatinmy-az.