CLAIM: Naomi tells Ruth to wait until Boaz has finished eating and drinking. Let him pass out, and then, lay down at his feet while he is sleeping. Then she says, “He will tell you what you shall do” (Ruth 3:4). Is this good advice for women looking to date a man today?
RESPONSE: This isn’t good wisdom for dating. Not everything in the Bible that is described is necessarily prescribed. Not everything that the Bible contains is necessarily condoned. Naomi is a bitter, old woman (Ruth 1:20), who is angry with God (Judg. 1:21). Therefore, we hardly view her dating advice as necessarily good or godly.
This book also takes place during the time of the judges (Ruth 1:1), which was a morally deplorable time in Israel’s history. During this time, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21:25). For these reasons, we do not believe that Naomi’s dating advice should be followed by young Christian women (or men). Paul writes that believers should even avoid the “appearance of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22), and we should, “Flee immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18). Telling a girl to lay down with a man, after he’s been drinking, and do whatever he asks you to do would hardly fit these biblical principles on dating.