As I said in my last post, I am studying Kelly Minter's newest book, called Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy. I am currently on lesson 4, where we are talking about the proposal that Ruth makes to Boaz. One of the most remarkable part of this story is that Boaz compliments Ruth, not on her beauty, but on her character. He says, "Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence." He had noticed her for her work ethic, her kindness towards her mother-in-law and the way she conducted herself around his employees. "Chayil", the Hebrew word for excellence, holds a wealth of meaning: strength, power, virtue, substance, and worth. Wow! Boaz sure thought a lot of Ruth! She was this lowly Moabite woman who had come from nothing, but had shown herself worthy of his attention. "Chayil" is also used in the first part of Proverbs 12:4, which says, "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband," and in Proverbs 31:10, "An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels." (NASB)
I have been challenged as I've studied these Scriptures to become a woman of excellence. It's a concept that was also driven home to me at the She Speaks conference last week. All throughout the weekend, authors, publishers, and speakers insisted that the women in attendance make it a habit to pursue excellence in all that we strive to do. In the field of writing, that means we ought to read the best authors, write every single day, and constantly learn more about the craft. I have set out to do all these things, but I also seek to apply this to my character as well. I want to be a woman like Ruth. A woman who is seen by those around her, even the elders in the city gates, as a woman of noble and virtuous character. A woman of truth. A woman who does her very best in every area of her life. But, not for the sake of being number 1 or just for the sake of being seen. No, this was not Ruth's goal. Ruth became an excellent woman with her kindness and a servant's heart. I pray that I will lay down my life before the LORD in order to become a woman of excellence for Him!
What does being a woman (or man) of excellence look like to you?