It is funny how that you read something that you haven't read in a while, and you see something in it that you didn't see before. I have had that experience a few times lately, but I digress. I read the book of Ruth today. In four short chapters, I felt as though I had gone all the way through a Jane Austen story. A girl with no means, and nothing to recommend her, but the fact that she was virtuous. In fact, after reading it, I am convinced that Mr. Darcy owes his literary existence to Boaz the kinsman redeemer. Created by a minister's daughter, who obviously loved the book of Ruth. You see, Ruth has everything out of her favor, except for a virtuous heart. She is a foreigner, she is poor [evidenced in the fact that she had to go and glean in some one's field for her and Naomi's survival (gleaning - picking what the reapers missed)], a young widow and frankly, nothing that a Jewish man would pick to marry. But the very thing that captures Boaz is her virtue.
The heroines of Miss Austen's works have the same underpinning: virtue. One of the recurrent themes is girls of the marrying age, with nothing to commend them, except virtue. And contrary to every message our world throws at us today, in every case, it is enough! Doesn't the famous proverb tell us that a virtuous woman's worth is far above rubies. Her value is her virtue and by her virtue she creates a safe place for the heart of the man she marries. In passing, I don't know why girls miss this today, but they seem to miss it with great frequency: no guy that is interested in you has any interest in seeing you around other guys, ever. No respectable farmer wants to go out and see his cow grazing in another farmer's field (yes, we are going with an agrarian theme today); no respectable guy wants to see a girl that he is interested trying to get attention from other guys that she should be getting from him. You see, by doing that, you militate against the idea that his heart can safely trust in you; thereby taking yourself out of contention for the "Proverbs 31 prize."