WHAT THE BOOK OF RUTH TAUGHT ME ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
I’ve been studying the book of Ruth, and want to share with you what I’ve discovered.
Did you know that there are similarities between Ruth and The Virtuous Woman from Proverbs 31?
Reference in Ruth Reference in Proverbs
- Her family commitment is noted by others. 2:11, 12 31:11, 12
- She provided sustenance for her household. 2:14, 18 31:15
- She gave attention to her appearance. 3:3, 5 31:22
- Her selfless lifestyle drew praise from others. 2:11; 3:10; 4:15 31:28
- She committed herself to Yahweh as God. 1:16 31:30
Here are some other key points that really stood out to me today:
Who are your true friends? They are the ones who are committed!
They don’t turn their backs on you, and forget about you when you move away. If you’re feeling down, or you’ve been sick, they check in on you. They make time for you! Sure, everyone is busy, but if someone tells you that they won’t have time for you for a few months, you should probably re-evaluate that relationship. I’ve had to do this recently, and it’s a very painful experience, but what’s even more painful is trying to hold on to a one-sided relationship.
A couple of things stood out to me about Naomi, Ruth’s Mother-in-Law.
- Naomi models the way God works through a woman who moves forward, even in the midst of tragedy and trial, actively seizing every opportunity God provides, rather than waiting passively for events to happen.
- By focusing on the negative, Naomi became so bitter (Ruth 1:20) that she could not see the good and positive plans God was working on.
Of course these two things happened at two different parts of Naomi’s journey. The first one just made me think about what I would do if I lost my husband. I know I would be devastated and I just can’t imagine trying to continue on with life as normal. Naomi made the best of her situation, and returned to God. She was such a role model for Ruth.
In the second example, Naomi just didn’t feel worthy to be called Naomi, which means Pleasant. She felt like her suffering was God’s punishment for her own sins. Do you ever feel like that? I know I sure have! So many times when I begged God for something, and didn’t see it manifest, or when I’ve had to deal with any other kind of suffering or tragedy, I would think God was mad at me, and I deserved whatever happened.
But that’s not who God is! He’s a God of mercy and grace. He loved us before we even knew Him. He doesn’t sit around waiting to punish us. No, He’s our daddy! He wants to give us His best. But first, we have to believe that! Yes, you may reap what you sow, but if you realize that you have done wrong, ask Him for forgiveness. He will cast your sins as far as the east is to the west.