The story of Ruth has always been one of my favorites. It is a story of undying loyalty of a daughter-in-law that paid off not just for mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, but for all of us. Ruth, a woman from a foreign land with foreign gods ends up becoming the great-grandmother of David and a direct ancestor of Jesus.
As Christians, we focus on family loyalty. Honor thy father and mother is the Fifth Commandment. But, what happens when one’s family is destructive? Perhaps they participate in illegal or immoral behavior. Maybe they are physically and/or emotionally abusive to each other. In those times, whether it be a parent, a spouse, or a friend, it is okay to make a break.
Ruth did. Instead of returning to her people, the Moabites, who were constantly at war with Israel and worshipped false gods with obscene rituals, she sacrificed everything to stay with her mother-in-law. This woman, Naomi, was a widow and had no living sons. Women in this position were relegated to a future of poverty and begging. Why would Ruth choose this life instead of returning to her family?
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” – Ruth 1:16-17 NIV
It is clear she made a choice to adopt the ways of the Lord and of the Israelites. She feared God and wanted to do what was right in His eyes.
What a hard decision to make. I have known so many people in toxic relationships who stay because it is comfortable and it is what they know. Ruth could’ve easily chosen the path that was easy and socially acceptable. She could’ve went back to her family and their sinful ways. Instead she risked it all for God and her mother-in-law, and God rewarded her.
God will reward you, too, when you choose to surround yourself with Godly people. It’s hard, especially for teenagers and young adults who often weigh the opinion of others too heavily. Even adults may find it hard to break off longstanding relationships. Longevity doesn’t always mean quality. Unfortunately, some birth families are more a cause of dysfunction than support.
Will you be like Ruth and fill your life with people of God?
This devotional corresponds with Chapter 9 of The Story. I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us in this faith journey. For more information visit: Read The Story with The Wellness Wife. You can also join our Facebook group, Read “The Story” with The Wellness Wife. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that we’ve already started. You can pick up anywhere and catch up at your leisure. Follow this link for all devotionals related to The Story.
Pick up The Story at your local Christian or secular bookstore or online:
These are affiliate links. I receive a small commission from purchases made through these links. This is how I keep the blog going.
Illustration of The Book of Ruth by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA, copyright 1984; edited by The Wellness Wife
- Fall in Williamsburg’s New Quarter Park
- What Are You Doing With Your Extra Gas Money?