We have heard about those Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law horror stories. Maybe some of you are the main characters of those horror stories. The horror story consists of the Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law bumping heads, both fighting for the Number 1 position in one man's life.
When I first met my Mother-in-law, over the phone, it was kind of scary. She wasn't mean, but very abrasive and to the point. You see, my husband and I met on a Tuesday and got married on that Saturday. But seriously, our courting stage was very brief, about three months, and then we jumped the broom. One of the best decisions I've ever made! Understand my Mother-in-law's point of view. I was this girl whom she had never met before. She didn't know who I was, but that I was a stranger who appeared out of nowhere getting ready to marry her son. Any Mother, who loves her son, would be cautious about that idea, and Mama was very cautious. She had many questions and she wasn't afraid to ask me.
One of the things that I loved about Mama is that she was honest and to the point. She didn't beat around the bush and she sure didn't sugar coat anything. She was a strong woman, who loved her children (and that includes me!) and her grandchildren, and she defended them no matter what! Mama said what she felt, she meant what she said, and she said what she meant. She didn't bite her tongue for anyone. What is most significant about my Mother-in-law is that she loved the Lord and she made it her duty to introduce her children to Jesus. Mama reared her children in the fear and admonition of the Lord; she taught her children about Christ!
Before long, my Mother-in-law began to see and appreciated the genuine love I had for her son. My Mother-in-Law became Mama to be. Over the years, our relationship deepened. Although Mama is no longer with us, I am grateful for the time we shared together and the special Mother-Daughter bond we developed.
"But Ruth replied, .......'Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.... May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!'"
(Ruth 1:16-17, NLT)
In today's passage, we read about a daughter-in-law who refused to leave her mother-in-law's side. A special Mother-Daughter bond is formed between strangers. Ruth and Orpah, who were Moabites, and Naomi, a Jewish woman. Through sorrow and suffering, Naomi develops a special relationship with her daughter-in-laws. A severe famine sends Naomi, along with her husband, and two sons, away from their home in Bethlehem, Judah to the country of Moab. While there, Naomi becomes a widow and a single Mother of two sons. Soon, she becomes a Mother-in-Law of two daughters, Ruth and Orpah, but 10 years later, Naomi experiences the death of her sons. She and her daughters grieve the loss of their loved one.
At that time, Naomi makes the decision to return to her country and family, suggesting that her daughters return to their families. After much persuasion, Orpah kisses her Mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clinging to Naomi, determined to stick by her Mother-in-law's side.
What made Ruth want to follow Naomi? What was so special about Naomi that Ruth was willing to leave her country, family, the familiar place behind, and travel to a strange land?
I believe it was Naomi's love for God that allowed the relationship to develop deeply for her daughter-in-laws. Naomi showed the love of God through her life. She showed kindness to her daughter-in-laws. The kindness was brought forth from the love she had for God. I believe Naomi loved her daughter-in-laws like they were her own flesh and blood. Because of that love for God, Ruth and Orpah saw something special that they knew nothing about. Ruth and Orpah wanted to be by their Mother-in-law's side. Naomi tried to convince them to go back to their family and their home, but Ruth wanted to stay connected to Naomi, and therefore, she chose to follow Naomi back to Judah.
Ruth was ready and willing to accept Naomi's country, Naomi's family, and Naomi's God. And that was the best the decision Ruth could have made! Instead of going back to her own family, Ruth chose to follow Naomi; proving to be the wisest choice ever. By choosing to go with Naomi, Ruth became part of the Royal Family. Ruth, a stranger from Moab, gets included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. What an honor! Ruth, the great, great, great, great..........(many generations later) grandmother of the long awaited Messiah!
Sisters, from the story of Ruth, we learn that our love for God and the light of Jesus can help us form lasting relationships and develop special bonds with other women. At times, we will experience sorrow, but like these women, we can find strength and solace from each other. That's Christian love. Let us strive to love like Jesus and allow others to see the God in us.
LET'S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER
& IMPACT THE WORLD!
*Originally posted 5/9/12.
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