Loving In-Law

Women holding hands

And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.—RUTH 3:11 KJV

Ruth left everything when she accompanied her mother-inlaw, Naomi, to Bethlehem: her family, her culture, and her identity. She knew that people from Judah felt superior to Moab. Ruth could expect no welcome mat in Bethlehem—and certainly no chance for a second marriage. Who would want Ruth, especially since she cared for a penniless old woman? Ruth also gave up her gods. “Your God is now my God,” she told Naomi.

Once in Bethlehem, she ignored the townspeople’s stares and concentrated on putting food on the table. Ruth worked in the hot unforgiving sun. She gleaned barley from the “welfare” section of the fields until she caught the eye of Boaz, Naomi’s relative. Boaz saw through Ruth’s pagan origins and recognized her unusual sense of commitment to Naomi, her deep capacity for love. Boaz not only wanted to marry her, but he also told Ruth that the entire town had dropped its initial prejudice and now appreciated her faithfulness. Later, Naomi’s friends confirmed his words at the birth of Obed, Ruth and Boaz’s son. They congratulated Naomi on her secure future because of Ruth, “which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons” (Ruth 4:15 KJV).

Your “Naomi” needs a good “Ruth” today, too.

Today's Prayer:

Lord Jesus, sometimes I think that no one notices my sacrifices. Help me to realize that You are using me in my world as a witness to the love of Christ.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts