Labor of Love

Naomi and Ruth: Perseverance of Faith and Love

The book of Ruth has many insights into a life of faith. When our Bible study group read the first chapter together one evening I was struck by the part that Naomi played in Ruth’s pursuit of knowing God.

Book of Ruth in the Bible

Our study leader suggested that we imagine what Ruth might have said about her decision to go with Naomi. What might she have said as a testimony? I thought about her story . . .

As a young woman I was offered an unexpected marriage proposal. A young man, an Israelite, asked me, a Moabite, to be his wife. I had heard stories about Israel and was intrigued. I accepted Mahlon’s proposal. He took me to reside with his family, and I was introduced to their God.

My husband’s mother, Naomi, was good to me.   She was a widow and  devoted to her sons. As I worked with her making meals and taking care of the home she told me about her God. She told me about the way God had guided her people, sometimes in miraculous ways. I could tell that she missed Israel.

Great tragedy struck us.  My husband and his brother became ill and died. His brother’s wife, Orpah, and I were widows now, with no sons or daughters.   Naomi was filled with grief and decided that she would go back  to   Israel. She told Orpah and me to go back to our former homes. We wept because we had grown to love Naomi.

After embracing Naomi Orpah left. But I did not. I wanted to know about the God of Israel. I told Naomi that I would go with her. Her God would be my God. I made a covenant to remain with her for the rest of her life.

Naomi's faith as passed to Ruth and she persevered

This account is an encouragement to live out our faith in loving actions and words. Naomi endured great hardship, but she still was able to convey a message about God to Ruth. What impresses you more, Naomi’s perseverance or Ruth’s openness to learning from Naomi?

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Carol

Carol is a follower of Jesus and a wife, mom & grandma. She worked for many years as a childbirth nurse and prenatal educator. She recently retired from clinical work. She has written articles for nursing journals and devotionals. Her novel, Aliisa's Letter, was published in 2010 and she is currently working on another project.

6 thoughts on “Naomi and Ruth: Perseverance of Faith and Love”

  1. I think Ruth’s willingness to go with her mother-in-law strikes me the most–especially since I don’t have a particularly great relationship with my mother-in-law.

  2. I do love the story of Ruth. My daughter’s name is Ruth and my husband and I quoted Ruth 1:16-17 to each at our wedding. I even had that scripture reference etched into his wedding band! It’s hard to say which one inspires me the most. I guess if I had to choose it’d be Ruth. Her actions were bolder I think and show a great strength and trust in a God who she had little experience with at that point in her life. So impressive… I love that!

    1. Hi Amy, thanks for your message. I have a granddaughter named Ruth and have always loved the book of Ruth. On this recent reading I was drawn to Naomi and the influence she had on Ruth. It is good to have a glimpse of the faith inspired relationships between women in the Bible.

  3. You’ve put this story across so well and have really made me think about two great women. Perseverance wins with me every time, especially when persevering through hardships.

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