July 22, 2015

Naomi and Ruth: Unintentional Mentor

Ruth 1:1-22

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.”

—  Ruth 1:16

Naomi was in foreign territory, physically and emotionally. She lived in a foreign land not by choice but because of famine in her home country. She also suffered the overwhelming loss of her husband and sons there. Naomi described herself as bitter and empty. She probably did not see herself as a worthy mentor to her daughters-in-law.

We don’t know how the relationship began with Naomi and her daughters-in-law. But a strong bond had formed between them. When Naomi encouraged them to leave her as she returned to her homeland, these young women declared their loyalty to her, saying, “We will go back with you to your people.”

Naomi explained that there was virtually no hope of a family future for them in her homeland. Orpah then said goodbye, but Ruth was not persuaded to leave Naomi. She made a passionate commitment, saying, “Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Through a loving relationship, Ruth expressed faith both to Naomi and to her God.

We never know what influence our words and actions might have on the lives of others, even when we feel empty. Our life is an example to others of what Christianity looks like, whether we choose to be a mentor or not. What will others see as they engage with you today?

Lord, give us the courage to set a godly example for oth-ers to follow. May others see you through the love we share. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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