When I was in the 3rd grade, my friend talked me into cheating on a spelling test. Then she told the teacher.
When I was in High School, my first boyfriend told me he loved me. Then he took another girl to prom.
When I arrived at my first base as a new military member, I had a roommate who was super friendly. Then she started stealing my clothes.
Anyone can look back at relationships and see where dishonesty and deception occurred. It has happened to all of us. Each of us can also look back at relationships and see where honesty, love, and support occurred. We value the comfort and joy in a relationship that is built on loyalty.
Whether a spouse, significant other, best friend, co-worker, extended family or countless other relationships, humans crave the comfort of knowing the relationship is on a solid foundation of truth. That is the solid foundation of truth that God provides when we accept a relationship with Him.
In Ruth 1:16, God provides us with a look at a relationship fully vested in loyalty. As a widow, Ruth tells her widowed mother-in-law that she will stay with her through thick and thin. She vows to resist any pressure to break their relationship. She makes a lifelong commitment to another. She abandons her allegiances with others. She willfully makes a connection through God with another.
Ruth 1: 16 (NIV) “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 (ISV) “Stop urging me to abandon you and to turn back from following you. Because wherever you go, I’ll go. Wherever you live, I’ll live. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.”
Ruth 1:16 (KJV) “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go: and where thought lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”
Ruth 1:16 (NLT) “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. 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.”
The beauty of this verse is that it is relevant in any version. You see the fierce determination of a daughter-in-law to stay with her mother-in-law. You see a relationship that is full of loyalty, commitment, and allegiance. You see an example of a relationship that God wants with us.
While sitting on the iron porch, my prayer is that we all experience this type of loyalty, commitment, and allegiance. I pray that we each experience it with our God, as well as with our spouses and families and in our friendships. Each of us can decide we want to be the Ruth in our relationships. Let’s be Ruth.