The Woman called Ruth
When we read about Ruth in the Book of Ruth, some say “Awn! She got her Boaz.”
Then we see people say that they are in search of their Boaz.
For every pleasure, there was pain.
For every birth, there was travail.
She didn’t get Boaz on a platter of gold. She had made some sacrifices.
Let’s go on a journey through the Book of Ruth.
Ruth was a Moabitess.
Even though the Book was named after her, she wasn’t introduced until in verse four of the first chapter. She was introduced because she left her father’s house and became one with her husband. If we are to trace her history, we would say her great great great grandfather was Lot and from the preceding Books (read your Bible), we were made to understand that there was a great conflict between the Moabites and the Israelites.
If we are to summarize, Ruth was not even supposed to be in the lineage of Jesus Christ but the following amongst many others earned her that portfolio:
- Even after the death of her husband, Ruth remained with her mother-in-law. Even I know not the reason but I can say she remained because she had taken Naomi to be her own mother not just a mother-in-law. Unlike in this age where once one husband dies, there is often a strained relationship between the two families. Probably because the husband’s family often blames the wife for their kinsman’s death; this also, I know not.
- Ruth had the ‘where you go I go’ mentality. Ruth had formed a strong bond with her mother-in-law and accepted her completely such that she told Naomi that “I will not let you go because you are my mother, all that is yours is mine; your problems and hardships are mine too; what you eat, I eat; what you do, I do; where you die, I die” (paraphrased).
- She clave to Naomi. Clave is the archaic past tense of cleave. The Bible says the man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they twain will become one flesh. Ruth not only cleaved to her husband but also her mother-in-law such that even though her husband was late and there was nothing physically binding them, she still cleaved to Naomi.
- She said that the only thing that could separate them was death. Hmmm… I am imagining this age. This is a rare determination to have towards one’s mother-in-law. Some young ladies even pray for their future mother-in-law to die before they get married. Just like in points two and three above, we can see that she was steadfastly minded.
- She stood by her words. She said what she meant and meant what she said. She said she would remain with Naomi and she did. I perceive that she was not the eye service kind of daughter-in-law.
- She wasn’t lazy. She offered to work even in a land that she knew not. When they returned to Bethlehem, she offered to glean ears of corn in the field. She had no idea where she was going to but she knew that she had to work to feed herself and Naomi. A widow in this dispensation would hardly come this far with her mother-in-law let alone decide to work to feed her mother-in-law.
- She was selfless and good to her mother-in-law. She was so good to Naomi that the people of the land attested to it. When she met with Boaz, and she was given food to eat, she didn’t consume it all but she left some for Naomi who wasn’t even on the field.
- She was obedient to the instructions of her mother-in-law and Boaz. Men want obedient women as wives and mothers want obedient ladies. Even though she didn’t know the reason behind some of Naomi’s instructions, she didn’t question Naomi’s motives.
When the earthly genealogy of Jesus is mentioned, her family is included. She did a lot of work behind the scene. Based on her background, she was nowhere qualified but she earned the feat through diligence and the above listed acts.
Also, a book was written in her name remember that she wasn’t the only woman in the Bible.
There’s always a price to pay for every success.
Not all mothers-in-law are terrible; there are ways to win her heart.
Do you have an idea on the ways to win a mother-in-law’s heart? If yes, I would be glad to read some of them in the comment section below.