One of my favorite stories in scripture is the story of Ruth. We often hear of the Proverbs 31 woman as the epitome of what a Godly woman looks like, but God also has numerous other women in scripture that we as women can learn from their examples.
Ruth is a woman who exemplified obedience, patience, love, hope, and how new beginnings can truly become some of life’s greatest blessings. The few characteristics I mentioned are some of the lessons we can learn from her life, yet there are numerous others in which I encourage you to read through the book of Ruth to see the type of woman she was.
One characteristic that Ruth displayed was how love is hopeful.
Ruth left everything she knew, to journey with her mother-in-law Naomi. Now, Naomi’s husband Elimelech had passed away, but her two sons were still living.
Later, we read that the two sons passed away as well. Ruth and Oprah were the wives of sons, and now they had transitioned into widows.
I want to follow me for a moment, and read these passages of scripture!
Ruth 1:6-18 New International Version (NIV)
“When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.
May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!” At this they wept aloud again.
Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” But 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. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.”
Naomi and Ruth then traveled to Bethlehem. Although Ruth did not have all the answers to what the journey looked like ahead to Bethlehem, I believe she was hopeful of the new beginning she was about to embark on. Her husband had passed away, her life was shattered and almost everything she had become accustomed to in life, was now a memory.
One of the definitions of hope according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is, “ To expect with confidence”.
Check Your Pulse Moment: You see love does not always have the answers about what the future entails, but love can see hope when things seem hopeless.
Love can see what hate cannot. Love can see past people’s hurts and encourage hope for the future. Love can hope for forgiveness. Love can hope for the future to be better than the past!
You see Ruth was hopeful. She was hopeful to begin again. She was hopeful to journey with her mother-in-law. She was hopeful for the future.
I want to encourage you to be hopeful even if everything in your life right now seems hopeless. If your family is falling apart, remember love is hopeful. If your children are going wayward, love is hopeful that they will return. If the people on your job talk about you, remember love is hopeful!