I continue to learn from the online Bible study of Ruth. Amazing how there is always something new to be gleaned (hey, the pun was not intended but it was a good one, lol). And today was no different.
Women need one another. We truly do. That is what has stood out to me. Naomi and Ruth forged ahead in relationship and they both were blessed for their efforts. At a time in their lives, when going their separate ways would have made the most sense, these two women opted to stay together and face life.
As chapter two opens, I found Ruth’s determination to work and provide for them both to be courageous. Here she was, a younger widowed woman, going to glean in the fields of unknown people, willingly placing herself at risk in order to obtain food for them both. Naomi encourages her with words which must have infused Ruth with a determination for them both to survive.
Ruth turns to Naomi for a listening ear. She needs to discuss her work, her boss and the work environment with her mother-in-law. Naomi in return, offers her wise guidance. Within this story, I see some relational truths for every woman, no matter where they may be on their journey:
- Older women are needed. Experience and hopefully, wisdom, comes with age. We all can benefit from someone who is a little further along in our journey.
- Younger women are needed. Younger women bring an enthusiasm and energy for life. They can bring fresh perspective to life.
- We need each other. We benefit from encouraging one another and spurring one another on in life. We are not meant to live in isolation nor should we try.
Naomi and Ruth each knew their roles. As they interacted and responded to each other, within their defined roles, they brought blessing to each other. There are no signs of rivalry or begrudging one another of opportunities. Ruth worked hard in the fields, not choosing her own immediate gratification. Naomi guided her in the most honorable means to assure a future. As they encouraged one another in the plan which was unfolding, they benefited from their friendship. Their love and respect for one another deepened.
Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, gives us a wise piece of advice:
When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12. NIV).
May older and younger women not compete or compare. Rather may they come alongside one another, much like Naomi and Ruth, so that both are blessed in ways they could not have imagined. I once read:
“Set a high value on spontaneous kindness.” (Samuel Johnson)
Let’s live by it.