“May this child restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you so much and who has been better to you than seven sons!” – Ruth 4:15
It is said that you don’t choose your relatives—and that is true. But with God’s help, you can choose to love the ones you don’t choose!
Ruth knew what it was to mourn the deaths of husband and brother-in-law (Ruth 1:4-5). She chose to leave her family heritage in Moab for a foreign land (Ruth 1:14-17). Once in Bethlehem, Ruth toiled diligently at menial work, willing to cast herself on the charity of others—and all for love. And this, not because of her love for a man, but because of her love for her mother-in-law!
Such love is attractive, winsome, noticed—especially by men of character such as Boaz (Ruth 2:11-12). Such love was “as strong as death” (Song of Songs 8:6) and loyal. As Paul puts it, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is al-ways hopeful, and endures through every circum-stance” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Like Ruth, we can discover the source of such love. It is found in God. The force of such love is the Holy Spirit, who pours it into our hearts (Romans 5:5). The course of such an overflowing river of blessing will drench those close to us with delight.
We do not have it within ourselves to love an-yone whom we might find different or difficult. But God will give us his love with which to love that person. God understands our differences and loves the unlovable. Remember, he loves us! Such love is ours for the asking, the taking, the loving.
For Further Study: Ruth 4:1-22
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.