Commitment (Finding Love) Ruth 1:7-22
7 So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” 14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
15 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
19 So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” 20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi;[a] call me Mara,[b] for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
Commitment is one of the three values of the Marine Corp, Honor, Courage, and Commitment. They teach every Marine to have Honor, Courage, and Commitment. The reason for that is mostly because you’re representing more than yourself. You’re representing the corp as a whole, the marines that have gone before you, and those who will come after you, no pressure. A lot of other people get affected based on your own reputation. We see this with the police departments, if one cop does something wrong, then all the cops now get a bad name. We see this among pastors, if one pastor does something wrong, now the entire church gets a bad reputation. These three values are more than words or logos that go in a marine’s handbook in Bootcamp, they are the very fabrication of every single person in the world, in some way, shape, or form. In every culture of the world, everyone lives with these values three values out within the context of their own culture.
Being a Christian is like being a Marine. We’re of a group of people that are connected based on a central belief system and that belief system is the Bible. In our faith, we use honor, courage, and commitment to carry our own mission, this mission we have is to be a bright shining light in the darkness of this world. By taking the gospel to the ends of the world. Not only big missions like that but smaller missions like finding a spouse. We are all on a mission to find a spouse unless you are like Paul and have no desire to get married. If you are reading this far into this bible study, you’re most likely just interested in romantic books, or you’re trying to become the men or woman that God is calling you to be so you can get married one day and be a great spouse. What can we learn today about being a great future husband or wife?
“So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.” – Ruth 1:7-9
Naomi told both her daughters-in-law to go back to their own people. She said that because she wanted to move on and she wanted them also to move on. Just let’s forget about the deaths of everyone. Let’s take 10 steps back and act like it never happened. Let’s start over. Don’t you ever want to just start over and push reset on your life? I know I do! If I could go back to being 16 years old, I would have given my life to God and preached the gospel in the school lunchroom and then just kind of stopped there and actually focus on another career choice. Yes, I just said that! I would have been a great business owner. I was so passionate about telling everyone about Jesus when I was younger, I ended up pursuing this ministry calling and here we are. Look I share that feeling with you in order that you might see that I’m not just saying stuff behind a computer screen to make you feel connected, I’m telling it how it is. Sometimes we as Christians get so discouraged in life, we just want to push this reset button and try again. This is exactly where Naomi is at in her life. Where is that reset button?
Naomi is in no position right now to stay committed to any relationship, not even to her two daughters-in-law. It seems that when bad things happen to us in life, our first reaction is the go sit in a corner and be away from everyone. We want no interaction with other people. The ‘leave me alone’ thinking is very dangerous. We need a community around us. Communities can take shape in forms of family, friends, church groups, like a bible study at church or a life group/community group, or even a group of coworkers at your job. Community is an important factor in recovering from emotional pain. At the beginning of the world, God created everything and said it was all good. The only thing though is when he looked at the man and saw the man was alone, it must have made God sad I’m guessing, because he said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18.
Something else we see in the creation account is when God created man, God said in Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” See how it says “Let Us Make”? Who is the ‘us’ part? We know based on the New Testament that God is 1 being in 3 different persons. These three persons are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The theology and understanding of this concept are debated, even by the early church fathers. Three things we know are true about this, first, each person of the trinity are each fully God, next the trinity is simply a father loving his son through the spirit, last before time and creation and everything started, God literally was in community with himself, God is a God of Community and we as his people should also be a people of community.
As men, we need to understand that women are very emotional creatures. God created them to be very expressive with their emotions. Guy’s can be emotional too, but it’s not common, guys tend to hold their emotions back and keep them to themselves, which isn’t healthy because it can play a role in mental health and cause depression, which could lead to suicide and other things along those lines. We see Noami cry a few times while trying to get her daughters-in-law to go away.
When seeking a spouse in general we need to understand that we are messing with other people’s emotional barriers. It’s weird though, being a guy when I am looking at women, I find that women are very emotional creatures, but when you ask what’s wrong, they say, “nothing” or “I’m fine”, but they’re not fine and something might really be wrong. As men, we need to relax and back away and don’t be angry at how they were made. As men, we need to learn to dig deep inside of ourselves and express our emotions more. That’s one key to bonding a relationship with a woman, being open with them on an emotional side.
It says Ruth was determined to stay with Naomi and go with her. Ruth 1:17-18, “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. What could drive someone to say something like that? All I could think of is love. You truly have to love someone to change your entire way of life for that person.
When seeking a spouse, we need to ask ourselves a few key questions…
- Am I willing to go the next 30, 40, 50, 60, even 100 years, until my death to be with this person?
If not, then don’t waste your time or their time to be with them.
- Am I willing to change my location, belief system, career, or anything else in order to be with this person?
If you aren’t willing to make changes, you should not even be considering dating. A lot of Christians like to do what is called missionary dating. They think they can date non-believers and somehow convince them to become a believer. Doing this is a bad idea, because either you will be the one who converts to their faith or maybe even become so in love with the other person that you get married to them, which leads to having kids, then that’s when the fight over what faith system to teach your kids. Your kids will most likely think religion is all a lie and they will never accept Jesus because of their parent’s broken relationship and they see that both their parents fight over faith systems and it will confuse them and they end up just never exploring any type of faith. Divorce is another very common route that leads to pain for both lovers and the kids. Dating non-believers have so many bad effects on the whole relationship. There are many reasons God tells us not to do this and this is just one reason.
Be sure that as you’re looking for someone, that you’re all in with. If you’re not all in, that is a bad way to get into a relationship. Ruth was all in. She wasn’t going to leave Noami. She was all in on her emotional needs, she was all in on her spiritual needs, she was all in on her relational needs. “For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried.” Ruth 1:16-17
“So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.” Ruth 1:22
They arrived. During a time of pain, suffering, oppression, famine, death, they arrived. In Ruth1:22. Naomi walked into the city called Bethlehem, which means “House of Bread”. During a time of oppression and famine, God directed Noami to not just any city with a harvest, but a city called “House of Bread”. In this same city, a baby would be born, the name of that baby was Jesus, the Bread of Life. Ruth, the one that stayed committed would become part of the Genealogy of Jesus.
Right now, being single might be hard. It might be painful. It might not be part of your own grand plan. It wasn’t for me. I thought I would be married and have kids 5 years ago. Let me encourage you to stay committed now to your faith in God. Stay committed to God and the plan he has for your life, the mission he placed on your heart, so later it will be even easier to stay committed to your future spouse. Teach yourself the skill of commitment. Also, remember, your singleness might not make sense right now, but maybe there is a huge purpose for it. Ruth had no idea, God was going to put her in the Genealogy of the Messiah. I don’t even think she ever knew. She died not knowing what God was doing. Think about that. Maybe your story today is a story for someone else in 1000 or 2000 years. Stay faithful, stay Committed. Seek and Know God.