The story of Ruth is framed around brokenness and disappointment. Within the opening five verses Ruth lost her father in law, brother in law and husband. Three women are huddled together, filled with grief for their loss and fear for their future. It was at this point that Naomi determined to let her daughters in law move on with their lives. Orpah accepted her recommendation and returned to her family. Ruth, however, was determined to return to Israel with her mother in law. Her character is revealed in her impassioned plea to Naomi,
“Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” (Ruth 1:16-17, NLT)
People of character want to make commitments. They just can’t help themselves, and Ruth is no exception. In her request she made four of them:
1. I will remain with you physically.
2. I will accept your people (race) and your family as my own.
3. I will be one with you spiritually.
4. I will stay with you until death.
People of character want to make commitments, and often make bold ones. But how are they lived out? Commitment are fulfilled in the small, everyday acts of faithfulness. For example, Ruth was willing to move to Israel with Naomi. Once there, she assumed responsibility for her welfare and went to the fields daily to glean grain so there would be food to eat.
The story of Ruth provides an good lesson for those of us who are married. Marriage is, if nothing else, a series of commitments lived out th everyday faithfulness.