Some Assembly Required: Week 4 Part 5

OPENING PRAYER:

Father, open my eyes and let me see as you see. Help me value what you value - especially my marriage and family. Amen.

 

READ:  Ruth 3:10

“The Lord bless you, my daughter!” Boaz exclaimed. “You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man whether rich or poor.”

 

REFLECT:

Our culture puts a great deal of value on romance. This is easily seen in the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on weddings in order for the bride and groom to be prince and princess for a day. At first glance it might seem that is what the marriage of Ruth and Boaz was about. He was a handsome prince in the tribe of Judah and she was a beautiful young maiden from a foreign land. But their marriage was about more than romance.

Having already declared an extraordinary love for her mother-in-law, the young widow Ruth accompanied Naomi back to her homeland of Israel to care for her. In those times, a woman without a husband or an adult son to look after her needs was in dire circumstances. There were little to no opportunities for woman to support themselves.

The marriage of Ruth and Boaz was instituted on the need for an heir to carry on her husband’s family line.  Without such an heir the family’s part of the promised inheritance of Israel would come to an end. And as Ruth’s husband, he would also provide for Naomi.  Because of the effort he made to make his marriage to Ruth possible, it would appear there was also a romantic connection between the two but that is not what brought and kept them together.

Sometimes my husband holds out his hand to me and says, “Let’s dance.” A romantic gesture for sure. One might conclude that we have had a romantic easy life together without any major problems or differences. The truth is there have been times when his invitation to take a turn around the dining room with him humming some anonymous tune has been welcome.  But other times it has been met with cool resistance.

Five decades of anniversaries have been celebrated not on the foundation of romance alone but by our mutual commitment to the covenant relationship we entered into and the Lord before whom we made promises. When romance isn’t enough, you must turn to a deeper love – a love you choose even when you don’t feel like it.

APPLY: Ruth is an example of someone who chose a deep love as more important than a simple romance. She (and others such as Boaz, Naomi and others in the lineage of David/Jesus) were greatly blessed.

 

CLOSING PRAYER:

Lord, on those days when romance is scarce and I struggle to stay the course in my marriage, help me remember your love and the choice you made to give your life for the good of others. Help me choose my marriage in spite of my feelings. Amen.

Terry Schneider