Read Ruth 3:10-11
Ruth’s loyalty and commitment to her mother-in-law is a highlight of this woman’s virtue. When she presented herself to Boaz, he noted that her options were not limited. He said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:10-11).
Many commentators believe that Boaz may have been as old as 80 at this time. Ruth, as a Moabitess not bound to Jewish laws and customs, could have decided to marry someone closer to her own age. She could have sought after someone whose personality and interests more closely matched her own.
Yet her devotion to her mother-in-law was unwavering. She truly meant it when she told Naomi, “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16). Such allegiance is praiseworthy, and the people of Bethlehem took note of Ruth’s virtuous dedication. She wanted nothing but the best for Naomi, even if it meant sacrificing her own wants and desires.
We are faced with difficult choices every day. Will we choose the things that brighten someone else’s life? Will we seek after our own happiness, regardless of how such affects another person?
More importantly, will we choose the things that glorify God? Jesus explained that the heathen peoples concerned themselves with food and drink and clothing, but that such anxiety was unnecessary. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). In the kingdom, we must be more concerned with the wellbeing of our fellowman. Paul wrote, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10).
Ruth cared deeply for her mother-in-law and gave more thought to Naomi’s security than her own. Shouldn’t we do the same?