But Ruth said:
“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 NKJV
This verse was the response to her mother-in-law, Naomi, who had lost not only her husband but also her only two sons. Naomi wanted her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, to stay in Moab, the country of their birth. But she, Naomi would travel to her hometown of Bethlehem. In those days a childless widow was among the lowest and most disadvantaged. They had no support you and had to live on the generosity of strangers. Thus, Naomi was desperate and had to leave but didn’t want Ruth or Orpah to come with her as they had family in Moab.
But Ruth’s dedication to remain with Naomi was the noble and loving commitment of a daughter-in-law to a mother-in-law. Something we lack today. Naomi’s life and love of God made an indelible impression on Ruth. Naomi had lost her husband, her two sons…her entire family and yet she continued to honor God. Her character was impeccable. She trusted God to take care of her.
Ruth saw Naomi’s lifestyle and love for God but never gave up her gods. But when Naomi made the declared she would return to Bethlehem, that’s when Ruth left everything behind. Her gods. Her family. And took Naomi’s God, the one true God as her God. And stayed with Naomi for the rest of her life.
Her story is one that is beautiful. She honored her mother-in-law and God had mercy on her and gave her another husband.
How does this verse affect us today? As women and wives, we are called to be kind and generous to our mothers-in-law even if they do not reciprocate those kindnesses. It’s not done for the person but for God’s glory. He sees and knows all things.
The website women of noble character had these ten tips for being a better daughter-in-law:
- Speak to her and about her with kindness and above all don’t complain about her to your husband.
- Make an effort to listen to her advice – even if you don’t agree with it or take it.
- Allow her spoil your children as long as it’s within reason.
- Don’t make comparisons of your parents and your in-laws either to yourself or to your husband.
- Offer help when you can.
- Cultivate a relationship with her by treating her as you would a girlfriend by calling or inviting her to do things with you.
- Don’t take advantage of her good nature and expect a built-in babysitter all the time. she may not mind but don’t overdo it.
- Don’t say negative things about your in-laws to your husband.
- Make plans for the holidays ahead of time with your in-laws to avoid any hurt feelings.
- Thank your in-laws for the way they raised your husband.