It's another Motivational Monday Moment and author Nia Forrester is joining us to share her favorite Scripture. She encourages us with Ruth 1:16-17 to love others unconditionally. You don't want to miss this, it will bless your soul...
Ruth 1:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 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.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”
I think that may be my favorite Bible verse of all time. It’s certainly in the top three. Not just because it is as beautiful as poetry, but because of the expression of love that I aspire to give, and to receive.
I went to a very strict, Catholic girls’ school when I was a kid. We prayed in the morning before lessons began; we had Religion class each day, and we prayed before and after lunch, and again before going home. And on Friday, we had an extra hour of prayer when we attended Mass.
But in spite of that, I never really connected very much with Scripture. The language was classical language, and required interpretation and analysis by the priests and the nuns. We were taught that they, and the Pope were the conduit to God, and so He was far removed from the average person.
And then, I heard these verses. Naomi, concerned for the future of her daughters-in-law, after they have lost their husbands (and Naomi her own husband, as well as her sons) to famine, tells Ruth and her other daughter-in-law Orpah to return to their people where they will find new husbands. Orpah leaves, but Ruth refuses, speaking the words in Ruth 1:16-17.
Of all the Bible verses I had ever heard, that one stayed with me. It spoke of a love and devotion that was unwavering, even in the face of coming hardship. It spoke of selflessness, companionship, duty, and courage. It was the first time I saw, in the remote Bible verses I was taught, the humanity of the people I was learning about. The emotions expressed, the stories told, and the journeys of many in the Old Testament were illustrative of many human failings—greed, envy, anger, vengeance. This one was different. It expressed the possibility of human beings being their best selves. Ruth’s love for Naomi is obviously not romantic, but it also made it clear that love, in it’s purest form is not classified in one manner or another. It’s just love. Reading those verses made me want to love and be loved as selflessly and unwaveringly as Ruth loved her mother-in-law, no matter to whom I gave that love, or who gave love to me. It set a standard that even today, I return to, time and time again.
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