“Showing Love”

“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 you God, my God.” Ruth 1:16

A couple married for 50 years sat reflecting one day. The wife said, “Things have really changed over the years. You used to sit real close to me, but you haven’t done that for a while”. “Well, I can fix that!” said her husband as he moved closer to his wife. “You used to hold me real tight”, said the wife. So, the man wrapped his arms around his wife and asked, “How’s that?”. She continued to say, “You used to nuzzle my neck and nibble on my ear lobes.” At that her husband jumped up from the couch and dashed out of the room. When he returned, she asked where he had been. He replied, “I had to go get my teeth.”

In Ruth 1, we see a beautiful picture of a love between not only a husband and wife, but a love between friends – Ruth and her motherin-law, Naomi. Naomi left alone after her husband and two sons died and prepared to return home to Bethlehem. Rather than remain in her homeland, Ruth chose to return to Naomi’s country. In this story of friendship, we see several principles of how to show love:

By staying with someone through the tough times
Ruth decided to remain by Naomi’s side instead of going her own way. She was determined not to leave her. You see, love has “sticking power”. Genuine friends do not abandon each other during tough times.

By adjusting to others
Love is willing to make adjustments for the other. Ruth was willing to leave the people and her God in order to be with Naomi’s people and serve her God. When a couple marries, there’s always ad- justments to be made and one’s outlook on life changes. No longer does one live as single, but as two that become one.

Things adjust from what you eat, what you wear, and how you spend your time and finances. Love is willing to go the extra mile and make adjustments.

By reaching beyond your comfort zones
Loving someone else means you have to dig down deep and be willing to take a risk. Some- times, the risk may be your emotions or trust in that person. In other words, you have to be willing to deny your desires and wishes for someone else’s. Love is not thinking of yourself, but the other person. Reaching beyond your comfort zone means being willing to sacrifice.

By offering encouraging words
Ruth showed her love by telling Naomi she would never turn away from her. She reminded her mother-in-law that she would never walk alone. Wherever she went and whatever happened to her, Ruth would be by her side. Our words of encouragement have a great impact on others.

By putting other’s needs above your needs
Ruth was determined to go with Naomi. It didn’t matter how uncomfortable the journey would be or how difficult living in a new country might be. Ruth put her mother-in-law’s needs above her own. She was determined to stay by Naomi because Naomi
needed a friend.
As you think about it, this is a picture of God’s love
for you. Proverbs 18:24 says, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Who is this friend? His name is Jesus. He will stick with you through tough times; He will accept you just as you are; He will reach beyond His comfort zone for you; and He will put your needs above His needs. Let’s be mindful of Christ’s love and show His love towards others!

Until then, let us have “20/20 Vision in 2020” as we grow in our love for one another.

With Love,
Pastor Terry & Tina Richardson