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Ruth: An Example of Sacrificial Love


Yesterday I re-read the story of Ruth. I was once again struck by the beautiful vow she makes. After the death of the men in their family, Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi tells Ruth that she can go back to her own people and worship her own gods. This is Ruth’s memorable response:

“Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.’" (Ruth 1:16-17 NIV).

Ruth is willing to leave everything she knows behind, in order to follow her mother-in-law into a foreign land. What a display of agape love she showed here! She obviously view Naomi as someone who deserved her love and respect. And she was willing to do anything to prove that.

As I read these verses above, I wondered if I have ever displayed such faithfulness and love in my own life. The first person that came to mind was my husband. When I married Him, I promised to follow Him wherever the military would take us. I understood that this would mean some sacrifice on both of our parts. We would more than likely live hundreds to thousands of miles away from our family. There would be times when my husband would be called up, leaving me and our future children in an unknown city without many friends. The vow I made that day wasn’t taken lightlhy. Just the same, I’m only learning, day by day, what it truly means to build a life with someone. I’m only now truly learning what it means to love someone unconditionally, as Ruth showed us in her story. I only hope I can live up to her example.

How has sacrificial love exhibited itself in your life?