A couple that had been 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 the man as he got up and 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 the man jumped up from the couch and dashed out of the room. When he returned she asked him where he had been. “I had to go get my teeth.” Was the reply.
Valentines Day is upon us. I think the Beatles got it right with their hit sing, “All I Need I Love.”
In the first chapter of Ruth we see several practical ways that you can show love. The love that we are talking about is not the love between a husband and a wife – romantic love. It is the love of friendship – in this case between a mother and her daughter-in-law.
Naomi is left alone – bitter and heart broken. Naomi tells her daughters-in-law to pack up and leave. There is no reason for them to stay around. Naomi can see no hope for the future. No hope for marriage for the two young ladies. No future in sight for any of them. Naomi develops a pessimistic view of life. One daughter-in-law leaves but Ruth says:
“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.” Ruth 1:16-17 (NKJV)
Here are some practical ways to show love:
1. You show love by sticking with someone through tough times.
Ruth said she would stick with Naomi through thick or thin. No matter what happened, Ruth would stay by Naomi’s side.
FACT: Love has Sticking Power.
“Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.” Proverbs 18:24 (MSG)
2. You show love by adjusting to others.
“Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” v.16
3. You show love by reaching beyond your comfort zones.
“Where you die, I will die.” v.17
At this point I can’t help but think about the marriage vows.
You know the vows go like this: I promise to stay with you: for better or worse; richer or poorer. In sickness and in health, till death do us part.
That vow says, “I’ll reach beyond my comfort zone to stay with you.”
Jesus said it this way, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
Reaching beyond our comfort zones means self sacrifice.
4. You show love by offering encouraging words.
“Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go.” v.16
Ruth was telling her – you’re not in this alone. Where ever you go – what ever happens to you – I’ll be there. You’ll always have someone by your side.
Proverbs 25:11 (MSG) “The right word at the right time is like a custom made piece of jewelry.”
FACT: Words of encouragement and love need to spoken – because they can have a great impact.
5. You show love by putting their needs above your needs.
“When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.” v. 18
Let me give you a little insight into this verse. This verse doesn’t mean that Naomi stopped talking to Ruth completely. What it means is when Naomi saw how determined Ruth was – she stopped trying to persuade her. Ruth was determined that she was going with Naomi and no amount of talking was going to stop her from doing just that.
It didn’t matter how uncomfortable the journey was going to be. It didn’t matter whether there was going to be food to eat. Ruth was determined to stick with Naomi – because she needed a friend.
“(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NKJV)
This story is also a picture of God’s love for you.
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
Who is this friend? Jesus.
1. He’ll stick with you through tough times.
2. He’ll accept you just as you are.
3. He’ll reach beyond His comfort zone for you.
4. He’ll offer you words of comfort and hope.
5. He put your needs first when He went to the cross for you.
Happy Valentines Day! Remember, you are loved! Blessings.