Monday, 14 May 2012

Matriarchs on a Monday - Ruth - Part 5...and, my own "Matriarch"

I really, truly hope you are not fed up with Ruth?!  I just keep seeing new challenges from this book, that are a help to my heart, and a joy to share.

This week's is two-fold - insofar as it applies both to Naomi and Ruth, and with an added element at the end!...

We find here an attribute that is sadly lacking in the lives of many.

An attribute that is actually promoted in it's OPPOSITE, in the the society that surrounds us.

Which attribute could possibly be the best for us, and yet be the opposite in the world at large?


Thinking about others before ourselves.

Firstly, we see it in Naomi.  In verse 1 of chapter 3.

"My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?"

Naomi seeks to find a husband for Ruth, so that she is well taken care of.  She didn't want her widowed daughter-in-law to be stuck with her for the rest of her days!

Ruth was caring for Naomi...caring for her VERY well.  She worked hard in the fields, to bring back food for herself and Naomi.  To make sure that they were well cared for, and didn't suffer want.  She lovingly and considerately, had returned with her from Moab.  To be with her.  To make sure she wasn't left alone.  It may have been tempting for her to keep Ruth for herself!  It may have been tempting to cinsider that they were content and managing on their own.

So, we then see Ruth's selfessness as well.  She could have stayed in Moab...amongst her own people.  Well-provided for by the family of her birth.

But, no....she felt a commitment and a bond with her mother-in-law.  To consider the family ties to which she had married into.  To show love to her mother-in-law, who was so deeply saddened by her circumstances that she changed her name to Mara....bitterness.

We see a mutual desire to show love and concern toward each other - to consider each other to be more important than themselves.

The world in which we live has it's priorities set upon fulfilling of self.  Of attaining everything they possibly can for themselves, to make life "better".  People clamour and climb over each other, in an attempt to make sure that their desires are fulfilled.  A bigger home.  A flashier car.  The best holiday's that money can buy.  Clothes. Spa days. Expensive jewellery.

I am not saying that these things are, in themselves, bad.  God may bless some with the wealth to purchase and do such things.

But, I am talking about motivation, more than the gain itself.  The motivation of fulfilling self.  Of obtaining these things in order to gain some sort of satisfaction and happiness. To put ourselves and our own desires before the need of others.  To be so anxiously looking to gain such things, that we do not see the needs of others around us.

And, let's just hang on one moment.

It doesn't have to be about getting THINGS.

It can be time.

It can be efforts.

It can be priorities.

It can be commitments.

It can be the difference between doing things out of duty, and doing things out of love and concern for others before ourselves.

Do I spend my time looking for ways to please myself, before pleasing my husband and children?

Do I put more effort into activities that I enjoy, than those that I do out of necessity in my role as wife and mother?

Do I put my own wants and desires before the needs of my husband and family?

Do I jump at the chance to get out, and have "me time", when my husband and family need "me" at home?

Even in the Christian community, there is this push for Mum's to have "me time".  To put our needs above all else.

I am not saying that having the treats is not lovely.  The chance to do things child-free, or even "people free"! It's the motivation that I am referring to.  WHY do I seek these things?  Because I somehow feel entitled to it?  That I have "earned" it?  To escape the responsibilities of the home? Because I am dissatisfied with my lot in life?  All of these reasons are grounded in self...selfishness, rather than selflessness.

When we feel overwhelmed with our responsibilities, we need to lift our eyes from self and onto the Lord.  Onto the God-given task that we have been given, and the way that we are instructed to live out our life.

"but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."
Philippians 2:3

"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,"

Titus 2:4  

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind;...seeketh not her own"
1Corinthians 13:4&5

Oh, how I need to think less about self, and more about others!
So, onto the second part of my post.  

I was reading, as I often do, an article by Ann Voskamp, on her website, A Holy Experience.  She is running the "1000 Mom's Project", where they are giving much needed gifts to Mum's and children in Haiti.  By me simply doing this, in my blog, they will help support a Mum in Haiti! And, if 1000 ladies do the same thing, they will sponsor a maternity/child survival centre in Haiti for a whole year!!! And, what am I going to do?....say....

"Thank-you, Mum"

Mum, I wanted to publicly thank you for being such a special mum.  I don't think it could be demonstrated better, than when you so willingly came to stay with us, on the run up to Simeon's birth.  I naively thought that he would arrive about the same stage of "lateness" as all the others.  Never thinking that 4 days late would actually be TWELVE DAYS LATE!!!

You did SO much, so that I could rest.  It was an incredible luxury, that I rarely experience, to have everything done for me. And yet, you did it for me. You endured the mad house, with all our imperfections, because you are a Mum, who loves her daughter, her son-in-law and her grandchildren.  A true act of selflessness, with a huge measure of love, patience and kindness thrown in as well.

I appreciate all that you did, more than words can say.

I am sure you are probably still not recovered from the exhaustion! *grin*

I love you.  I appreciate you.  I am so thankful for a Mum, who is an example of a godly wife and mother in so many ways.

May you know God's blessing, from the blessing that you have been to us.

(Mum, with Joshua only a few days old!)

(Dad, Mum and us siblings....2 years ago)


  1. Your parents look so young! Makes me feel quite old!

  2. get tired of Ruth?? No way! I love it. I've recently listened to a series of sermons on this wonderful book, and don't think I could ever tire of hearing more. The girls and I also read the Book of Ruth by Keith Watkins together.... I'd thoroughly recommend it too.
    Love your series on this amazing account of God's mercy and redemption and His grace displayed in the lives of these women, and in Boaz ....