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Being a Graceful Sister

2010 September 5
by John H

I have four brothers.  The relationship between sisters is completely foreign to me.  I always look to the story of Ruth and am amazed at the love she shows to her fellow “sister.”  Although they aren’t sisters—in fact, they share the often-haphazard mother- and daughter-in-law relationship—Ruth respects Naomi and puts her mother-in-law over her personal needs.  Ruth is young, widowed, and living in a foreign land in a time period where dependence on husbands or fathers was necessary. Naomi must have been more than brokenhearted, having lost her husband, her two sons, her family legacy, her dependence, and yet she wants a better life for her daughter-in-laws than she can provide.  It must have been hard for her to have given them permission to go back home.  They had become her family…the only immediate family she had left.  Yet she does it for the good of her daughters.  And now, my favorite part of the story…Ruth tells her mother-in-law no, but in a graceful way:  “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.  Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17, NASB).

My hope is that when I’m in a horrible situation like Naomi that I will have sisters-in-Christ (including my two lovely moms—my mom and my mother-in-law) that will stand by me through it all, encouraging me and reminding me of the love we share in Christ.  I also hope when the opportunity arises that I can be a sister like Ruth, one whose speech is always “with grace, as though seasoned with salt” so that I will know how I “should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6, NASB).

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