I have heard of marriages that lasted for just six months, and I have also heard of wives at the point of giving up on their marriages. I have heard of wives who have concluded that it’s not worth it praying for their husbands. They just co-exist under the same roof and carry on the little of a wife with the prefix Mrs. added to their names. These are the people I pray the Lord will touch with this post in Jesus name.
Now Elimelech, Noami’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
When she heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
What gave me so much respect for these two daughters-in-law of Noami is their respect to their marriage vows. These are not Israelites by origin or birth who are supposed to be the chosen ones of God, who were given the laws of God, yet they respected and honored their marriage vows even after the death of their husbands. I understand and appreciate the fact that once death occurs, the marriage vows can be done away with and the spouse still alive is free to marry another, but these ones went above board. They put their own personal gains aside to care for the mother of their husbands, filling up the gap caused by the death of their spouses.
These ones stood in their marriage even long after they has been released from the covenant they entered into, yet we have people today who lack the long suffering to see the covenant through to the end not to talk of long after they covenant has expired.
Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”
Then she kissed them and they wept aloud and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”
But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me – even if I had another husband tonight and then give birth to sons – would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has gone against me!”
At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth clung to her.
In as much as I have huge respect for both Orpah and Ruth, I will say that Ruth has earned my one thousand percent respect. What on earth made her remain in a marriage that was non-existent and even after so much persuasion she just would not let go? I am so very convinced in my spirit that the Lord included this story in the Bible for a time like this; for those who need to understand the gains and benefit of long suffering in marriage even when everything isn’t going right and you have all the perfect excuses and every moral justification to take a walk out of that marriage and just go.
The moment Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye was the last time her name appeared in the Bible. Two women started the race but one dropped out and she was not committing any sin by dropping out but she lost the accolade. The one who stayed received the crown. She does not just have her name written in the Bible, her name is also in the lineage of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now I want to ask; has your marriage dealt with you so much blows as it has dealt on Ruth? If yes, can you dare to stick it out and persevere and endure it as much as Ruth did so you can receive the crown. I am not implying that a widow remains unmarried, but that you just don't run out of your marriage at the slight hint of trouble. When things don't go right, because you will have times when things won't go right, you earn yourself the crown when you embrace the challenge and don't just run out of your marriage.
Everyone who is married has a story to tell, and no marriage is without its challenges and struggles. When you see a marriage that is rosy and sweet, sit with those in it and let them share the secret of their success with you. You will find stuff like patience, long suffering, perseverance, tolerance coming from them before you begin to hear words like love, trust, care and so on.
If a successfully married person will tell you the truth, he/she will confess to you that nothing has thought him/her patience and perseverance in life as much as their marriage. This patience and perseverance that I speak of is a seed that you need to sow in order to reap the harvest of a successful marriage. If you are intolerant, then you sure are not ready for marriage yet.
May the Lord bless our homes in Jesus name.