I thought about Ruth, I began to wonder what would make her, unlike Orpah, stay with Naomi. Steeped in her own pain and unfulfilled dreams, after the loss of her husband, Ruth was still “all in” when it came to sticking with her mother-in-law. What would make her willing to leave Moab, where they served the god, Chemosh, and follow Naomi to Bethlehem.
The answer I believe is covenant.
Now, there are financial covenants, real estate covenants, and we’re all familiar with marriage covenants. It seems people think of covenants more like contracts, but a covenant is really more than an agreement between parties. The word, covenant is used rather loosely by some during our time, but in the past many people understood a covenant to be binding unto death.
I believe that we are all familiar with marriage covenants. But do we really understand what they mean? A covenant is a coming together of parties before God and other witnesses, often a ceremony where the parties verbally speak their promises and commitments to each other. But behind all of that is a knitting of the hearts, where two become one.
My husband and I attended a group premarital class. Don’t skip this, if you’re about to get married. That’s when our pastor explained to us about covenant marriage. He was real with us and told us the possibility of waking up one day after the wedding and a few months of marriage to wonder why you did it in the first place. That’s when the reality of covenant should kick in. Hopefully each person will remain committed to God and each other, even when they don’t feel like doing so.
I believe this is the type of covenant Ruth made when she married her husband, and in her heart, she probably extended this commitment to her husband’s mother.
In Ruth 2:16-17, Ruth says to Naomi:
“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.”
This is an example of how we are to be committed to God, no matter what happens in our lives. Covenant requires us to do some things and act some ways that many people may not understand. You can’t fake covenant. At some point you will be tested.
I listened as a lady shared with me a bit of her story. I watched this brown skinned woman, wrinkled only in certain places and just enough to show strength in character. At the time, she and her husband had been married more years than I’d been alive. I asked, “what’s the secret to your marriage?”
She looked up at me and responded, “Well, I just don’t let anything he does bother me.” And it worked for her. He was obviously still her beau, and she his bride. They were a picture of love.
In life you may face some challenges, but don’t let them get to you, because God has not forgotten you.
In Exodus 6:4-5 God says, “I have also established my covenant with them…I have remembered my covenant.”
God doesn’t forget, and He never reneges on the promises he’s made in a covenant.
What has he promised you?
~ ~ ~
Cassandra Woods is an inspirational writer and speaker who has seen God’s word become real in her own life. She finds great joy in sharing God’s love with other women and encouraging them to develop an intimate relationship with God. Cassandra is married to Christopher and is the mother of a teenager and three young adults. To read more about her, click here.