You’ve heard the saying “love is blind.” When we say love is blind it means we don’t see the faults of the people we love.
But the truth is when you do love someone, you do see their faults. And then you have to make a choice . . . . you have to choose to love.
We sing about love. We write about love. We fantasize about love. But do we really know what it means?
Real love has many characteristics and in the Bible there’s a wonderful story that talks about those characteristics in Ruth and Boaz.
The Bible says Ruth was going through a difficult time (Ruth 1). She was a Moabite and she married a Jew. However, her husband died. Her father-in-law died and she had to make a choice. She decided to move on with her life and with her mother-in-law Naomi and return to the land of Judah, a foreign land for her.
But while she’s in this new strange land she makes a choice. She chooses love. In Ruth chapter 2, it says that she goes to glean in a field. She didn’t have to do this, but she wanted to do something to make money and also help her mother-in-law. She didn’t complain about her life. She didn’t play the victim. She makes a decision to do something. Her love led her to action. That’s what real love looks like. You take initiative. You choose to work, help, take care, make a meal. Real love makes a difference and moves from words to actions.
While she’s gleaning in the field, Boaz enters the scene. He sees her gleaning in his field and wonders what is she doing? (Ruth 2: 5). The workers tell him Ruth asked permission to glean and she’s been here all day working hard. Boaz’s takes notice of her. He had the eyes to notice Ruth. Real love sees people. In our walk with God do we see people? Do we observe people? Do we take an interest in them? Real love sees people.
When Boaz talks to her, he’s very kind with her. He tells her stay with the women and if she is thirsty get a drink (Ruth 2: 8-9). He is kind to her. Real love is kind. He did not have to be kind to her, she did nothing for him. But he chooses to be kind in his words and actions. Do we talk to people in a pleasant way? Real love is kind.
Ruth is taken aback by his kindness. She says, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”(Ruth 2:10). Boaz’s responds and says I have heard about what you did for your mother-in-law and may the Lord reward you. Ruth never thought that her actions would lead to a reward. In life, God sees what we do for others and the purity of our hearts and he can reward us. Love rewards. In your own life there is a pay off when you love. People are there for you when you’re sick. People help you when you’re in need. You are rich in peace and have joy in your relationships. This kind of reward money cannot buy. Real love rewards. We don’t love to get a reward, but when we do love there is a reward.
In the story, Boaz lets her sit at the dinner table (Ruth 2: 14-16). She eats but doesn’t eat everything because she does not want to seem greedy. He lets her continue to work and tells the other workers not to pick up what’s there. Boaz was just being generous. Real love is generous. Do we try to help beyond what is necessary? Or do we only help someone to receive something in return?
The end of this chapter Ruth goes home and her mother-in-law is excited. Naomi asked, “where did you get this what you gathered?” She explained she was in the field of Boaz. Naomi is estatic because that’s her relative. And what we see at the end of the story is that love gives us hope. That’s the beauty of love. It revives the soul. When it is present you are unstoppable. When it’s broken it is painful. But there’s always hope when we love and it is present.
Ruth and Boaz develop a romantic relationship and end up getting married. They have a son name Obed. Who then had a son named Jesse. Jesse had man sons, one of which was named David. King David was the greatest king that led the Jews and many generations after him, we learn about the birth of Jesus Christ.
God took Ruth’s story of tragedy and turned it into joy. The same God that did that for Ruth can do that for us all because of love. In fact, he has done it for us through his Son Jesus Christ.
God loved the world so much, he was willing to give his Son, and was willing to stoop down from heaven to be with us. To touch, feel, and die for our sins. This is the greatest love story in the world. There is no greater love.
Just like Ruth and Boaz, the love God has for us is real. Our God shows he loves us through his action, how he sees us, through his words, by rewarding us, through his generosity, and by giving us hope. Without Jesus we would be lost, but because of his love for us we have new life.
I don’t know what you are going through but just like Ruth, God can turn your situation around. God can send people like Boaz to show love in your life. But even greater, God has shown us the greatest love humanity can experience and know – that is the love of Jesus Christ. May God who is good bless you and your family. May you experience his love in a fresh and new way. May he take what is hard in your life and turn it into joy.
Prayer: Lord I want to be a loving person. Help me to be a person who embodies what it means to love. Remove anything in me that is stopping me from being a loving person. Show me through example, your word, and by the Holy Spirit to love like you loved. Use me to make a difference so that others will see Jesus in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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