Ruth is hands down one of my favorite women in the bible. Simply put–she is goals. Everything that I have ever desired to be, Ruth exemplified in only four short chapters. Her character is so amazingly admirable and if there were ever a perfect role model (besides Oprah, of course lol) she would take the cake. Let me share with you 6 times that Ruth wowed me and seamlessly taught me what it means to be a real woman.
“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17
She taught me true loyalty.
When we first meet Ruth, we find out that her husband has died and that she’s faced with the difficult decision of going back home to her family or staying with her Mother-in-law, Naomi. Mind you, not only has Naomi lost all of her sons and her husband, she’s broke. She has nothing…not even another son to give Naomi as a husband. In that day and time, Naomi was pretty much worthless to Ruth. As a matter of fact, even her other daughter-in-law, Orpah, realized that she had no reason to stick around and she left for home. Even after Naomi begged and pleaded with her to leave and go back home to her family, Ruth refused to leave her side. She went as far to say express that not even death would cause them to part (insert Celie and Nellie hand clap). That is real loyalty. Not only is Ruth setting the perfect example of what it means to honor your elders she’s teaching every woman to never leave the people you love while they’re down in pursuit of selfish desires. Going back home would’ve been the easy way out but Ruth chose to remain loyal and if you’re familiar with the book of Ruth, you know that God blessed her tremendously because of it.
“And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”
Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters…” Ruth 2:2-3
She taught me to hustle and always be a hard worker.
Ruth had a ‘by-any-means-necessary’ attitude when it came to feeding her family. In light of everything that she’d been through, she could’ve moped around and felt sorry for herself and in my opinion she would’ve been completely justified (I mean, she had just lost her husband). Instead, she chose to get out and hustle. She did whatever she had to do make sure that she and Naomi would survive and she did it well! Ruth taught me that hard work pays off and that regardless of your circumstances you should always do what needs to be done and you should do it with the right attitude.
She taught me to be humble.
At any point on that field or even before then, Ruth could’ve decided that picking up leftover grain was beneath her. I mean, can you imagine? One minute, everything is set and you have everything you need in life. The next, you’re scrambling for leftovers to feed your family. The amount of humility that she possessed is admirable to say the least. The amazing thing is that this was all her idea! Naomi didn’t put her up to this. Ruth taught me that being a real woman is putting your pride to the side and doing what’s necessary no matter how humiliating and no matter how lowly it may seem.
She taught me to build relationships.
In Ruth 2:2 she told Naomi that she would pickup leftover grain behind anyone that she would find favor with. Ruth knew that she needed other people to get the things that she needed. Through humility and confidence, she built relationships and found favor with the harvesters of the field. How many of us still have trouble with this today? Ladies, we need one another! We need to network, we need to encourage one another. Relationships will take you places that money cannot and Ruth was the ultimate example of this. Here’s another tidbit: Ruth taught me that if you never ask, you may never get the opportunity. Ruth knew that the worst that the harvesters could say was no and knowing Ruth, she’d walk a hundred miles just to find the next field—she was just that dedicated. We need to adopt the same attitude and step out on faith and build relationships to build success.
“May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.” Ruth 2:13
She taught me to always be appreciative.
When Ruth found favor in the eyes of Boaz, she was genuinely appreciative. This is such an admirable quality. In a world where we take so many things for granted, this is a lesson that anyone can learn from Ruth. She was grateful to be treated as a servant! Some of us can’t even be grateful that Bobby opened the door for us this morning. That’s appreciation at its finest. Ruth taught me that real women show gratitude and have a grateful heart for even the small opportunities.
“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.” Ruth 3:5-6
She taught me to receive wise counsel.
Naomi devised a brilliant plan for Ruth to become Boaz’ wife. In this day and age, any one of us would’ve given Naomi a strong side-eye and moved along but Ruth trusted Naomi in such a way that she accepted her advice and applied it to her life. A lot of us are so caught up in making sure that we keep our business to ourselves and that we never allow anyone to tell us how to live that we miss out on life’s most useful nuggets from wise people. Many of the success stories in the Bible came to be because there was a wise elder that helped to facilitate change. Ruth taught me that real women know how to humble themselves and accept counsel from those that are more experienced and in some ways wiser than they may be.
At the end of the book of Ruth, we see that Ruth played a part in the genealogy of David which ultimately led to the birth of Jesus, the ultimate game changer. Ruth’s life may not have been perfect but she exemplified what it means to be a phenomenal woman and God allowed her the opportunity to be apart of something greater than she could’ve ever imagined. May we all follow Ruth’s lead and become the virtuous woman that she was.
What are some other things that Ruth has taught you? If not Ruth, who’s your favorite woman of the Bible?