Fruitful Women: The Goodness of Ruth
To recap, during my last few blog articles, I have written about the fruit of the spirit that are integral characteristics of the godly women that the scripture portrays. I've discussed
- Hannah (longsuffering)
- Jochebed, Miriam, Pharoah’s daughter (gentleness)
- Mary the mother of Jesus (joy)
Galatians 5:22-23 defines the fruit of the spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.“
When I think of goodness, Ruth is the first who comes to mind. She developed such a close relationship with her mother-in-law, Naomi. This is particularly evident in Ruth 1, where it describes how Ruth clave to her mother-in-law and promised not to leave her.
I particularly admire how Naomi shows a sense of selflessness by encouraging her daughters-in-law to move on after their husbands’ deaths. She does not want them to feel obliged or guilty and stay with her. Orpah leaves and goes back to her family, but scripture explains that Ruth promises to go with Naomi wherever she goes.
In many cases, this is not typical. For many families, building relationships with in-laws can have challenges because of differing family backgrounds, values, cultural differences, etc. Ruth definitely shows goodness in her character. She treats and loves her mother-in-law as if she were her biological mother.
To me, this is an example of Christ’s love for us. He does not force us to serve Him, but His unconditional love for us is always available. Christ gives us the free choice to follow Him.
Ruth was a faithful woman who showed goodness and loyalty. In aspiring for the fruit of the spirit, goodness, we can definitely learn from Ruth’s example and the beautiful, personal relationship she shared with her mother-in-law. It is never too late to restore relationships that may be strained in your family. God will grant healing when you follow Ruth’s example of goodness and show unconditional love that is not forced, or even in some cases deserved, just as Christ grants us unmerited favor, known as grace.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.