Have you ever wondered why some relationships last and others fail?
Every situation is unique and complex, but there’s one factor which will always be present in a healthy relationship. It can be the difference between a divorce and a healthy marriage. It divides casual acquaintances from lifelong friends. It changes everything the moment it enters the picture.
This vital, relational ingredient is powerfully displayed in the Bible with an unlikely bond between a young woman named Ruth and her former Mother-in-law, Naomi. Ruth’s husband had died, so Ruth was free to move on with her life and remarry. Ruth had no legal obligation to Naomi, but she couldn’t allow her husband’s mother to remain alone and unprotected. She made this solemn pledge:
But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” Ruth 1:16-17
In a single word, the most important aspect of a healthy relationship is: COMMITMENT. Your relationships will instantly improve the moment you stop basing them on your convenience and start basing them on your commitment.
The Bible passage above is often read at weddings, and while these words paint a beautiful picture of the undying commitment that should be displayed by a husband and wife, these words were originally spoken by a poor young woman making a selfless promise to care for her dead husband’s mother.
Because of Ruth’s selfless commitment, God blessed her in remarkable ways. She eventually married her “kinsman redeemer” who was a wealthy and righteous man named Boaz. Together, they had a son named Obed who had a son named Jesse who had a son named David who became the greatest King in Israel’s history. Through the lineage of David, God brought forth the promised Messiah, the Savior of the World: Jesus Christ.
Ruth became a pivotal hero in history and a major part of God’s eternal story of love and grace, because she understood and embodied true love. Love isn’t just a feeling. It’s a choice and it’s always rooted in a rock-solid commitment. Without real commitment, there can be no real love.
Choose to follow in Ruth’s legacy of love. Every relationship in your life will be enriched because of it!
For more tools to build stronger, healthier relationships, watch our FREE video on The 7 Laws of Love.