A Godly Mother-in-Law

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

The relationship between Naomi and Ruth is one of the most heart-warming stories in the Bible. Yet this relationship seemed unlikely, since Naomi was from Israel and Ruth was from Moab. They only met because Naomi’s husband, Elimelech, uprooted their family during a time of famine and moved them to Moab. There, Ruth married one of Naomi’s sons.

Disaster struck when Elimelech and both of Naomi’s sons died. After she decided to return to Israel, Naomi assumed her daughters-in-law would stay in Moab. They had no obligations toward her. One daughter-in-law, Orpah, elected to stay; the other, Ruth, surprised Naomi with her desire to go with her. Expressing a profound love toward her mother-in-law, Ruth said, “Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (1:16).

When they arrived in Bethlehem, Naomi began to provide Ruth with advice on where to go and how to act. Ruth listened, showing continual respect. Naomi began to think of her in special terms, even calling her “my daughter.”

Honoring our mothers is an important expression of our faith. God commanded, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you” (Exodus 20:12). Although relationships with our mothers-in-law can be difficult at times, the example of Naomi and Ruth shows that wonderful things can happen in these relationships.

Today, remember to honor your mother if she is alive. If you have a mother-in-law, show her that same honor. And if you are a mother or mother-in-law, celebrate your opportunities to show God’s love.