My wife likes to say, “God gives each of us the grace to be with our spouses.” I am thankful for the grace God has given her to be with me because I do not know many people who would be willing to withstand what she has had to endure in our relationship. If your spouse or partner were jailed, falsely accused of a crime, derided in the media, unemployed and broke – would you have the power to stay?
I would like to think that my wife has remained by my side because she made a vow to do so for better or worse, but even before our marriage, when I got knocked down she was there to pick me up. There are some people God places in our lives to show us what His love, compassion and mercy looks like.
“… Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.” – Ruth 1:14
After Naomi’s husband and sons died, she was left widowed with her two daughters-in-law: Orpah and Ruth. She encouraged them to leave and return to their homelands. They both protested but Naomi insisted, so Orpah left but Ruth stayed. Sometimes it takes a death, a hurtful and disappointing experience to show us who is really with us.
When you are going through a difficult season, there will be people who walk away from you because you can no longer help them or because they think they know how your story is going to end but if they can easily leave you in your time of need then they were never with you to begin with.
It would have been easier for Ruth to leave just as Orpah did, and it might be easy for you to walk away from your family, friends and spouse too, but God blesses those willing to endure. Patient endurance is what you need, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised (Hebrews 10:36).
“A relationship is more than an experience... A wedding is an experience, a marriage is a relationship. Having a baby is an experience, raising a child is a relationship. People look for experiences, but God is calling you to relationships.” – T.D. Jakes
Enduring a rough period with a loved one does not mean remaining in a toxic, hurtful or abusive relationship. You should definitely walk away from people who seek to use and manipulate you. What it does mean, is recognizing God’s presence in your healthy relationships.
God blesses us through our relationships. Before you can enter into a meaningful relationship with anyone else, you must first establish a relationship with God. You cannot have a fruitful relationship with others if you do not have a productive relationship with God because every new relationship brings a new responsibility. By developing a relationship with God first, you will then be able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy connections.
“May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” – Ruth 2:12
Therefore, invest in those positive relationships and people God put in your life. Uplift others when they are discouraged, support them in their time of need and love them when no one else does. God restored and blessed Ruth with extraordinary favor because of her staying power and He will do the same for you if you do not walk away too soon.