What do you do when things get tough?
Do you persevere, which is one of our school values that we encourage, or do you hide away?
What about when things are getting tough for another person? Do you stick by them or do you walk away?
Our Bible story for this week comes form the book of Ruth. Naomi had two sons who were both married, Naomi’s husband and sons all died. They had had to move away from their home land. Naomi spoke to her two daughter-in-laws and told them to go back to their homes, where they would be able to marry again and have children. Ruth, was one of the daughter-in-laws and this was her response to Naomi’s direction
“Ruth answered, “Please don’t tell me to leave you and return home! I will go where you go, I will live where you live; your people will be my people, your God will be my God. I will die where you die and be buried beside you. May the Lord punish me if we are ever separated, even by death!”
Ruth had been given a get out of jail free card, an opportunity to escape, but she showed true loyalty to Naomi, and this continues, even when Ruth does marry again.
As we have looked at relationships we considered different characteristics including, friendliness, respect, vulnerability, communication and forgiveness… but I think that loyalty can be a starting point for so many of these, but also a resulting factor.
Why did Ruth show the loyalty that she did to Naomi? I think it was partially because of the character of Ruth in the first place, but also because of the kindness that Naomi had shown to Ruth by welcoming her into the family. BUT through Ruth choosing to stay with Naomi, choosing to stay loyal to her that relationship with have grown and developed with all of the other characteristics we have spoken about so far.
We can say that we will be loyal to our friends, but as Martin Luther said
Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved
We can never really know until those tough times come. Think about what you would want from your friends when you were in a tough situation. Would you be willing to do that other people? Have you built strong enough relationships to be able to rely on friends when things are too much for you?
Challenge: list the things you would expect a friend to do for you, and whether you would be willing to do those for other people
Prayer: father God we thank you that you are faithful to us, and that you give us examples of loyalty. Help us to be loyal to you and to our friends. Amen