Summary: This sermon shows the practical way that Ruth expressed her love to Naomi. 1. She stuck with her. 2. She adjusted to her. 3. She reached beyond her confort zone. 4. She offered encouraging words. 5. She put Naomi’s needs above her own.
Five Practical Ways To Show Your Love To Others
A couple that had been married for 50 years sat reflecting one day. The wife said, “Things have really changed over the years. You used to sit real close to me. But you haven’t done that for a while.” “Well I can fix that.” said the man as he got up and moved closer to his wife.
“You used to hold me real tight.” said the wife. So the man wrapped his arms around his wife and asked, “How’s that?”
She continued to say, “You used to nuzzle my neck and nibble on my ear lobes.” At that the man jumped up from the couch and dashed out of the room. When he returned she asked him where he had been. “I had to go get my teeth.” Was the reply.
This morning we are going to look at the first chapter of Ruth and see five practical ways that you can show love. The love that we are talking about this morning is not the love between a husband and a wife – romantic love. It is the love of friendship – in this case between a mother and her daughter-in-law. We will be looking at the love between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi.
Tell the story of Ruth and Naomi.
Naomi is left alone – bitter and heart broken. Naomi tells her daughters-in-law to pack up and leave. There is no reason for them to stay with around. Naomi can see no hope for the future. No hope for marriage for the two young ladies. No future in sight for any of them. Naomi develops a pessimistic view of life. One daughter-in-law leaves but Ruth says:
16"Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”
Ruth 1:16-17 (NKJV)
1. You show love by sticking with someone through tough times.
Ruth said she would stick with Naomi through thick or thin. No matter what happened, Ruth would stay by Naomi’s side.
FACT: Love has Sticking Power.
“Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.” Proverbs 18:24 (MSG)
2. You show love by adjusting to others.
“Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” v.16
I never realized how much adjusting there is in life until I married Cathy. When a couple gets married there are lots of adjustments that take place and there should be. Your whole outlook on life should change. You are no longer single – two have become one. You have become a family. Things adjust; from what you eat, to what you wear. One of the big adjustments in my life was the adjustment that happens at Christmas time. Our families handled Christmas completely different from each other. (Explain)
There was a fantastic adjustment that happened about two years after we were married. You see when we got married I was not a Christian. (Explain) Through her silent witness – her faith she had an influence on my life to lead me to Christ. Literally in our case – “her God became, my God.”
3. You show love by reaching beyond your comfort zones.
“Where you die, I will die.” v.17
At this point I can’t help but thinking about the marriage vows.
You know the vows they go like this: I promise to stay with you:
- For better or worse; richer or poorer. In sickness and in health, till death do us part.
Maybe I’m old fashioned but to me that vow says, “I’ll reach beyond my comfort zone to stay with you.”
Jesus said it this way,
"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
Reaching beyond our comfort zones means self sacrifice.
4. You show love by offering encouraging words.
"Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go." v.16
Ruth was telling her – you’re not in this alone. Where ever you go – what ever happens to you – I’ll be there. You’ll always have someone by your side.
Proverbs 25:11 from the Message Bible says this, "The right word at the right time is like a custom made piece of jewelry."
FACT: Words of encouragement and love need to spoken - because they can have a great impact.