Last week the Father was speaking to me about how quickly I leave church on Sundays instead of staying back to fellowship. In my mind I rationalize why I need to leave quickly. However, I find myself murmuring that I have no “real” friends at church. I make excuses such as “I’m not like everyone else,” “I’m too old,” “everyone has friends already,” and “everyone is too busy.” Always giving excuses about why I don’t have friendships at church.
But these are only excuses, so I searched for an example of a friendship in the Bible and found the example of Ruth and Naomi.
Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (NKJV)
Ruth loved Naomi so much that she was willing to leave her country, the gods of her country and follow Naomi back to Bethlehem in Judah. Ruth said, “And your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16). Even when Naomi said call me Mara (bitter) because her husband and sons died and possibly feeling abandoned by God, Ruth did not leave Naomi. Naomi counseled Ruth to stay close to the women in the field belonging to Boaz because he was her Kinsman Redeemer. Naomi instructed Ruth on how to prepare and meet her Kinsman Redeemer. Through Naomi’s love and counsel she led Ruth to her Kinsman Redeemer and Naomi was blessed too because she was redeemed when Ruth bore a son.
As women we need those friendships with sisters who will point us to the Kinsman Redeemer with Godly counsel. And as Ruth did we should heed the counsel. During times of hardship when we feel like a Mara, we need those friendships to encourage, pray and sharpen one another with iron. Just as Naomi and Ruth’s love and relationship was based on their love for the God of Israel, so too our friendships need to being with the bond of love for our Kinsman Redeemer. So pray and ask the Father to provide a Naomi or Ruth in your life.