By Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”
RUTH 1:16, 17 NLT
Undying love is rare. Most people turn back from commitment in favor of convenience, forsaking commitment to enjoy personal comfort. Orpah returned to her people and gods, but Ruth stayed close to her mother-in-law and was determined to accompany her. She extended her trust in and love for Naomi to trust in and love for Me.
“Until death do us part” determination is hard to find. Marriages dissolve because of petty arguments, me-first demands, or sexual unfaithfulness. Few marriages go the lifetime distance. Promises are made only to be broken far short of the sworn goal. People do not always mean what they say. Minds change because hearts are not committed.
Ruth’s words paint a picture of how to make marriage last—traveling the same route, not going separate ways emotionally; living in the same residence, not separating a while to think things through; interacting with each other’s relatives, not snubbing those you do not like; worshiping the same God, not kneeling at different altars.
Know where your spouse is going. Pay close attention to the emotional and spiritual journey of the one you love most in the world. Demonstrate your love by listening. Cultivate meaningful relationships with your spouse’s relatives. Do not ignore or write them off—get to know them and enjoy their friendship. Pray with your spouse. Share your deepest desires with the one I gave you to be your partner for life.
Seek My blessing on your marriage. Depend on My Presence to enable you to keep your wedding vows. As long as you breathe, be faithful to your loving and wonderful spouse. Be grateful for the one I sent your way. Count your companion a blessing from the skies—see the touch of heaven in your mate’s eyes. You have given your heart—make sure it is forever.
You and I are inseparable. Death cannot kill My love for My bride. The Bridegroom has gracefully embraced you and will never let you go. Be true to Me until your last breath, and I will be true to you even after that.
Johnny R. Almond
Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity