Tuesday, September 5

Learning From Ruth: Part 3--Obedience as the Heart's Desire

"The LORD bless you, my daughter," he replied. "This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character. 1 --Ruth 3:10-11 (NIV)

When I was only fourteen I started praying in earnest about the type of man I would one day marry. An article in Focus on the Family's "Brio" magazine encouraged me to pray that I marry a godly man best suited for me.

A godly man best suited for me. At the time I read those words I had no idea what that could possibly entail. My great-grandmother--a woman of faith and a pastor’s wife--used to say that “every pot has a lid.” I understood this archaic expression to mean that everyone has a perfect romantic match out there somewhere in the world; each of us has, for lack of a better term, a soul mate.

As I consider my great-grandmother’s words now, I’m convinced that it means that each of us has been equipped by God with certain gifts and abilities to fulfill a particular role in the body of Christ, that is, the church at large. This does not exclude the role of being a woman of godly character as it relates to being a wife.

As a young woman determined to lay the groundwork for a godly marriage, it was not enough for me to have found someone well suited for me. I also had to be well suited for him. In order to fulfill his needs and serve him faithfully, I needed to align my thoughts and actions with what God has established as a wife’s purpose. In Genesis 2:18 the Bible says “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (KJV) God created Eve as an help meet for Adam. He has also created me as a suitable helper for my husband.

Even as a married woman I still regularly review my attitude and ambition to make sure that I am submitting my will to God’s authority. Such an ongoing process serves as a constant reminder that I must allow my God to be the one who brings about all good things in and through me. Left on my own, I could never be an adequate or suitable helper.

Like Ruth, I was obedient to God as I sought out a potential spouse. I didn’t date anyone who wasn’t a Christian, and I prayed often that I would not only find ‘the one’ but that I would be ‘the one’ as well. Where we are today is the result of God’s faithfulness. I firmly believe that if I had not yielded my will to God’s so early on and trusted him to fulfill my heart’s desire to be a wife, I would not have the marriage that I do.

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