Retelling of Bible stories in another time period can be a powerful tool. Translating the Ruth and Naomi relationship dynamics into other settings managed to bring home the lessons all over again. Join me today as we talk about 4 tried and true principles from the relationship of Ruth and Naomi.
One of the greatest things about books set in other times and places, but based on Bible stories is that you aren’t tampering with the original, so anyone who’s nervous about Biblical fiction can safely enjoy it. You’ll see what I mean in the book below, based on the book of Ruth, but set in Victorian England.
Readers familiar with and enjoying Historical fiction (*raises hand ️) can get lost in the new story and forget about a key point of the original story, and be startled (not exactly surprised) by it when it happens!
You can explore the emotions and prejudices under a different light, often discovering that you are more familiar with them than you thought you were.
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The Story of Ruth and Naomi in the Bible
The story of Ruth and Naomi in the Bible is remarkable. It covers so many things. Foreigners, hardship, loyalty, trust, noble character, compassion, loyalty… Before we talk about our new Naomi and Ruth story, let’s focus on the original for a minute.
A Rare Thing, This Naomi and Ruth Relationship
These two women spent ten years together as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Naomi, a foreigner to Moab (and her two sons) must have been salt and light in their community. Otherwise, why would Orpah and Ruth have been so determined to go and be widows alone with her in the foreign land of Israel? Yes, Orpah was reluctantly persuaded to stay in Moab, but not Ruth. If life was terrible at home, I don’t think Naomi in the Bible would have tried to leave them behind.
Naomi and Ruth: Love and Loyalty
The love between Ruth and Naomi is obvious. The story of Ruth in the Bible shows that plainly. Their loyalty to each other in doing whatever is necessary to take care of each other is awesome.
Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi especially shines. Consider Ruth’s pledge to Naomi. “Wherever you go I will go and Your people will be my people and Your God will be My God”
From moving to a new country where Moabites, HER people, are looked down on, to the hard work of gathering food, Ruth’s made a vow to Naomi, and kept it faithfully.
And Naomi was loyal to Ruth, devising a plan to get a husband’s protection!
Which Begins the Story of Ruth and Boaz
Boaz is pretty cool. He seems to obey the laws of charity and kindness because it’s right. Because of the good in his heart, not because of legalism or pride of reputation.
Boaz was a relative of Naomi, and a descendent of King David. He saw that Ruth was willing to work hard to provide for herself and her family, even as an outsider. He had compassion and made it a good bit easier for her.
There’s no indication he was looking for a wife or extra property, he just did what was right.
The story of Ruth and Boaz centers on noble character.
Ruth and Naomi Relationship Principles
If we want to have a solid, healthy relationship with our mother-in-law or daughter-in-law (or any other relationship for that matter), we’ve got some very good principles to follow. Here are a few that stand out to me:
Principle #1 Loyalty
Loyalty. Looking Out For One Another. Putting the good of the other person. Being willing to go the extra mile. Ruth and Orpah had a choice. Ruth chose to go to Bethlehem and endure hardship. Possible prejudice and rejection for being Moabite. Because to stay with Naomi meant more to her than that.
Related: What Makes A True Friend?
Principle #2 Character Matters
Naomi in the Bible must have had noble character to inspire Ruth to follow her. Ruth’s character is evident in her sacrifice and hard work. In following Naomi’s instructions… Ruth cared. And then there’s Boaz! (Who noticed Ruth’s character!)
Principle #3 Perseverance
Another key to this kind of relationship is perseverance. Ruth persevered through Naomi’s attempts to keep her in Moab. Through back-breaking work. Through a likely less than warm welcome. And what a reward. A family, and being In Jesus’s lineage!
Related: Free Email Bible Study on Walking Worthy of the Calling!
Principle #4 Trust God
One of the most important of Naomi and Ruth’s relationship principles is to trust God. Even when things are hard. Stressful. Painful. He is still working. In the midst of any circumstances you face, with whomever, we can trust God to bring good out of it.
Related: How to Choose Faith over Fear
One really neat way to spend more time dwelling with Jesus is to pick a theme to study. I found this subscription box that looks pretty cool: The Delilah Box. It promises 2-3 books each month, studying a woman of the Bible. It might be Biblical Fiction or a Bible study, or both, plus a few extra items just because.
A Remarkable Ruth and Naomi Relationship: Shadow Among Sheaves
Shadow Among Sheaves did not disappoint! The compassion (and lack of it), the fear and love and uncertainty pulled me in hard. There’s much to learn from Ruth and Naomi in the Bible which can only be enhanced by reading this book too! Naomi and Ruth are special in their ordinary-ness and willingness to help each other.
Rena (Ruth) captured my heart. She did not allow herself the luxury of selfishness or self-pity (for more than a few minutes). Uncertainty, yes. Fear, absolutely. Courage and determination? Yes. Her compassion is something that I want to imitate for sure.
The idea, the depth of Ruth and Naomi’s relationship is amazing! These ladies went through incredibly hard circumstances. We need to remember that when we think of Ruth’s”happily ever after” that it comes AFTER!
Specifically watching for the Naomi and Ruth relationship principles in action made the depth of this book so much richer!
I also enjoyed the character development of Charlie. I became very fond of him before the end of the book. And the Parson, man, he’s good! Keep an eye on him from the beginning! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys clean romance, Biblical Fiction or novels set in Victorian England.
Book: Shadow Among Sheaves
Author: Naomi Stephens
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: April, 2019
A Timeless, Beautiful Allegory of the Biblical Love Story of Boaz and Ruth
The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.
Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own.
Click here to purchase your copy!
The Story of Ruth and Naomi In the Bible is So Rich!
I hope you’ll give this story a chance, because it is truly amazing! The book of Ruth in the Bible is full of God’s fingerprints and really helps us to grasp how God can work behind the seen, and provide for us on an immediate and eternal level at the same time!
And if you love the story of Boaz and Ruth, Check out this post for a Ruth devotional by a popular Christian Fiction Author!
Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!