Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thy People...My People

“…whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” – Ruth 1:16
Both my daughter-in-law and son-in-law call me, “Mom.” It would be reasonable to assume Ruth did the same for her mother-in-law, Naomi, who referred to her as “daughter” (2:2, etc.). There is a lovely old song taken from this verse that used to be sung at weddings­­­—I’ve sung it many times. It ended, “For as in that story long ago, the same sweet love story now is so/Thy people shall be my people, my love/Whither thou goest, I will go.” It was meant to be a vow between the bride and groom; but as you know, in the biblical story, it was a vow made by a daughter-in law to her mother-in-law.
You’ve heard people say, “I married a person, not a family.” That may sound good, but it’s neither biblical nor practical. As a matter of fact, your relationship with your in-laws, and even your spouse’s siblings, can have a profound effect on your marriage. No one should ever come between the love and loyalty of a husband and wife to one another; but the husband or wife who purposely makes their spouse pick between them and their parents, is hurting both them and their spouse.
I have a little plaque in my kitchen that says, “Having a mother-in-law doubles the joy of having a mother.” As you might guess, my daughter-in-law, Sharon, gave it to me. Our relationship has grown deeper and more precious through the years. And the same was true of my relationship with my own sweet mother-in-law, now in heaven. I always knew I had my husband’s love above all others; and he always knew I never coveted the precious, close love he shared with his mother. And we both were the winners.
By the way, this truth should serve as a caution to someone contemplating marriage. The first and overriding consideration should be the will of God, of course; but his or her family should be a factor, as well. Definitely, not the most important, but certainly something to consider if you intend to spend the rest of your life with this individual.
Moses had a father-in-law who was a help and encouragement to him, and Ruth had a mother-in-law with whom she shared a loving mother/daughter relationship. In both cases, lives were blessed and changed for the glory of God. Nurture your own relationship with the “other” family God has given you. Who knows what He has in store…for all of you!

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