Before we go with Naomi on her return trip to Judah please bear with me as I expand a bit on one of the many insightful glimpses this short book provides into various aspects of life. It depicts nationality, marriage, family, widowhood, redemption, provision , security-both collectively as well as individually – and REST, true rest. God’s intended perfect rest for EVERY INDIVIDUAL, man, woman and child. Rest that comes from peace with God through the demonstration of His love for us. Rest found in loving truly and being loved sincerely. Rest in love as was meant to be demonstrated by marriage as 2 become one flesh in submission to God and each other. Husband and wife each to submit to God first above all, then husband to wife, wife to husband, children to parents. Three roles which equals FAMILY. Which answers the question: ‘What is family’?
Next question: ‘Why is it considered a cornerstone institution of life?’
May I say here that I understand there may be some who stumble upon this post who do not believe God. I respectfully say, that is your choice to make. I have made the choice that He IS. For that reason I follow and share His point of view for life. I recognize His authority and willingly submit to follow His ways above my own or others. As is the case with most of God’s principles, they run contrary to man’s desires and people find them offensive. Such may be the case with some who would venture to read on. Whether a Christ follower or not. You are forewarned but I invite you to consider and explore what is presented with an open mind and a willingness to look outside your comfort parameters.
As mentioned in previous posts family is meant to be a support system as God designed it. The laws God gave the Israelites went further than being the foundation for governing themselves as a nation; they also gave structure to their homes as well. The first 4 commands address our relationship with Him, the next 6 address our relationships with others – family and beyond. If His commands were adhered to – family as well as nation would benefit in positive ways. Because God’s ways are perfect. Within the confines of that support and structure –
Family as God instituted it is the role model for all relationships.
It is to be the illustration of harmony and unity that can be experienced as HIS order, His way is followed. (Notice the words in red.) Remember the choice and consequences faced by the nation of Israel? Follow God’s governing ways to blessing, life and good; or reject them to find cursing, death and evil.
We face the same choice in respect to all relationships of life. Beginning with family.
It is in the structure of family, the security of home, that one is to first learn about love, authority, submission and respect. Which is why in the book of Ephesians Paul uses the family as the first, main illustration of how it works. What it should look like.
Wives submit to your husband as to the Lord. Husbands love your wives as yourself and submit to the Lord. Children obey your parents who are to guide you to what you do not yet know and understand.
Why? Because purpose, security and rest is only found in God and is only obtained through submission to His authority, His role above your own.
Personally I can say that it was because of this lack of family structure in my own home as a child that it was very difficult for me to grasp the idea of submission, love, and respect in the early years of marriage. Almost to the detriment of my marriage. It was when I came face to face with God and His way that I learned what it meant to be a wife, a mother and how marriage works.
It didn’t happen overnight for sure, but I have learned the beauty of submission in my role as wife. The husband’s role of authority/leader/provider/protector over the family truly is an umbrella of rest, and security providing a sense of being cherished and honored. Which cannot be experienced when I position myself outside of that realm. Just like when I position myself under the shadow of the wings of my Lord. NO place better to be.
And let me add that it was in seeing my husband in the role of father to our children that helped me – over the years – to begin to see God as my loving, Heavenly Father, rather than a stern task master. And the wisdom of children being taught to obey, to be in submission to, and to respect their parents! Yes, it is for their good!
Ultimately if one does not understand submission – putting oneself under the authority of another – one will have difficulty turning to God for redemption and salvation.
God intended for children to learn such submission as they watch the outworking of it in the home. Mother to father and father to Jesus. As children watch submission, love and respect in practice by their parents, they learn how to practice those characteristics in relationships outside the home. With their friends, school mates, teachers, other adults, bosses, co-workers etc. The home is the first and most important tier of training and learning for every individual. In this way children learn to understand God, Jesus, relationships, submission, love respect.
Family is THE cornerstone in life instituted by THE supreme authority of life to teach and demonstrate to the next generation the understanding of THE purpose of life. Relationship with their Creator and each other.
As stated in a recent study guide: “We teach our children to respect authority so they will learn to honor God. After all, how can we help younger generations learn to respect the One they cannot see if they don’t learn to respect those God has put in front of them?”
FAMILY – a cornerstone of life, instituted by God. Not just to train up children in a loving, secure environment but to also provide support and protection to other family members as needed. Which is why Naomi chose to go HOME. To where she had family support. And where we will see beautiful things happen for both Naomi and Ruth. For in God’s family plan the widows are not forgotten or neglected. Neither are those who may find themselves in a destitute situation. Hope you’ll stay with me to see how things play out.
Until next time may you find your rest and security in THE One.