Rev Moss

My wife, Anna, has been encouraging me to say that I love our dog. Call me hard-hearted, but I have never said, “I love you” to the dog. My argument is that I will save my love for humans. I say, “I appreciate you, Harley”, but that is not good enough for Anna. She wants me to say the words “I love you, Harley” and pointed out that in the past, I have said, “I love pizza”, so I should be able to say, “I love you” to Harley. However, I believe we throw the word “love” around too much and it can subsequently lose its meaning.

So, what does “love” look like? In the Old Testament Book of Ruth, we have the privilege of reading a remarkable conversation that Ruth has with her mother-in-law, Naomi. In this conversation, love is described in the most beautiful way. Tragedy has struck the family; Naomi and Ruth’s husbands are dying. Naomi encourages Ruth to go back to her family and find a new husband. Ruth replies in Chapter 1:

16 “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18

When Naomi realised that Ruth was determined to stay with her, she stopped urging her to go. Ruth offers Naomi something very beautiful. Ruth makes a commitment to Naomi, regardless of what might happen and whether or not their futures will be filled with sadness or joy. This love is the type of love for which our hearts yearn.

Often, when we speak of love, we are talking about feelings and emotions. Of course, emotions are a part of love. However, love cannot be sustained by feelings. Our hearts need what Ruth has promised Naomi – a commitment that is in the best interests of the other person, even if it is not in our own best interests.

We see that type of love from God in the New Testament. John, Chapter 3 says:

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John is not talking about “how much” God loves the world, he is talking about “how” God loves the world. God loves us and gave His son for us. This news is wonderful to me because I am not always a lovable person. I do not always treat people or God as I should.

What a great comfort it is that no matter what happens, whether my life is filled with sadness or joy, God has committed to loving me. It is in His grace and love that He has promised the same for you, now and into the future.