Monday, December 8, 2014

Freely love??

God has really been speaking to me about "freedom" in various aspects of life.  He has been showing me how freedom is necessary to experience true love in any relationship, including our relationship with Him.  This translates into our marriage, how we treat our spouse, our kids, and how we experience love ourselves.  I recently came to a point in my life where I just wanted to love freely.  I just became tired of all the shackles that kept me from being free in this area.  But more importantly, being free to love with the gifts that God gave me to love with.  I don't love like other people love and neither do you because we are all individuals created in the image of God, but because we are all different, we all show love differently.  Many times we don't allow ourselves to be free in that expression.  We think we have to love a certain way or something is wrong with it.  Your love is not going to look like my love and that's ok because it's just as powerful and affects the lives of others just as deeply and people are in need of you loving them through your special gifts given to you by God.  Ruth has been on my mind lately.  I have been reading from the book of Ruth in the bible.  This woman allowed herself to love her mother-in-law Naomi freely and boldly.  Not even caring what her mother-in-law thought of it.  Look at this dialogue below between Ruth and her mother-in-law (this was after both Naomi's sons died leaving their wives behind as widows, Naomi's husband had also died):

" Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.”
So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, 13 would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!”
14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
15 And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said:
“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
17 Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”
18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.

I think most would look at this text and say "Oh, Ruth was such a good person and so noble".  But I don't think Ruth was good or noble.  I don't think Ruth was trying to be good or noble.  I think Ruth was "free".  She had grown to love Naomi very much and this was how she desired to express that love, so that's what she did.  This really stuck with me.  It's not the devotion to her mother-in-law that stuck with me, it's what freedom empowered her to do.  To freely love, it's important to accept who you are with strengths and weaknesses and understand that God gave you certain gifts and you can only love through those gifts. The bible says every good and perfect gift is from above.  Gifts are given to us by God and they are channels through God's nature is expressed.  God's nature is love.  The bible says that God is love.  Love is the most important area to be free in.  Ruth being free, is what led to her being a virtuous woman.  Freedom came first.  Remember that


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