Friendship in the Bible: At first glance, Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi did not have much in common. They were different ages, from different cultures, and may not even have shared religious beliefs at first. Moreover, Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law, a relationship that has been the butt of many jokes.
But they loved the same man, Chilion, who was Naomi’s son and Ruth’s first husband, and this created a bond between them. When Chilion died, the bond became even stronger. Now Naomi was an aging woman all alone in the world.
Ruth stood by her. She stayed with Naomi, even when the older woman pointed out to her she would be better off returning to her own family in Moab.
Throughout the story (see Bible Women: Ruth or a shorter version, Bible People: Ruth’s story) the two women remained firm friends. They shared everything, even though it was not much. They trusted each other. Each one drew on the other’s wisdom and energy.
The older woman advised, the younger woman listened and acted on that advice. Eventually, they triumphed over adversity.
‘Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. … Ruth said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.” The full Bible text is HERE.
A friend is someone whose company you enjoy, someone you trust and admire. Do you have such a person in your life? If you do, describe her/him in some detail.
What are the qualities you like in that person? Of, if you do not have such a person, what qualities would you look for in a friend?
Suppose you had a close friend. What qualities would they look for in you? What qualities would they find?
Are you happy with what you have to offer as friend? Or are there things you could work on, to make you a better friend?
Find a quiet space to do some thinking. Re-read the questions above – but don’t let you mind stray to old grievances. This will not help. Keep you mind on the present and the future.
Get a piece of paper and jot down some answers to the questions – you will need these ideas later.
Now put the whole thing aside and get on with whatever you were doing.
Later on, preferably the next day, come back to that sheet of paper and look at your answers/ideas. Do you still agree with what you wrote? Do you have other ideas?
Make one resolution – just one, and write it down. Put it somewhere you (but not others) will see it. Keep it in your mind.