By: Tekoa Manning
I inquired about a friend’s daughter not too long ago and the response was, “She is planning to go to such and such college and she’s going to major in __. The answer was not really about her well-being, but about her future career. We don’t hear too many young women say anymore that they want to be mothers and the ones that do are often met with a response of, “That’s all?” The stress to land a high paying job and do well on SAT’s is overwhelming today. Young children are being taught that education is their golden ticket for success. Many parents hope that their child will win a scholarship to help with the cost of their schooling. This at times only adds extra pressure to the already mounting assignments and AP classes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about education, but I want to tell young women today that it doesn’t define you or your worth. I see young girls who have their whole lives mapped out, running to get the degree. At times they pick a field of study due to what it pays instead of following their heart and the Lord’s voice. Often, once they attain the degree, and a career actively working in their field, they become deeply depressed. They received all the accolades from family and friends for their accomplishments and they even landed the job, so why do they feel so unfulfilled? Because The Lord Adonai doesn’t measure us by our successes. 1st Samuel 16:7 says, “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” NLT.
When your titles are stripped away what is left?
I want to share with you a story about a woman who did nothing to enrich her own life. Actually, she put herself last in order to help someone else and by doing so God gave her the desires of her heart. This woman’s name was Ruth. After her mother-n-law, Naomi, lost her husband and her two sons, she was very bitter and downhearted. Naomi had been living in a foreign land called Moab, but now she was headed back to the land of Judah and to her people. Both of her daughter-n-laws wanted to come with her; one was named Orpah and the other Ruth.
Naomi continues to tell them to turn back. She informs them that she cannot give birth to more sons for them and even if she could, would they wait for them to become old enough to marry?
Orpah kisses Naomi and tells her goodbye but Ruth clutched her tightly. “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.”
But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.” Ruth 1:15-16 NLT.
Ruth arrived in Bethlehem and she went right to work to feed her mother-n-law. The poor people in those days would pick up scraps in the fields behind the hired workers. She didn’t have to make such a selfless sacrifice, but she did. Ruth gets noticed by one of the wealthiest landowners in the region named Boaz. What made her outshine all the other women? Boaz approach Ruth and gave her honor and the entitlements of his hired workers. Ruth said, “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” “I am only a foreigner.” “Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers.”
Ultimately she becomes his bride and all the land and servants belong to her as well. God opens her barren womb and gives her a son named Obed. He was the great grandfather of King David.
Look around today and see who God has placed in your life that needs a Ruth. This woman only had hands to give and feet to follow. Her attention was not on her own needs but the needs of others. Her field of study landed her in the field of her redeemer, Boaz. A broken woman named Naomi who had lost her husband and her sons gets a happy ending.
“The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer… May he become famous throughout Israel! For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Ruth 4:14-15 NIV.
How can you give to and love others this week?
Photo Cred: Chelsea Steller
Tekoa Manning is the author of two fiction works, Polishing Jade & Walter the Homeless Man. After a neurological illness left her disabled and eventually homeless, Tekoa began to channel her creativity into writing and devouring the Word of Yahweh. She is the wife of a retired police chief and the mother of three sons. Tekoa and her husband reside in a small town in KY. The pen name Tekoa means Trumpet, the instrument that unites people at a sudden impulse.
You can find out more about Tekoa and her writing endeavors at tekoamanning.com