Yes, we all know that love is risky. We know that when you love someone, it’s possible that everything might go wrong.
You might end up with nothing.
What I have to say is a bit different.
The very act of love is about taking risks. It is about choosing to do risky behaviors, knowing that they might produce great results for those you love.
It’s about letting go of security, comfortability, and stability, knowing that when we step out and love, we might be a greater blessing to those around us then if we hadn’t let go.
Ruth understood this. Her mother-in-law Naomi had traveled with her husband and two sons away from their home. While gone, her husband died and her two sons got married. After awhile, both of her sons died too.
Naomi decided to travel back home and told her daughters-in-law to go back home with their families. She said it like this (found in Ruth 1:9):
May the Lord bless you with the security of another marriage.” Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.
There it is.
Naomi is essentially saying, “Don’t worry about me! Go back home to what you are used to, comfortable with, and where you are secure.”
One daughter-in-law returns home. Ruth doesn’t.
Because of Ruth’s decision, she knew that there was the possibility she may never be married again, or at the very least, she would be much older before getting married.
Regardless, Ruth chose to go to Naomi’s home. Here are her words found in Ruth 1:16-17
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. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”
(My biggest question is why we’ve taken these words from a daughter-in-law to a mother-in-law and turned them into vows for husbands and wives at weddings! Think about that the next time you hear those vows!)
Ruth loved Naomi by risking everything in order to serve Naomi.
This is real love.
Yes, when loving someone, we know that we might be hurt by them.
But, love itself is the biggest risk of all…letting go of everything we have held onto so that we might be of service to those around us.
May our love begin to look like that.
*By the way, Ruth does get married soon after. You must read the whole story.