Naomi and Ruth – a Spiritual Legacy
Cousins’ Camp is our yearly family outing. For one week we gather into a house, all 23 of us, out in the sticks of the Pocono Mountains to relax, have fun, and enjoy our family together. The 14 grandkids count the days until we head off to “Cousins’ Camp.” It is always sad when we have to leave. Right now, as I look over the misty pond early in the morning I can see my wife Sharon and my daughter-in law, Melanie sitting together and talking about 50 yards away from me.
Both of these women have had to walk through tremendous pain. Sharon lost our 16 year-old son, Mark, in a car crash and Melanie at the age of 16 lost her mother suddenly and was forced to become an adult long before most kids have had to play that role. And there they sit, my family’s version of Naomi and Ruth locked in together into this journey of sorrow mingled with hope. There they cling together in the Word, both wives of pastors who struggle every day with people - the good, the bad and the ugly. Melanie has become a mentor to her daughters and to countless others. Sharon has become a spiritual mother to Melanie and thus the legacy continues. I am so thankful to God that they have each other.
Every believer needs at least two people in their lives, a mentor and a mentee. In this way, one can be stretched in two directions, growing in grace and investing in grace. This is why that classic passage out of the book of Ruth has such powerful ramifications for our families:
But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. (Ruth 1:16-18 ESV)
In an age when the traditional family is under siege we must return to God’s blueprint for covenant community. Then and only then will we build a spiritual legacy that will endure the test of time, the pressure of pain and the uncertainty of the future. Who is your Naomi?
Digging Deeper: Ruth
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Treasures in Darkness: A Grieving Mother Shares Her Heart
An intimate account of the Sharon Betters' struggle with anger, grief, and faith after her teenage son's death.
"In twenty years of women's ministry I have never read such a compelling, painfully real, transparent perspective on grief...Do you know of someone struggling with grief and loss? This treasure needs to be the first gift you place in their hands." Tammy Maltby, co-host of Aspiring Women and author of 'Lifegiving'.
"...Sharon squarely faces personal pain and tenderly offers the realities of faith to provide a journey to hope even through our darkest nights." -Bryan Chapell, Covenant Theological Seminary.
“Recognizing that our lives here on this side of heaven will be fraught with darkness and sorrow, Betters’s experience with grief will encourage and comfort you. With biblical wisdom and gentle insight, she’ll draw your broken heart up to where hers is resting safely in the loving arms of the Savior. I heartily recommend this book.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick, Author of Idols of the Heart, Give Them Grace
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