Our latest chapter in the book, Ruth: Her Story for Today, centered on the verse in Ruth 1 which says:

"And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the 
Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me." (Ruth 1:8)

The main theme of the chapter is Kindness.

Kindness. Don't you love the sound of that word. I feel a warmth in that word, reflecting, obviously, my understanding of its meaning. Say it slowly. Ki-n-d-n-e-s-s. Ahhhh.

Here in Ruth 1:8, Naomi seems to be wishing for her two daughters-in-law to return to Moab. Of course, this is not what she wanted, but she wished to test them, to see whether they were following her back to Bethlehem, or following the Lord. We know, of course, that Ruth's heart was full of love to the Lord, and this was the love reflected onto her mother-in-law. Sadly, Orpah's heart was still in Moab, and with the idols of this land.

But - back to kindness.

Naomi is giving the young women the opportunity to return home, but even if they do need to part from each other, she wishes their parting to be amicable, and with kind words. She wishes the best for them: "The Lord deal kindly with you". Even when she was going to be far from them, she wished for God's blessing on them.

And so, one of the kindest things we can do for others is to pray for them; to pray for their salvation; to pray for their good; to pray for God's blessing to be poured out on them.

Naomi then acknowledges that they had been kind wives to her sons: "...kindly, ... as ye have dealt with the dead". How glad Ruth and Orpah must have been when their husbands were no longer with them that they had dealt kindly with them whilst they lived.

Surely we must deal kindly with people too. How awful to live with an uneasy conscience after a person has passed away, when it's too late for us to make amends.

Ruth and Orpah had also dealt kindly with Naomi herself. 
It's not always easy to deal kindly with our in-laws, but Naomi acknowledges their kindness to her. Of course, Naomi's dealings with her daughters-in-law may have made it easy for them to be kind to her. If we feel that others are dealing unkindly with us, maybe we should examine ourselves and our dealings with them. 
If we are kind to others, they are much more likely to be kind in return.

I was struck with how powerful an attribute kindness is, and wish I lived more of it out in may daily life. How often an unkind word is spoken, when patience and kindness would be so much more appropriate.

"And be ye kind one to another, ternderhearted, forgiving one another, even as 
God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" Eph 4: 32

Mrs Mary Beeke, wife of Rev Joel Beeke, gave a talk some time back on Family Kindness. You can listen to it here. For those of you unable to have a listen, tomorrow I'll post on some of her thoughts. (Mrs Beeke has also written a book, The Law of Kindness.)


  1. Thanks so much for posting about the book entitled The Law of Kindness. I cannot wait to listen to this talk by Mrs. Beeke!

  2. Kindness is so essential in life as so forgotten. What a great post and my daughter's middle name is Ruth.....

  3. Thanks for the encouragement! I hope to listen to Mrs. Beeke's talk soon or read her book!
    Lord bless you!

  4. i never realized before that naomi was testing them...i always thought she was just depressed.

    very interesting...yes, regret is NOT fun after someone passes :(

  5. such a good word, Anne. Love is patient, love is kind.... Unkindness come so naturally; the Spirit can grow kindness in us. Thanks for the story and teaching!

  6. Kindness...in a me centered world...you see this less and less. It is a wonderful gift to give and to share in Christ. Thanks for sharing your lesson on this. ~Love Heather

  7. Thank you for highlighting what seems to be an often overlooked virtue! As the commenter above mentioned, I think we so often get wrapped up in ourselves and what we need to accomplish that we don't take the time to show kindness to others.

  8. I love teaching my daughter kindness, and I already see the Holy Spirit working this gracious quality in her. So thankful the Lord is kind in dealing with me - my example is not always what it should be.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and the sweet comment. Looking forward to reading more posts on the Croft.

  9. Thank you for stopping by and making time to comment.
    I was struck by the importance, and the real blessing, kindness can be when we read this chapter in Watkins' book.
    Kindness.... such a simple thing in so many ways, but profound too... x


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