Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Book of Ruth Shows Three Choices for Widows Today

There are 3 paths a widow could choose after the funeral.
When we look at the three widows in the Book of Ruth, we see that they each chose distinct paths. Understanding these paths can help widows today realize and define the choices they also might have.
  • Orpah REMAINED in her homeland, with her familiar surroundings.
  • Naomi RETURNED to her roots not knowing if she had any life left but stepping out in faith.
  • Ruth RISKED everything to follow Naomi and find God.


Let me clarify that Orpah's “remaining” is not a sinful choice. People like to judge Orpah, but it’s based on Naomi’s assumption that she will return to "her gods.” (Ruth 1:15). Of course returning to idolatry is wrong, but remaining with the familiar is often a wise choice for the early days of widowhood and grief if at all possible.

Which path are you on?

As we consider Naomi's example we can see that at first she remained where she was for at least 10 years after her husband died, (Ruth 1:3-5), but after her sons died is when she decided to return to what was left of her family home in Bethlehem. There's a clue about her decision to return in Ruth 1:6 which sets a good guideline for our own decision making and it's this: God was on the move in Israel; He'd come to their aid and was providing food for them after the famine. Are we willing to relocate by faith to a place where God is blessing?

Are you beginning to see why I say "Ruth is for widows?" The details of Ruth bring our issues and challenges out in the open! I'll continue to briefly touch on 8 more reasons in the next blogs and I hope you'll be encouraged, enriched and amazed at God's providence, grace and deep love for widows.



  1. Love the way you are breaking down and personalizing for widows the book of Ruth!


  2. I think it's interesting that Naomi waited 10 years before she moved to something different. God was working in her life during those 10 years - preparing her and arranging her future.

  3. Glad I am not the only one who sees Orpah's remaining as not a sin. God knew widows had 3 choices and He needed either Ruth or Orpah to stay. Since Orpah was fulfilling God's mission for her life, I believe I will meet her in heaven one day. Right now I am Orpah but maybe at the 10 year mark, I will become Naomi.

  4. I love the illustration. Thanks.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am not always able to reply but your remarks mean a lot to me and will appear as soon as possible.

Here are some tips for commenting:
Remember to click the Publish button when you are done.
Choosing the anonymous identity is easiest if you do not have your own blog.
Using a computer rather than a cell phone seems to work better. Thanks again!