Stories & News
Discipleship Through the Eyes of Naomi & Ruth
Discipleship is defined as “the condition or situation of being a disciple, a follower, or a student of some philosophy, especially a follower of Christ.” Discipleship is important to us and should be important to us because it was Jesus’ main way of teaching the people closest to Him so that they could effectively share the Gospel with everyone they encountered; in turn making more disciples.
We see discipleship take place all throughout the Bible. Jesus modeled this for us in the New Testament. But we don’t see as many stories in the Bible of women discipling other women. The story of Ruth and Naomi sticks out as an example of how as women, we can disciple one another.
In case you aren’t familiar with the story of Ruth and Naomi, Ruth was married to Naomi’s son. He died and Naomi told Ruth to return home to her family. Ruth refused and committed to staying by Naomi’s side. This led her on a journey working in the fields where she would eventually encounter Boaz – the man she would later marry with some guidance from Naomi.
So how exactly does this story relate to us?
Well, one way we see discipleship lived out is through Naomi allowing Ruth to stay and tag along with her after she tries to send Ruth back to her family. Naomi just lost her sons and her husband and is likely walking through the hardest season of grief. She reluctantly welcomes Ruth into that and allows her to walk with her through that. Discipleship is often not taught; it’s caught. As we bring others into the different aspects of our lives, they watch and observe how the Word of God informs our behavior.
What Naomi almost misses by trying to send Ruth to her homeland is allowing Ruth to weather the storm with her. We see Jesus wrestle in the Garden of Gethsemane and we get to see Him cry out for His cup to pass but we end up seeing Him surrender to God’s will. Jesus didn’t promise that we wouldn’t have troubles. He actually promised the opposite. If we are in a discipleship relationship, we should consider allowing the woman to journey with us. The knowledge that they can walk away with after seeing a mature sister weather the hardest storms can be so valuable when they inevitably weather their own storms.
We also see that while we should care for the women we are discipling, we can also allow them to care for us too. As you train up the women around you, they may see a need and try to meet it. Maybe you had a rough week and they surprise you with a meal. Or maybe you’re walking through some hardship and they meet you with grace and encouragement. Whatever the scenario, allow them to care for you too. Jesus let the disciples care for him, you too can allow others to care for you.
Are you in relationship with other women who are discipling you and whom you are discipling?
– Pray that God brings someone into your life that would disciple you and that God would provide someone for you to disciple.
– Pray that as you disciple someone, that it would start a ripple effect of disciples being made. Just like Jesus taught us in the way He created a ripple effect of disciples.
– Write down a name or two of women you know that you could intentionally invest in.
– Is there someone who is discipling you that you could encourage this week? If so, find a way to do so.