Scripture provides a beautiful picture of family devotion in the book of Ruth. We read there how Naomi faithfully traveled with her husband and two sons to Moab to escape the famine in Bethlehem. Naomi’s husband died, and her two sons married Moabite women. When her sons also died ten years later, the widowed Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem.

One of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, had watched Naomi’s relationship with God and experienced a profound bond with her during their many struggles. Ruth chose to leave her family, home, and everything familiar to go to a foreign land with Naomi. A relative, Boaz, noticed Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi and treated her well, then eventually married her. God gave Boaz and Ruth a son; he was the grandfather of King David and a forefather of Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem hundreds of years later.

Family members bring much joy into our lives but also much sorrow, disappointment, and conflict. Family blessings and struggles help us develop our own strengths and weaknesses. The bitter and heart-wrenching situations Naomi and Ruth experienced helped develop their character and gave them opportunities to choose attitudes and actions that honored God and witnessed to others that he can be trusted.

Christians need to prepare for the challenges of life and dangers of sin that can destroy marriages and family relationships. Parents need to prepare their children to live according to God’s instructions, resist temptations, make good choices, and set goals to better their futures so they can honor God through godly marriages and family relationships.

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).