Women of the Bible series
by Trudi Blount
Ruth || The Mentor
There’s no better chapter on mentorship than Titus 2.
I quote Adam Clarke a British theologian and Bible scholar:
“Few portions of the New Testament excel this chapter. It may well form the creed, system of ethics, and text book of every Christian preacher . Does any man inquire what is the duty of a Gospel minister? Send him to the second chapter of the Epistle to Titus for a complete answer.” (Adam Clarke)
Titus is the book that compels us as spiritual leaders to disciple the younger women and men. Part of the responsibility of the church is to disciple people. But it is also required that people be submitted to discipleship.
Down through history it was a common practice that grandmothers and mothers mentored the young women. They taught that life was all about character and inward beauty rather than just outward beauty. I’m sure this practice was inspired by the scriptures in Titus.
But a change began to take place around the beginning of the twentieth century and the concept was reversed, with more emphasis placed on looks than inward character.
It is regrettable that the mentoring option is taken by so few. Since Ruth needed to follow in order to grow, and knew it, she was presented with a clear choice. Who is she going to follow, “after” Naomi or “after” Oprah? Or maybe better stated “after” God or “after” the World?
Ruth’s response to Naomi implies that she is not after vague spirituality.
Entreat me not to leave you, and to return from following after you… your people are my people, and your God my God.
Ruth is seeking to become like Naomi and her people. She wants the God of Israel and she wants to emulate Naomi.
Living the Jewish life in Israel would demand a stronger commitment than what was required in Moab. She was going to have to go to the next level. Naomi knew that.
One thing that I’ve observed in the church is the offense that follows when ministry gifts are correcting or training the church.
Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
The word “rule” in this scripture doesn’t mean dominate, it implies a form of measurement. Think of a it as ruler or yardstick.
The ministry gifts, teachers etc. are to help you grow. They teach you how to measure to a standard. God’s standard!
Sometimes the world has a better grasp about the importance of training than the church does. Multi-million dollar athletes will hire a trainer for the express purpose of showing them what they are doing wrong. When the trainer corrects them they don’t get mad or offended!
These athletes welcome the advice because their mindset is to improve. That’s what the Word of God and ministry gifts are for. They are designed to help you improve and correct you where your game is off. Mentorship is to help equip you for the next level.
Ruth could not learn from Naomi if she did not live like her.
According to Jewish Rabbis a person who seeks conversion to the Jewish faith is diligently informed of the consequences so that they have an opportunity to withdraw from the process if they deem it to difficult to follow.
From Ruth’s response we can read between the lines and ascertain that Naomi has solidly informed her. Glory to God! Ruth accepted the challenge. Ruth clung to Naomi and Naomi’s mentorship caused her to cling to God!