Their two sons made them a small family of four. They could no longer exist where they were living. Those circumstances were life-threatening and demanded they relocate. But, not just across town. Rather relocation in a foreign nation. One unfamiliar to them. New language. New culture.
Fortunately, the chance of survival was greatly increased by their move and, like most people, they would learn the culture and adapt to their new surroundings.
It wasn't long before their two sons were mature men and the family was entrenched in their new culture because of their marriages.
But, bad things happen. Unexpected things. Uninvited things. Things that demand change. Again.
In their case, it was a death that ushered in another change. The primary provider, the father and husband, passed away. Leaving his wife a widow. Fortunately, their sons had married and they and their wives were able to care for his wife.
But, again, an uninvited change invaded the family. About 10 years later, the sons followed their father in death. This left the mother and wife, without her people, in a foreign land.
This might be the point in the story when you check back and take a second look at the title of the blog and wonder what in the world Kissing & Clinging has to do with what you have read.
More than likely, you are way ahead of the story if you have some knowledge of the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. This is her story. I've just attempted to write the background for the subject of my topic ... taken from Ruth 1:14.
"And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi."
There are appropriate relationships that are simply meant for cohabitation. I'm am not talking about the kind of relationship that misunderstands the marriage covenant. Rather friendships and working relationships that are seasonal and basically friendships with benefits. This kind of relationship is based on what you can RECEIVE from it.
Cohabiting relationships are seasonal. They are beneficial for a period of time. They often desire intimacy without covenant. Like the relationship Orpah had with Naomi. Though theirs was a close relationship, and it was painful for these two women to go their separate ways, a goodbye had to be made. The kiss was an expression of gratitude for the benefits of the 10 year relationship. Now Orpah had decided that she would return to her people and live out her life with them.
Covenantal relationships require finding your people and committing to the relationship for what you can GIVE to it.
BOTH types of relationships are a part of life. There comes a time when you know you are with the right people and you need to remain with them indefinitely. Finding your place in history requires finding your people ... the kind that Ruth found in Naomi. The kind that you cling tightly to.
Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. (Ruth 1:16)To often, when it comes time for a change in a relationship, a Judas kiss is given rather than an Orpah kiss. There is a conflict, however small, that is not resolve and there is no goodbye kiss. Rather abandonment sets in. Occasionally betrayal, revenge, and sabotage follow.
My son, Dawson, had several girl friends before he found his wife Anna. He even flew from Oregon to Bakersfield, California, to spend a week with the family of one of those girlfriends. At the end of the week, when he and the girlfriend returned to our home, she told my wife, "That was the best breakup ever!" They discovered, though they enjoyed each other's company and relationship, they were not meant for each other. They would continue looking for "their people" while leaving behind a grateful heart for what they enjoyed for the season they were together. Friends ... but, not a relationship meant for covenant.
Let's live intentionally. When a relationship has served God's purpose, and it is time to say goodbye, let's "kiss" one another and each of us with the other the best as they continue on toward their destiny. Discover the value of kissing or clinging.