Ruth. She was a Moabite — a nation that only existed because of the rape and incest of Lot’s daughters with their father. Thus there was political hostility between her race and Israel. And in her personal life, she’d already been through so much. Her father-in-law had died. Her husband had died. Her first marriage had been infertile.
Looking at this, it is hard to believe she was destined to be the family woman of the Bible!
But she is. She stuck by Naomi — her mother-in-law, a woman of a different race, age, and religion — knitting herself to her with fierce commitment. Giving up her homeland’s gods, she embraced Judaism. She bravely gleaned food for her and her mother-in-law and humbly accepted Boaz’s help and protection, while boldly reminding him of his further duties as her kinsman redeemer and eventually becoming his wife. And she bore the grandfather of David, in the very lineage of Christ.
Then there is Abigail Adams. In many ways, she was the woman behind American independence. Farmer, supportive wife, community organizer, and fiercely faithful to God, Abigail was truly a “Founding Mother.” Her letters to John are full of the homemaking rhythms of passion and practicality. Her faith stood strong even in the midst of literal war: “The God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto his people,” she wrote, for which her husband called her a “heroine” and reassured her in Heaven’s hope that, “The worst that can happen, can do you no harm.”
Today, there is Kari Zeier, Montana state director for Concerned Women for America. She models the redemption in a culture full of sexual confusion — showing the world it is still possible to love and be loved. Kari was born in 1982, when abortion was very popular in this nation. But Kari’s birth mother chose life and then adoption for her, a selfless decision for which Kari is profoundly grateful. Though her adopted family was loving, Kari was assaulted in high school, leading to tragic decisions such as drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. She got pregnant and chose to be a single mother to her daughter, whom she prophetically named Grace. She experienced a lot of God’s grace in the following years, when she met and married a loving husband with whom she had two more children. As Kari says, “To have a husband who loves me and loves Grace as his own, that is only something God can orchestrate.”
Today, Kari is passionate about restoring a respect for family in a culture where it is devalued. “We are losing our emphasis on family, we are seeing unwed mothers, and teenage pregnancies, and life being devalued,” she says. “Everything is so centered on stuff. It’s all about ME, instead of what I can give to my family.” Kari feels that for both Ruth and herself, God aligned their desires with His desires for them, the result being the gift of joy and family.
Indeed, Ruth, Abigail, and Kari have a lot in common. Devoting themselves to what some would consider “private life,” these women epitomized the truth that strong families are the building block of strong societies. The devotion to family life has reverberating effects for generations.