Thursday, May 5, 2011

Was Elimelech Justified?

There's another underlying thread running through several of the commentaries I'm reading on Ruth 1.  There seems to be this idea that Elimelech made the wrong move by moving his family to Moab during the famine, and at this point in the ball game, I don't feel like I'm one to judge.  I don't know enough of the situation to say one way or another. 

Sure, if there was another place, a more God honoring place, that Elimelech could have gone, then yeah, he probably should have chosen to move elsewhere, but what if there wasn't another place?  I don't know that anyone really knows whether there was another place they could have gone.  But I do know that Elimelech was given a responsibility to take care of his family.  So - I don't know that I have the right to judge. 

But the whole idea of it did get me thinking about how it pertains to us.  We make a lot of decisions as spouses and parents that ultimately effect the spiritual well being of our family... are we justified in those decisions? 

I'm not sure I'm going to arrive at any answers in this blog... rather, I'm kind of posing a lot of questions.  Like
  • What about missionary families who move their young children out of a 'more Christian' setting to a 'less Christian' or even dangerous setting?  Justified or not? 
  • What about families who have been displaced due to weather, financial concerns, etc, and are now moved outside of their religious setting? 
  • What about the decision to allow our children to choose whether they want to play baseball on Wednesday nights rather than go to church?
I mean, is this a 'gray area?' Since Bryton has been born I've been overly burdened, yes, burdened, with the responsibility that rests on my shoulders to raise him physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually.  My biggest fear is that, God forbidding, my children grow up lost, that I can look back on my life with them and have felt like I could have done anything else to steer them.  I don't want to miss any opportunity, and this whole idea that Elimelech made the wrong call on moving his family makes my stomach turn... ultimately, his family, except for Naomi, ended up dying.  God did make good of the situation with Ruth coming into the picture, coming into Jewish faith, and ultimately making it into one of four women in Jesus' ancestry.  But the good, alone, that came from Elimelech's decision can't be enough to justify it...

All in all it just makes me all the more nervous about how I raise my children.  Every decision is monumental... hmmm.  Ham or turkey for lunch?


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