Ruth 1:14 – …And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law (Naomi); but Ruth clave unto her.
A quick background of this story:
Naomi had two sons that died in a foreign land. They had married women who were not from their native country. Naomi tried to convince her daughters-in-law to go find new husbands from their homeland. Orpah obliged and kissed her mother-in-law goodbye. But Ruth decided to stick with Naomi.
- Is usually a response of affection or infatuation.
- Something we use to say, “Hello!”; “Goodbye.”; or “Goodnight!”
- Is sometimes a sign that things in a relationship are progressing to the next level or getting a little more serious.
- Is a way for us to show someone we love them.
At the end of the day, a kiss is not the most desired evidence of affection. Take these examples as evidence of that fact:
- A cancer patient would rather one walk the halls of the hospital with them and sit with them during their chemotherapy treatment.
- A wife or husband would rather have someone be present to listen to them, rather than just a kiss.
- A child wants the security of knowing his parents are there for him or her when a nightmare comes.
A kiss doesn’t do those things. In order to fulfill those examples one must move beyond the kiss!
Orpah’s love for Naomi was undoubtedly real. I look at this story and know that Orpah truly adored Naomi. But Ruth was committed. Ruth’s love ran deeper!
At youth camp you “kissed” Heaven. God touched your heart and changed your life. You had an experience with Him that you so desperately needed. You fell in love with Jesus and committed yourself to Him again (or perhaps for the first time). But you must move beyond the kiss!
Now that you are home and back to the normal routine, your experience and commitment to Christ will be put to the test. You will have to show that your love for Him is real and that your promises you made during camp were more than just empty words. You have to move beyond the kiss!
Some of you have gone back to environments where things are hostile and full of trouble. Some of you have no level of spiritual support outside of your youth pastors, pastors, and church friends. Some of you went back to places where your bad habits are beginning to draw you back in. Some of you went back to situations that you had hoped would have gone away but haven’t. Some of you have been tempted to do wrong and have already made some mistakes. But you must choose to move beyond the kiss!
Check out what Ruth said to Naomi in Ruth 1:16-17:
“Where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people are now my people. Your God is now my God. Where you die, I will die. Where you are buried, I will be buried.” (paraphrased)
That is what moving beyond the kiss looks like. At youth camp you had a connection with Christ that caused you to “kiss” heaven and make some commitments to follow Jesus for the rest of your life. Now you must follow through and move beyond the kiss.
How do you do that? Establish a daily routine of prayer and Bible study. Stay involved in church services, attendance, and activities. Talk to members of your youth group. Talk to others about what Christ did for you at youth camp. Pray with your youth pastor or pastor. You can do this! Move beyond the kiss! We are praying for you!