The Myth of the One
Written by: Taylor DiPaola
"At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh!"
– Genesis 2:23a
While I love my fiancé, he’s not the one for me. The one for me would never upset me. He would constantly give me gifts to show me his appreciation, and he would always sacrifice everything to make me smile and to give me the affection that I want. But if my fiancé did all of those things to be the one for me, then he wouldn’t be real. He would only be an enchanting myth, just like the myth of the one is today.
The myth of the one makes us yearn for romance. We long to experience the “love” that we see in movies and books. Our hearts are warmed by the long, sweet captions that we find on couples’ Instagram posts. In time, the myth of the one teaches that each of us can find someone almost God-like who will love us unconditionally and take care of us for eternity.
But only One in this entire universe can be that someone, and that One is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the One who sees us completely as we are and loves us just the same as if we were perfect and wholly beautiful. He is the only One who can take care of us for eternity as part of His own family.
He is also the One who gave us the opportunity to experience love through human relationships such as marriage. In the book of Ruth, He combats the myth of the one with the stunning reality of real love. Here are a few ways that Ruth’s story shows us that God offers even more to us than the myth of the one ever could:
1. Ruth shows us that marriage isn’t guaranteed.
Right now, you might be thinking, “This isn’t helpful.” And I’m sure that Ruth probably thought something similar when her husband passed away in Ruth 1:4-5. All that she had left were her sister-in-law, Orpah, and mother-in-law, Naomi.
Her hope for her future should have been destroyed. God had not forgotten her though, and in the midst of her crisis, He showed her the way to His plan for her. When Naomi told her to go back to her parents, “Ruth replied, ‘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). God was showing her that He would take care of her future.
God does the same thing for us today by not guaranteeing marriage for us. He doesn’t limit our future to whether we get married or not. He expands our future by leading us to serve Him in great and in small ways. He encourages us to love each other and to live the way that He did. He offers us eternal life and loves us endlessly.
The myth of the one tells us that we have to get married to be happy. God tells us that we can be happy just by knowing Him.
2. Ruth presents us with real Godly love.
Ruth provided for Naomi once they settled in Israel, and the community noticed her virtuous living. Eventually, Naomi told Ruth to ask Boaz, a wealthy relative, to provide for them per the Levitical law. Ruth 3:10 shows his reaction, stating, “‘The Lord bless you, my daughter!’ Boaz exclaimed. ‘You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor.’” From his answer, we know that he was not the most attractive man that Ruth could have married, and he respected that she had chosen him.
While he might not have been the most attractive choice, he was clearly the best choice for her. In the following verses, we can see his care for Ruth. He treated her lovingly and gently and took care of Naomi. He was selfless and proved to be the kind of Godly man that any Christian woman could hope to marry.
Despite how wonderful of a man that he was, he would not have fit the standards of the myth of the one. He wasn’t the fairytale that the myth of the one presents. Instead, he exemplified what real Godly love looks like.
3. Ruth demonstrates how much more that God can have planned for us.
Toward the end of the book, we readers are granted a glimpse of the outcome of Ruth’s life. Those living in Bethlehem praise her, and she gives birth to a son, Obed (Ruth 4:15). In the final verses, we see more of how God decided to use her, a random woman of Moab, to become an ancestor of King David and of His Son, Jesus (Ruth 4:21-22).
She could have stayed in her home country. She could have mourned the loss of her first husband and not followed Naomi to Israel. Yet, she didn’t. She chose to follow God, to be a virtuous woman, and to provide for Naomi. As she did so, God worked through her.
Ruth saw beyond the tempting myth of the one and chose to look to God as her protector and provider.
The myth of the one constantly gives us empty promises and dead-end dreams. God, however, gives us a future greater than marriage, reveals real love to us, and exhibits how much more He has for us. He gives us true hope, joy, and love in a way that is even more than we could have ever imagined.
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