Bible Study: Ruth and Naomi, A Case Study

This one-part Bible study takes a look at the relationship between Ruth and Naomi and help participants to take a look at their relationships with their mothers.

Download a PDF version of the Bible Study: Ruth and Naomi, A Case Study.


  • Participants will learn from the example of Ruth how to treat their mothers.
  • Participants will learn to turn to God for forgiveness when they fail to honor their mothers.


(10 minutes) Quick! Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and answer the following questions. Your answer only counts if it’s different from everyone else’s.

  1. Name a TV show featuring a mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.
  2. Name a mother in the Bible.
  3. Name a word used to describe mothers.
  4. Name a movie mom.
  5. What is your mom’s middle name?

(10 minutes) Allow the participants to share their answers and score them based on if anyone else had the same answer. Then, ask them to consider the following questions.

  1. What is the last thing you said to your mom?
  2. What is the last thing you did for your mom?
  3. What is your attitude towards your mom like?


(20 minutes) Read Ruth 1-4. You can divide the group into small groups, each one reading one chapter and answering the following three questions, or the group can read the story together in parts (Narrator, Ruth, Naomi, townspeople, Boaz, etc.), pausing at the end of each chapter to answer the following three questions.

  1. How does Ruth speak to Naomi in this chapter?
  2. What does Ruth do for Naomi in this chapter?
  3. How would you describe Ruth’s attitude towards Naomi in this chapter?

Read Exodus 20:12. How did God fulfill His promise here in the life of Ruth?


(10 minutes) Talk about the following questions:

  1. In Ruth 1, how did Ruth honor and respect Naomi, even when disagreeing with her? How can you honor and respect your mom even when disagreeing with her?
  2. What else did you learn from how Ruth treats her mother-in-law about how you should treat your mother?
  3. In learning about how Ruth treated her mother-in-law, did you realize anything about your thoughts, words, actions, or attitude toward your own mother that need to change to be living God’s way? (Be specific with yourself, even if you don’t want to say it out loud.)
  4. Who is Ruth’s great (multiple times) grandson? (See Matthew 1:5 for help.) How can He help us when we fail to treat our mothers right? (See 1 John 1:8-10 if you’re not sure.

Take Action

(10 minutes)

  1. Ask God for forgiveness for anything that you’ve realized you’ve been doing wrong against your mom. Ask for his help in changing your actions.
  2. Think about something you can do for your mother that will honor and respect her. Ask God for help to do it in the coming week.

Getting along with your mom is not always easy! As children of God, though, we know that it is the right thing to do and that Jesus will give us help to do what is right and forgiveness for when we fail.

Published November 13, 2009

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