This is not Gomer from The Andy Griffith Show – but rather the harlot God called Hosea to marry and pursue despite her repeated infidelity (Hosea 3:3). Clearly, marriage can be challenging and even though we may not be faced with infidelity, we all struggle at times with loving our spouse the way God has called us to – or perhaps we never learned God’s instruction on marriage in the first place, which was the case for me. Unfortunately, I was never introduced to God’s standard for husbands and therefore, my marriage was hindered in becoming the bountiful blessing it was designed to be. Naturally, I was selfish and overly concerned with my own needs getting met, but thankfully with God, it’s never too late. As I studied and sought God’s guidance for my life and marriage, three powerful truths helped get my marriage back on track:
Feelings: We often confuse the euphoric feelings and desires we have for a person with love, when in reality feelings can’t be trusted, and euphoria is most often lust. Instead, true love is sacrificial, patient, self-denying and committal, regardless of how we might feel (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) . This is the picture we see with Hosea’s commitment to Gomer, and God’s unwavering love for us. Love is not fleeting, rather it’s reliable and loyal – especially through the hard times.
Forgiveness: Bitterness and resentment are powerful tools in damaging and destroying relationships. However, forgiveness is a powerful tool in reconciliation. Perhaps we have the right to be angry, or the other person isn’t even sorry for their actions, but in forgiving them anyway, we are freed from the damages of an unforgiving heart. In addition, forgiveness stimulates blessing and connectivity with God, which always refreshes hope and healing (James 5:16).
Focus: Are we focusing more on ourselves and how we feel, the other person and how they feel, or Christ? Where we focus our attention, gets the most attention. Therefore, for any marriage to work, God must be first (Matthew 6:33). Husband and wife must be under the authority of Christ in order to operate effectively. Otherwise, we will default to our natural tendencies and feelings rather than submit to the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.
Application: “Til Death Do Us Part” – Hosea 2:19
Sadly, the percentage of Christian homes impacted by divorce is significant. However, this trend can be reversed, for with God nothing is impossible, but it won’t just happen. It takes active commitment on our part. We must place Christ first in all we do and apply the teachings in His word. I know the power of this truth firsthand, for my wife and I, although believers, did not pursue God’s perspective on marriage early on and it nearly cost us everything – but thank God we realized the danger and completely surrendered ourselves, our marriage and our family to God. In other words, we got serious about our marriage, which means we got serious about Christ.