My favorite love story is found in the book of Hosea. God told the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute (Gomer), so some of her children would be born from other men. This is an illustration of the way God's people have been untrue to Him, openly committing adultery by worshiping other gods (Hosea 1:2).
Gomer continued to live in adultery, but Hosea remained faithful. Here he was, rejected by the one he loved, as she continued to break his heart. Most people would have given up, but Hosea refused to divorce her.
Finally, Gomer leaves. Now Hosea is feeling the loneliness of abandonment while having to raise his children alone. Gomer then goes from man to man, until she finds herself so low she is sold into slavery.
I can relate to Hosea. After 20 years of marriage, the love of my life committed adultery and left me and the children to go live with the other woman. In the midst of intense emotional pain while my world was turned upside down, I cried out to God for help. The Scripture that God planted in my spirit was "let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9, ESV). God reassured me that I would have the strength to love my husband unconditionally, even though I was in pain.
God tells Hosea, "Go and get your wife again. Bring her back to you and love her, even though she loves adultery. For the LORD still loves Israel even though the people have turned to other gods, offering them choice gifts" (Hosea 4:1, NLT).
"But she doesn't deserve to be loved! She betrayed you! You married the wrong person! You deserve better!" the world screams. But Hosea obeyed God. He bought Gomer back for fifteen pieces of silver and about five bushels of barley and a measure of wine (Hosea 3:2). He paid the price for someone who was already his, someone with a rebellious heart who wanted her own way. Hosea redeemed Gomer, just as God redeemed us. How was Hosea able to show unconditional love for Gomer when she did not love him back? The love of God filled his heart.
While my husband was gone, God began to work on his heart and draw him back home. He humbly returned, expressing deep regret for what he did. God filled my heart with agape love for my husband and gave me the ability to see him the way God does. God renewed my marriage and made it stronger than it ever was.
Has someone broken a promise to you? Are you dealing with a broken heart? Maybe this is an opportunity to demonstrate the grace of God. Grace is unmerited favor. There are no strings attached. How did God show His love for us? "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8, ESV). God loves us in spite of our performance.
Can you love others this way?
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:7-11, ESV).
Jaylin Palacio is the author of He Will Never Leave You (2014), a book about marital infidelity, the faithfulness of God, and the healing power of forgiveness. Her mission is to bring encouragement to many people dealing with the devastation of infidelity. It is also available in Kindle version. Join her email subscriber list for betrayed spouses.
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