“Husbands love your wives…”

When you think of great love stories in the bible, or old testament, the Song of Solomon automatically stands out. As it is a collection of songs between two lovers, celebrating their relationship, and intimacy. However, I find the story of Hosea and Gomer a much more fitting love story. It parallels the relationship between God and His church. This story parallels the directive of Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church…”

The Book of Hosea begins with Christ telling Hosea to marry Gomer, a promiscuous woman. They have three children together, Jezreel, because God would soon punish the people of Jehu. Lo-Ruhamah, which means “not loved.” Finally, Lo-Ammi, meaning “not my people.” Gomer never left her promiscuous ways behind, was adulterous. She left her family and was a harlot. She chose to live in whoredome over being the wife of the king of Israel. Hosea turned his back on her and realized that their children were not his, he no longer loved, he said that she was not his wife, he turned his back on her. And, why shouldn’t he? She was an adulterous harlot! But God told him in Hosea 3:1 “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church… Hosea went and purchased Gomer, his wife for 15 shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. So, not only were they betrothed, but she was bought with a price. Hosea staked his claim on her. He told her, you are to live with me, and only me from now on. You are no longer a prostitute or a harlot. I bought you out of that. I not only purchased you, but you are also my wife. He treated her, not as the harlot, but as the wife whom he loved. He clothed her, fed her, and gave her everything her heart desired.

This is the love Christ has for His church. We are nothing more than harlots serving other idols, making everything else in our lives our god. However, how much grace does our Father in heaven have for us? Clothing us, supplying our every need, day in, and day out. He never turns his back on us. He loves us unconditionally. If Christ loves us this way, how is it that He gave the command for husbands to love their wives as He loves His church, yet husbands desert their wives? Husbands beat their wives? Husbands yell at their wives? Husbands treat their wives without compassion? How can that be? I do not understand. What is this concept of divorce? Yes, God has been angry at the church, but He has always given mercy. He has always given forgiveness. That has been lost in marriage. Spouses do not believe in forgiveness. Spouses do not believe in mercy. Spouses do not believe in compassion. If more people knew of the GREAT love story that is Hosea and Gomer, perhaps the ideals towards marriage would be differents – perhaps they would understand what it means to love even as Christ has loved.

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