A close-up image of the spikes coming out of a cactus.

Imagine that your marriage is facing a crisis. Your spouse has just learned a secret you have been trying to keep--that you are having an affair. But as you discuss the matter, your fears about a confrontation evaporate because he seems completely indifferent to the news of your betrayal. You realize there will be no big emotional explosion. There is no crisis. Instead of expressing anger or jealousy, your spouse simply says that you are an adult who is free to do as you please. You can stay home with him whenever you like or go out with the other person. It really doesn’t matter.

What would you think? Would you grieve because you realize that you have cheated on a person who would have done anything for you, even laying down his life if necessary? Would you be sad, knowing you are turning your back on one of the world’s great marriages? I hardly think so. If you grieved at all, your hurt would come from knowing your spouse cared little for you.

Fortunately God is the opposite of an indifferent spouse. In one of the most poignant stories of the Bible, he tells the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Hosea’s life is to be full of pain and heartbreak, a lived-out parable that exposes God’s broken heart. He has wed himself to faithless Israel, who has repeatedly betrayed him. Refusing to give up on his beloved people, he tells Hosea "Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the LORD still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them." (Hosea 3:1)

We needn’t provoke God to jealousy in order to probe the depths of his love. Instead let’s celebrate our relationship with him and be grateful that we have a God who will do anything for us, even laying down his life so that we can be reconciled to him.

 





Originally published October 16, 2018.