Summary: God is committed to love us with an unconditional and uncommon love.
Series: God’s Outrageous Love
Title: Love’s Commitment
Text: Hosea 1:1-2:1; 3:1-5
Truth: God is committed to love us with an unconditional and uncommon love.
Aim: To understand God’s love for us so that we respond with a greater obedience to God.
Life Question: How do we know God’s love is committed to loving us unconditionally and uncommonly?
Joe loved Jill. They’d been married twenty years. The kids were happy and healthy. Maybe some of the sizzle had diminished, but by all accounts Joe and Jill had a good marriage. Lately Joe had a sense that something was amiss. Jill seemed to be spending more time with the women who were her co-workers. That’s what he thought until he discovered something on her phone.
He needed to make a call, but he’d misplaced his phone so he picked up Jill’s. Absentmindedly he checked the text messages. That’s when he noticed a flirtatious message. The message was filled with double entendre—saying one thing but obviously meaning something else. That led him to check Jill’s voicemail. There he found a recent voicemail. The man’s voice spoke of an intimate encounter and how he couldn’t get her off his mind.
Was this a joke? Was this really happening to him? He never gave a second thought to those “girl’s nights out” Jill said she was joining with the girls from the office. Now he discovered it was a ruse for an affair.
Anger began to boil in his soul. How could she? Hadn’t he been a good husband? That gave way to nausea as he became sick to his stomach and ran to bathroom to puke out his hurt.
Jill knew something wasn’t right when she stepped into the house. When she saw Joe her first words were, “What wrong?” Joe held up her phone and said, “I know about him.” That moment will be forever frozen in her memory. It did not get better. After some cruel and hurtful words, Jill slammed the door and eventually moved in with her lover.
Joe is left to explain this to their grade-school-age son and middle-school-age daughter. They all cry. No, they sob. Nothing has prepared any of them to know how to deal with the abandonment of an illegitimate love.
Looking at those beautiful kids, thinking over twenty years of history with Jill and the fact that he truly loved her, Joe decides he is going to win his wife back from her lover. Identifying where he had been at fault, he begins to seriously change those faults in his life. Whether he is successful or not, these are things he is committed to permanently change. He refuses to fight and argue over time with the kids. They will not be used by him to punish her. In fact, he talks the kids into spending time with their mother.
Months go by. Jill tested Joe any number of ways to see if he is for real or just play acting to get her to come back. Finally, the longing of a mother for her children and the permanent changes she sees in Joe causes her to come back home. They all have a long way to go, but they begin to rebuild love once more.
That’s a composite of my experiences with church members over my ministry. A man abandons his family and moves in with the woman with whom he is having an affair. A wife discovers her husband’s sexual escapades from his phone. In a pastor’s office the wife learns her husband is having an affair, and she runs from the office. The secretary finds her outside vomiting. This violation of love and loyalty is so wounding and wicked that I’m amazed by those who are able to recover from it. I have seen good come from these broken vows, but the pain is enormous. Would you believe that God uses a wife that is a nymphomaniac to teach his people about His love for them? It’s found in the Old Testament book of Hosea.
The prophet Hosea had a wife who was unfaithful to him, and committed adultery. He knew the heartbreak from someone you love being unfaithful. God used this to show Hosea that this is how Israel had been unfaithful to Him. God helped Hosea to love his wife and seek to reconcile her from her slavery. Like an adulterous wife, Israel committed spiritual adultery by turning to other gods. But the good news of Hosea is that God loves us and seeks to forgive us, redeem us, and restore our relationship with Him. God is committed to love us with an unconditional and uncommon love. When we understand this, it results in greater obedience on our part as we respond to God’s outrageous love.
How do I know that God is committed to love us with an unconditional and uncommon love? First, there is this outrageous illustration of love: