Love is in the center of our home, literally. I made this pallet art per the suggestion of my crazy talented friend, Erin. It took a bit of googling and my man’s muscle for the finished product (total cost, $6!). And I LOVE IT! We often reference it with the boys as to how much they are loved by God and us. And, as to how they are to…treat each other.
Love. The center of everything.
Every time. Every time I read the redeeming love story of Hosea, I get goosebumps and watery eyes. His love was real and strong and tender and persistent with his unfaithful wife, Gomer.
You and I are loved like that by God. “Even though I am a mess, I am a loved mess.” But so often, our idea of love is determined by what we have experienced with other humans.
We form our definition of love by how we’ve been loved– good or bad. Then, we apply that human definition to how God loves us. Let me tell you, friend, God’s love is in another universe than any human love we can experience. It is out of this world!
Now that we have absorbed the complete story of Hosea and Gomer from yesterday, we can explode in meticulous detail the meaning and application of God’s love throughout the rest of our #messylove series. The best place to go to is the truth…the Bible. And my favorite explanation, commonly proclaimed at weddings, is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It is the true definition of God’s love.
I admit. I do have some misconceptions about God’s love:
- If I do good, He will treat me good.
- If I mess up, He will withdraw from me and hold a grudge. I will be demoted on his “favorite scale.”
- His love means He will give me what I want.
- I must operate under a list of “shoulds” in order to prove that I’m worthy of His love.
- If He loves me, He will protect me from all pain. If I experience pain, He doesn’t love me.
And as I read through the truth-filled list of God’s love in 1 Corinthians, I find myself hesitating in disbelief on a few. Do you? Which ones do you find “hard-to-believe?”
Hosea paints a beautifully colored landscape of love using some of these attributes from 1 Corinthians. As we will walk along the words of Hosea together, we will discover the meaning and application that:
God’s love rejoices with the truth
God’s love endures all things
God’s love never ends
God’s love keeps no record of wrong
Btw, if you are a reader, Francine Rivers paints a beautiful picture of the Hosea-and-Gomer love in her book Redeeming Love. It’s set in the 1850’s in California’s gold country. I know, just give it a try. It’s one more way to experience a colorful dimension to what this story truly looks like in real life. To your life.
I’ll see you on Tuesday! Have a great weekend! Click HERE for other posts in this series.