Who are you having a hard time loving? To love somebody who is hard to love is a gratifying experience. When we deal with people as God deals with us, we experience a strength and nobility from being like Him. At Lighthouse we help people discover how they can love when it seems impossible. Some with this challenge are spouses who’ve been betrayed, and children who have been mistreated. Many come to us who feel unlovable and incapable of loving or being loved.
God called the Biblical prophet Hosea to love someone who would seem impossible to love. God told Hosea that he was to love this woman he would marry even though she would repeatedly betray him and give birth to several children fathered by her lovers. How could he love her? How did Hosea, and how do we do it? The answer is; we can’t! Like Hosea, we must learn how to let God’s love fill us and flow through us.
1. Hosea walked with God in the hard places. It was an impossible assignment: Go marry and love someone who will squander your love (Hosea 1:2,3). One would think that because of Hosea’s honorable track record as a prophet, God would have given him a loyal and supportive wife. But Hosea discovered that a person who walks with God in the hard places of life experiences a depth of God’s love that isn’t usually found in the comfortable places in life.
My last year of seminary was a hard place for our family. Debbie’s dad died of cancer, my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and a seminary professor tried to undermine my personal confidence and faith. Brent, a fellow student and friend came up to me and said, “I know that what you are going through is very hard but in some ways I envy you. I believe your faith and experience with God will be very special.” Brent Curtis was right.
2. Hosea’s motivation to love was to reflect God, not to accomplish something. It’s natural to expect something in return for being loving. Such love is usually fueled by self effort and my agenda. My agenda might be good, but it may not be the best. Jesus told his disciples that they were to love expecting nothing in return (Luke 6:32-31). Hosea’s motivation to love his wife wasn’t to change her, it was to reflect God and His love (1Jn.4:8, Hosea 3:1). When we love without expectations, it’s a good sign that God’s love is coming through us.
Even though we are to set aside our personal agendas, we’re not to set aside God’s values as we love. Hosea didn’t accept his wife back while she was in her wicked lifestyle. Hosea was intent on showing her and all of Israel God’s love, and God’s love insists on what is good (Hosea 3:3).
May you and your family experience God’s love, and may His love flow through you. We really appreciate you. You are a blessing to us and the many we serve.
Please pray for: The restoration of broken families – Our speaking and writing opportunities – Ministry financial support.
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