by Elizabeth Wann
I almost didn’t marry my husband.
I sat in my cubicle with showering tears and a shiny engagement ring on my finger. That morning on my way to work we had our first fight. My old fears of marriage crept in: loss of control, vulnerability, and the potential for being hurt. Maybe I shouldn’t go through with this. Maybe he’s not who I thought he was. Are these his true colors finally bleeding through?
I was gushing to my boss at work about the heated argument and the apparent pride of my fiancé. My boss patiently listened and said many things that day to me, but one sentence hooked me in. It seemed so simple, but in that moment it was profound. It was a reality of life I hadn’t experienced before this point.
He said, “I can be a very proud man sometimes, but I’m glad my wife still married me.”
I knew I would be marrying the man I loved, but I hadn’t given much thought to marrying his sins, too. It seemed too scary, too real. Setting myself up for hurt like that? Doesn’t sound appealing.
Then God reminded me of this hymn:
My hope is built on nothing less, but Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
My ultimate hope and trust is in Christ, not my husband. I realized then that my husband would fail me at times, but Christ never would. Christ would be my firm foundation going into marriage. He would be the solid rock my fiancé and I would build on.
Later that day my fiancé apologized. I apologized. By the end of my work day, my fears went away, and I wanted to marry him anyway, because I loved him. Bottom line. I wanted to marry everything about him — who he was then, who he is now, and who he will be in the future. I would marry his strengths and weaknesses, his sins and failures, and he would marry mine.
Even now as I think back to this day of my engagement, I’m reminded of one of my favorite Bible stories in the book of Hosea. The Old Testament prophet Hosea was commanded to take a prostitute, Gomer, as his wife. This was done to show Israel a picture of their relationship with God.
Hosea and Gomer began to build a life together and have children. Hosea was a good and faithful husband to an underserving woman, yet Gomer spurned Hosea’s kindness and went back to her old way of life. It doesn’t end here. Hosea goes the unexpected extra mile. He seeks out his wife who has completely lost herself in corruption that she is now a literal slave. Hosea buys her back with costly ransom money. He doesn’t use her in his household as a servant, but he reinstates her to her old position in his household: a noble wife.
God was pointing out to Israel that they had been whoring after other gods and were unfaithful to the one true God. Yet God remained faithful to them, just as Hosea remained faithful to Gomer. Hosea had to buy Gomer back from slavery, so God did for the people of Israel, and so He does for us.
Hosea was a type of Christ, meaning he was showing Christ-like characteristics long before Jesus entered our historical time frame. God was using Hosea to make a promise to Israel of a coming Savior who would nail their spiritual adultery to the cross. As Christians, we own this promise now and can apply it to our lives.
I am a Gomer, and my husband is a Gomer. Christ is the Hosea in our marriage. We both need to point each other to our faithful husband when we are headed back to slavery. Just because we are Gomers does not mean we shouldn’t seek help from God to be like a Hosea, which is ultimately being like Christ.
Unconditional love, like Christ and Hosea, was what I realized I needed to marry the man of my dreams. Love covers a multitude of sins. Every time we sin we are committing spiritual adultery against God, like Gomer. Yet when we seek forgiveness from Him, through Christ, He gladly accepts and loves us. God’s love for us does not wane. It stays constant and immovable, like God himself. God does not change, so His love does not change. So, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Elizabeth Wann is a stay at home wife and mom to two boys who lives in Philadelphia, PA and blogs at rowhomereview.com.
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