Family, Marriage, Parenting
Week 3: Salvaging a Train Wreck Hosea
This week we are continuing to study an Old Testament account of a powerful marriage example. This one might strike you a bit odd as to the instruction and actions taken by those involved. But we must remember... God’s ways are not always our ways; He specializes in redeeming our circumstances as powerful lessons of a godly life and often blessings in the end.
CONNECTING AS A GROUP: Experiencing a fulfilling marriage requires time, energy, and effort, much like growing a plant.
Describe what elements contribute to a great marriage.
What do you think are some major causes for husbands and wives drifting apart?
What interests do you share with your spouse? What else do you do together to strengthen your bond of oneness?
STUDYING GOD’S WORD: Read the book of Hosea. The story of Hosea and Gomer takes place around 760 years before Jesus was born. Israel was enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity. As is often the case, with prosperity came moral and spiritual degeneration. Secularism and materialism captured the hearts of the people and sin was rampant. Sound a little like America today? The thing that grieved God more than anything else was the sin of idolatry (Hosea 4:12, 13, 13:2). Since God viewed Israel as His wife, He viewed her worship of other gods as spiritual adultery.
What was God’s initial instruction to Hosea? How would you describe the relationship between Hosea and Gomer?
What happened that created distance and heartbreak in Hosea and Gomer’s marriage?
How was Gomer’s sin realized?
Gomer’s first child, a daughter, is named Loruhamah, which means “unpitied or unloved”, implying she would not enjoy her true father’s love. Again, the name was symbolic of Israel’s wandering from God’s love. Not long afterwards Gomer conceived again - another boy called Lo-ammi, which meant “not my people” or “no kin of mine”.
How did Hosea respond to Gomer following her unfaithfulness? How could he have had the courage and faith to do so?
MAKING APPLICATION: This beautiful love story is a powerful parallel to our love relationship with God. We can begin to see how God used the love He has for us through a sinful person and a sinful nation. Read Exodus 20:3 - The first commandment describes how God wants us to know Him, love Him and know that nothing can or should take His place in our hearts.
What things in your life are taking the place of God?
How have you wandered away from Him to satisfy your needs, wants or desires?
What can you change in your life to replace those distractions and re-commit to Him?
After reading the story of Hosea and Gomer, we see that if God becomes the center of our desires we can have healthy and growing relationships. Are you holding onto any resentments with anyone? If so seek God’s wisdom and find a way to offer
forgiveness. Read Matthew 18:21. How many times does Christ tell us to forgive? Remind yourself daily that God loves
you as you are. His goal is for us to understand and trust in His unending love for us. He will hold us accountable as a
parent does for a child. He wants what is best for us.
Can you think of wrongs suffered from your mate that have kept you from freely expressing your love?
your mate and verbalize your full forgiveness. How can you keep the wrongs for which you have forgiven others from creeping back into your mind and destroying your peace? What positive steps can you and your mate take to keep certain sins from repeating themselves?
PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER: Pray that we seek God in everything we do and say and that if we hold any resentment towards anyone that we find a way to resolve it. Pray also that we can understand the “undying love” that God holds for us.
MEMORIZE THIS VERSE: “For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6