Dr. Linda Mintle – Marriage: What We Learn from Hosea
book of Hosea, God's own relationship with Israel is compared Gomer, who, in accordance with the Lord's plan, is . While good advice, this. After seeing hundreds of couples in marital therapy over my 20 years The marriage of Gomer and Hosea, a symbolic and real act, deals with. I've been so enthralled with Hosea and Gomer myself. .. Counseling, through a GOOD Christian marriage and family counselor is always.
A Marital Lesson from Hosea - Doing Life Together
While their views are often divergent, I will try to find some underlying principles that are universally accepted. Specifically, adultery and prostitution-- the tawdry side of sex. This brings up all kinds of conflicted feelings and prejudices in the reader, as few people can approach this subject rationally.
Irene Rallis, of St. YHWH is depicted as having a wide range of feelings ranging from anger to joy to tenderness and sorrow. As far as we know, no one had ever dared to speak of YHWH in this manner before.
Hosea could understand that only because he had suffered the same experience. Many people think of God as a transcendent being way out there somewhere. That he is unfeeling and immutable: They can easily imagine an angry God, but Hosea presents a new picture: Times were good in Israel.
They thought they were prosperous was because they made sacrifices to the pagan gods of Baal. Despite their prosperity, this was a time of political fear and uncertainty. Rather than depend on YHWH to protect them, they were paying tribute to Assyria the dominant superpower to forestall invasion, while at the same time making an alliance with Egypt for protection. Hubbard says the Assyrians were very similar to the Nazis: Ehud Ben Zvi, professor of religious studies at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, points out that to best understand the text; one must understand its effect on the intended audience.
When read from the vantage point of the Persian period, the book becomes more hopeful, since punishment is relegated to the past while promises of an ideal future await fulfillment. The marital metaphor became…a way to shape, imagine, express, and communicate their understandings of the nature and story of their relationship to YHWH. Jerusalem Bible A shocking command with shocking words!
Some of the targums completely eliminate the marriage, 8 Ironside17 9 Peterson 6 and some versions of the Talmud make Hosea out to be a clown. Intellectual arrogance often tends to blame the victim. Seldom has one verse in the Bible generated such controversy! Rowley of the University of Manchester stated simply: An act which is ethically to be condemned in actual conduct does not become defensible as a Divine command in a vision or allegory.
Hosea married a woman YHWH chose for him who was not a virgin and his marriage was a drastic and dramatic means of putting his message across. Hence, I am persuaded that the call of Hosea was a sustained one, beginning before his marriage, but growing clearer and deeper through the experiences that followed.
Like Another, he learned obedience by the things he suffered, and because he was not broken, but triumphed over it and in triumphing perhaps won back his wife, he received through his pain, an enduring message for Israel and the world. But postmodern scholars such as Reiss,21 Sherwood,22 Keefe23 and 17 Sherwood65 18 McComiskey13 19 Rowley81 20 Rowley21 Reiss 8 Hong24 claim there is little evidence of Canaanite fertility cults in 8th Century Israel.
Hong notes that Tyre, the great commercial city is called a whore by Isaiah The unfaithful marriage was therefore only a symbol of economic injustice, and they use Amos 8: Is this not a bit reductionistic, though, in its own right? Could not the economic and political dimensions enrich the fertility-apostasy piece?
The biblical text confirms this: Disobeying this command leads to all the other social ills besetting Israel -- and all mankind. Prostitution is not the oldest profession, but the oldest form of violence. Legalization of prostitution is a sexual liberation. Prostitution is a humiliation and a sexual exploitation and should be named as such. States which promote prostitution protect the customer and not the victim. There are four known ways out of trafficking enslavement: Religious minds seem to assume that a prostitute enjoys and profits from her profession.
Prostitution is not sexual liberty-- it is progressive bondage--the more degrading, painful, and debasing a sex act the harlot allows, the more money they earn. Hosea did not go overboard when he took extreme measures to get his wife back.
Due to the busy international trade in Israel at the time, there could have been a thriving local sex trade and international trafficking in prostitutes.
If Hosea had not intervened, Gomer may have been one of the first to go into captivity either to Egypt or Assyria and likely would have died on the trip. This is what Hosea had prophesied in 5: Hosea says in 5: Johansen, pastor of The Moravian Church explains why: Unfaithful as Israel had been, and certain as was her 36 Achtemeier37 Ortlund98 38 Rowley76 12 doom, this fact did not obscure the divine love.
Loving When It Hurts: Hosea and Gomer
God's love is constant; it is not canceled by human sin. Gomer did not return immediately. But her income was cut off because she could not find her lovers 2: Note that when she did return, Hosea set down some conditions: Wolff thinks she had to remove all emblems reminding her of the sex cult. This was a wise move by Hosea.
Female readers definitely have a problem reading the Book of Hosea. Tristanne Connolly, Professor at St. Jerome's Catholic University in Waterloo states: The image of God as an abusive husband, threatening his wayward wife Israel with violence and rape as punishment for her sins is correctly seen as theologically dangerous and ultimately unacceptable in the context of a culture where male violence against women runs rampant.
She was exposing herself to real danger.
- Gomer, Hosea, & What They Show Us About Our Relationship With Christ
Hosea was not a misogynist: This is not a matter of personal hypersensitivity, however; it is a function of interpretive theory, once it is allowed that, a text may be confronted with a hermeneutic suspicion. Sherwood admits that this deconstructionist approach to Biblical texts has not resulted in any unanimity between feminist theologians. Hosea persevered when weaker men would have despaired. Was this an allegorical appeal for the Israelite peasants to rise up and protest the corruption of the ruling class as Ortlund thought?
I wonder along with Wiess and Wolff what their playmates if any called them. They were probably subjects of scorn and ridicule like their parents. But their strange names bring hope. The name Jezreel had historic and apocalyptic meaning but it was also a pun according to Hong: In that day, says Yahweh.
I will answer the heavens, And I will have motherly compassion for Lo- ruchamah. And I will love those whom I did not love before. Those who have received Jesus are God's children John 1: It is disturbing because of the devastating 53 Hong54 Terrien59 55 Hosea 2: They seemed oblivious to the concept of compassion.
Little Lo-Ruchamah could probably relate to that. Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Quality relationships can be damaged; especially with our children, and others who depend on-- and look up to us.
Through out history God goes to extreme measures to woo his chosen and win back their hearts. In my book Divorce Proofing Your Marriage, I expose ten common lies people embrace that eventually leads to divorce. This book confronts our thoughts, beliefs and assumptions that influence how we behave and the choices we make. Do your own self-check. Marriage is a contract. The truth is marriage is a covenant, an unbreakable promise.
It is life commitment. I married you, not your family. Your spouse grew up in a family that taught her how to be who she is today. Yes, there are other influences and people can change, but family is a primary force in the development of any individual. I can change my spouse. Pay attention to the red flags you see during the dating relationship, especially the more serious ones like drinking too much, violent temper, promise breaking, etc.
We are too different. Differences are not a major problem as long as the differences are not about life values and morals. The real issue is how you handle your differences.
Marriage: What We Learn from Hosea
You need compatible styles that work for both people. Some differences are unsolvable and couples need to learn to accept those. And the Bible gives clear guidelines on how to deal with conflict in a Christ-like way. You may not always feel love but you must determine to love your partner as yourself.
The loving feeling dwindles when couples lock into negative patterns that lead them away from each other. Criticism moves to contempt and highly defensive behavior that eventually leads to emotional distance.
The truth is you can restore that loving feeling with a number of changes. One is to make five positive statements to your spouse for every negative one. Other changes focus on building friendship and support. I just want them to understand that loving feelings can be rekindled. A more traditional marriage will save us. Out of frustration, many men feel that if their relationship could be more like the Brady Bunch couple, life would be happier.
They are confused about gender roles and responsibilities. Submission is a misunderstood and often abused concept. On two occasions, God revealed His will on earth concerning gender—in the Garden and in the life of Christ. Look to those examples of how men and women should interact. You will find that no matter how you negotiate the relationship, you need mutual submission, respect, honor, empowerment and empathy. An unwillingness to change is rooted in rebellion.