The prophets of the Old Testament spoke for God. Sometimes they spoke with actions more than words.
The Prophet Hosea loved God, and would do anything God asked him to do. God wanted to communicate that His love for Israel was unconditional, so God called Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer. She was not a woman looking to become better. Even when Hosea showed her unconditional love that she did not deserve, she deserted him, and returned to her prostitution.
As Hosea struggled with the pain of Gomer’s infidelity God showed Hosea that this is what His chosen people, Israel, were doing with His love as they chased after every false idol they could find. The people of Hosea’s day reasoned that if one god was good, more gods were better. They would have to reject God’s revelation that there is only one true God to come to this conclusion, and break the first four commandments. People wanted to know why Hosea, a godly man, married a woman like Gomer. He told them God called him to do it to show them how much God loves them, even when they act like a bunch of prostitutes.
We like to think that we are more sophisticated than those of ancient days, but we simply have modern idols that provide false security. They include money, vocation, material possessions, power, status, and our families. Families you ask? How do our families become like idols? We have heard about how money and all the others become idols, but few of us think about our families being idols in our lives.
How often do families miss church because of family activities like kids sports?
How often do wives or husbands focus so much on the children they let their marriages suffer?
How often do people gauge their self-worth by the success of their children?
Families can be a blessing, but only when we remember our families are gifts from God, to bless our lives, and not to put above God.
Parents want their children to find the perfect spouse that will make their children better. At least that is what they say, but often what parents really want is their children to marry someone that makes the parent happy.
How many of the people you dated did your parents approve of? How many of the people your children date do you approve of? Imagine what Hosea’s parents thought of Hosea’s choice of a bride. Do you think they meddled in their son’s choices?
If we trust in God, can we trust God with our children? Most people believe that God has a plan, a perfect plan, for our lives. Does God have such a plan for our children? Does God already know who our children are to marry?
I ask all these questions as a way of drawing you into the idea that meddling in your children’s relationships will probably not end well. Most parents find that when they meddle their children run into the arms of that questionable boy or girl friend.
I have a better plan. Trust God and pray. From early on in my children’s lives my wife and I prayed for the spouse God had already chosen for them. If this was the one bless their relationship, if not gently pull them apart. Some we hoped God would pull apart more quickly, but we worked hard not to let our children know what we thought of any of their boy or girl friend choices.
It was really hard to continue praying God would gently pull them apart when they found someone we liked, but we did. My wife and I wanted God at the center of everything in our lives, and so we trusted our children to God. It was one of the smartest parenting decisions we ever made.
Most of my children are married now, and God answered our prayers completely every time. I recommend these prayers to you.
Don’t meddle, trust in God, and pray for your children’s future spouse.
To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, visit www.lagrangepres.com.