If you have not done so before, please review the Background on the Program
As you start to review this episode, please know that YOU matter. Regardless of what you are struggling with, regardless of the depths of your sorrows and regardless of how lonely you feel, the Good News is that YOU matter. I hope the message below nourishes you in the most meaningful way to comfort you and strengthen you to keep climbing into the ring to face your battles.
Episode #12: Decide and Commit (Part Two)
Today’s episode starts with a song from Prince, Purple Rain.
Please spend a few minutes listening to any version you can find on the internet.
I hope you enjoyed that song. Many people would rank Prince as one of the greatest musicians of all time. There was not an instrument he could not play and did not play in his performances. Prince wrote many of his songs out of his own pain. Purple Rain was about being with the one you love through the end of time despite the difficulties of close relationships. Prince, like many rock & roll stars, fought hard through the challenges of fame and fortune and the demons of life on the road. Even though he left us with some great music and wonderful memories of live performances, Prince left this world too soon as he struggled to deal with all that life was throwing his way over so many years.
In part two of this message of Decide and Commit, Purple Rain helps us connect with love and a reminder of how special and how difficult close loving relationship are in the journey of life. As we saw in part one, we will again see in part two, that making a commitment to love someone through sickness or health, through riches or poverty, and in good days or bad days, is not easy. The adolescent like feelings of a crush or infatuation or hormone driven passion eventually faces the reality of two deeply flawed humans coming together and trying to make a go at becoming committed for the long haul…and it is not easy for any of us.
As a reminder from part one, in the journey of building a long-term commitment with that “special someone,” times will get tough (despite what the fairy tales will tell us, there is NEVER a “happily ever after” …there will always be tough times in any long-term relationship). In those tough times, we can often feel all alone and perhaps feel that “quit looks good” and we should break things off, cut our losses and move on. We find some helpful guidance to address difficult relationships in the ancient scriptures that guide the Jewish and Christian faiths and, in part two of the message of Decide and Commit, we look specifically to the book of the prophet Hosea in Chapter 3 (Hosea 3) (please find a version of this scripture on the internet).
The background of this situation is that Hosea is a prophet of Israel during some of the darkest moments for the Jewish people living in the Promised Land. Many had turned their backs on God and started worshiping idols in direct defiance of the laws of God. Even in these dark times and despite their open rebellion, Hosea continued to assure the Jewish people that God’s love for them would never die and that God would rescue them if they returned to him.
Hosea’s life was an example of God’s love for his people. Hosea made a commitment in marriage and he held firm to that commitment despite some incredibly difficult situations he found himself in. Hosea’s wife did not care about the commitment of marriage and in fact, she became a prostitute and was openly unfaithful to her marriage commitment to Hosea.
Just as God promised his grace-filled love for the Jewish people, Hosea promised his unconditional love to his wife. In fact, he bought her out of prostitution to restore his marriage.
In Hosea 4:2 “So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver…and then I told her you will live with me and I will live with you forever.”
In summary, here is the situation:
- Hosea’s wife becomes a prostitute in open defiance of the commitment of marriage
- Hosea continues to hold to his commitment of marriage and in his role as a prophet of the Jewish people
- Hosea eventually buys his wife back out of a life of prostitution to reunite their marriage and make a commitment for the rest of their lives
How would you feel? What would you do?
Hosea made a decision to live a life as an example of God’s love and work to reunite his marriage commitment. He followed what was written in the book of Lamentations Chapter 3:22-23 that says “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.”
Hosea could have chosen to walk way, but he made a decision to stick with the commitment to his marriage for “better or worse” and he was clearly experiencing “for worse” at this time.
The story of the prophet Hosea is a tough reminder that close relationships, especially marriage, are never “happily ever after.” We make choices every day that help build on our commitment or detract on our commitment. Sticking with a relationship or ending a relationship are all very personal and often difficult decisions between couples. Our place is not to judge but to provide love and support to those working through what is the most heart-breaking of all of life’s conflicts…struggling relationships in the home.
Take a moment to reflect on the following questions:
- In your closest relationships, when did giving up look to be the best option?
- What did you learn from that experience?
As you continue along with your closest relationships, please remember that we all find ourselves feeling all alone and at times when “quit looks good.” It can feel almost too much to endure. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed in a dark valley of your closest relationship, please remember that (1) God promises and is always faithful to help comfort us and we should call on Him in our time of need and (2) Please reach out to a close friend to talk and please consider me one of your friends today.
As you continue to reflect on the message, please take a moment to search the internet to find and listen to I’ll Be Here In The Morning. This is a song written by Townes Van Zandt and there are various artists who sing this wonderful love song.
How can I help you today? My mobile is 269-370-9275 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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