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Couples: Joseph and Mary

Matthew 1:19
Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

Joseph loved Mary. He planned to marry her until he learned she was pregnant. Fully aware that the child was not his, he could have announced her condition and joined with the crowd that would’ve turned on her. But he didn’t.

Because he loved her, and because he was an honorable man, Joseph did what he thought was right. He decided to end the relationship quietly and let her retain her dignity.

However, this was the child of God, and Joseph was given assurance from God that Mary had not been with another man. When he woke from a God-given dream and realized that this baby was the fulfillment of prophecy, he did what the angel in the dream told him to do. He was able to enjoy a long marriage to a faithful wife.

Couples: Boaz and Ruth

Ruth 2:10
At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?"

Ruth, a widow, followed her mother-in-law Naomi to the land of her family to take care of her since Naomi's sons were dead. Ruth went out to get food and found out the field she was working in belonged to Boaz.

Gathering grain behind the harvesters, she caught his eye. He couldn’t help himself. He had to inquire about her.

Boaz let her know she was welcome to continue working in his field. Impressed with her faithfulness to her mother-in-law after her husband’s death, he made sure she was fed and had plenty to drink.

Ruth’s faithfulness attracted him. Boaz’s kindness attracted her. But their relationship only had a chance because of Ruth’s relationship with Naomi. Ruth and Boaz noticed each other because of the nudgings of God.

These two were a match made in heaven. They had plenty of reason not to be together. She wasn’t from his country, so the only thing that put her in the right place at the right time was her faithfulness.

He could’ve ignored her, but his kindness wouldn’t allow him to pass by her when she had no one else to look after her. He wanted to be the one to offer her protection.

God sometimes works out the problems in life to get us where we need to be for our next victory. Our journey to success doesn’t have to make sense to man, as long as it makes sense to God. Because of her faithfulness, Ruth, a foreigner, was picked to marry into the right family. She was King David’s great-grandmother. And in the lineage of Jesus.

Couples: Samson and Delilah

Judges 16:15
Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when you won't confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven't told me the secret of your great strength."

There is a love story in the Bible that I cannot figure out. Why did Samson fall for Delilah? Was she that beautiful? He seemed to be a smart guy, but somehow his love for Delilah got the best of him.

As soon as Samson fell in love with Delilah, she was told by her people to lure him into captivity. Samson knew she was with him in order to trap him, but he loved her anyway.

Time after time, she tried to get him to tell her how he could be tied and controlled. Samson wasn’t stupid, nor weak. He gave her false answers to see how far she would take this plan of attack. Every time the men hid to take advantage of this new way to subdue Samson, Delilah woke him up with the news that the Philistines were there. After each failure, she twisted the event to try to make him feel bad that he’d lied to her.

I felt sorry for Samson. He’d had woman trouble before Delilah. There was another woman who had done this same thing to him. She whined. He told her the answer to his secret riddle. She told the answer to others. She betrayed him. And Samson knew Delilah would betray him if she found out the secret of his strength.

I cannot imagine why did he not just throw Delilah out.

Apparently, he really wanted to be with her. Despite her flaws.

She was helping her people find the secret to restraining the man who was stronger than any other. I have no idea why she didn’t leave her people and run off with Samson. He would’ve been great protection for her.

Instead, she whined to him that he didn’t really love her since he wouldn’t tell her the secret to his strength. She nagged and whined until he finally gave in. As soon as she heard the truth, she told the Philistines how to capture him. The men tried again to subdue him, and this time they succeeded. Judges 16:21 tells us, “Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.”

Not a happy ending. I think God expects us to protect our gifts so that we can use them. But sometimes God uses people and their gifts differently than we expect.

Maybe someday I’ll understand Samson better. For now, I’ll keep seeking God.

Couples: Hosea and Gomer

Hosea 1:3
So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

I’ve heard of women who went up to men they haven’t dated and told them that the Lord said they should get married. It seems to me that’s definitely a way to scare someone off. But that could’ve been what Hosea said to Gomer when he took her as his wife.

God actually told Hosea to find an adulterous woman and marry her. This is not something God does very often. He was trying to use Hosea the prophet as an example of his love. God wanted to show the people that even though he knew of their adulterous heart, he still loved them.

Isn’t it funny that those you love have the ability to hurt you the most. When God’s people turned from him and worshipped other gods, their unfaithfulness stung God’s heart. He wanted them back, but it was necessary to get their attention through the words and actions of a prophet.

He sent Hosea to Gomer as a sign of his enduring and patient love. He made it clear that the relationship was a love relationship. It was broken and needed mending. Hosea emphasized to Gomer that she would be a wife and not a prostitute. The Lord told Hosea in chapter three, verse one, “Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods..."

God requires that we learn faithfulness so our weak love can grow into a strong, pure love. Gomer was able to learn about love and so can we.