By Allen Domelle
“And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.”
If anyone understood the hard journey of restoring relationships, Hosea was that person who understood it. God used him as an object lesson of His relationship with Israel by having him marry a wife of whoredoms. The difficulty that Hosea had to endure to restore the relationship with his wife after she was unfaithful to him must have been overwhelming, but the love for his wife caused him to be willing to do what it takes to restore the relationship.
The key to restoring Hosea’s relationship with his wife is found in the verse above. The verse above says, “And I will betroth thee…” The word “betroth” is a compound word that comes from the prefix “be-“ and the word “troth.” This word shows what it takes to restore a relationship. The prefix “be-“ means to surround. The word “troth” means truth. In other words, you are going to have to surround truth with several things if you are going to restore a relationship.
Let me make this clear; you will never restore any relationship without truth. However, when you determine to have truth in your relationship, you are going to have to surround truth with several walls to keep truth from hurting your relationship. Please understand that you can refuse to let truth be the foundation of your relationship, but you will find that the lies and deception in the relationship will destroy it. Strong relationships are built on truth, but truth must be surrounded with several walls to make the restoration complete.
First, truth must be surrounded by righteousness. Righteousness is right actions. In other words, you are going to have to stop doing the wrong actions and start doing right actions. You can’t continue in unrighteous actions and expect your relationship to make it. You are going to have to do right if you are going to make it.
Second, truth must be surrounded by judgment. Judgment is making wise decisions. Bad decisions are what hurt the relationship, and the only way to get your relationship back on solid ground is to make wise decisions. Wise decisions will abound in your relationships when you base every decision on the principles of God’s Word.
Third, truth must be surrounded by lovingkindness. If your relationship is going to be restored, you are going to have to be kind and loving as the person you love is coming back to truth. The strength of a relationship is determined by how much patience and lovingkindness is practiced by the individuals in that relationship.
Fourth, truth must be surrounded by mercy. You are going to discover things about a person when you determine to build your relationship on truth. Let me caution you that some of the things you will discover will be ugly, and that is why you will need to be merciful to make your relationship work.
Fifth, truth must be surrounded by faithfulness. You must determine not to quit and to stay faithful if your relationship is going to make it. Quitting can’t be an option because it takes work and patience for a relationship to make it.
The result of these walls around truth is a restored relationship. Restoring a relationship takes time, but the blessings of the restored relationship is worth the work.
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