I mentioned the typical princess story in a previous post. Let’s be honest: while we may have that characteristic, we often make our choices with more than altruistic intentions in mind. The princesses usually have naive, trusting personalities, which leads them to making mistakes by trusting the wrong sorts of people and all is forgiven. If we take a look at a different woman who came along long before Disney we can see she may have said those same things to herself.
I think we may be a lot more like Gomer, wife of Hosea, than we realize. She committed what’s probably considered the ultimate crime against her family–she was so caught up in following her heart that she left her faithful husband and children for her lover. It’s not like one day she suddenly decided to leave her family. Her love was drawn from them one thought at a time. We can’t know for sure what she was thinking because only her actions are recorded, but maybe the scene started like this: one day a man, maybe one without money or charm, looked at her in an endearing way.
Gomer was struggling with her much-loved son who was somewhere between adorable and rebellious with his attempts for attention. She suddenly realized the man walking nearby was watching them, no, watching her. Her awareness of the attention was like fire and flame, awakening and yet painful. She briefly glanced up, meeting his eyes. Then her son pulled away her awareness for himself and when she looked back the man was gone. Never mind that he didn’t offer to help her carry her packages, but yet…she pushed those thoughts aside and smiled to herself. She kept an eye out for the man the rest of the way home.
“How can I help you?” her husband asked, glancing in her direction as she walked past with her arms full of his son and packages. I can’t even capture my husband’s attention anymore, Gomer thought to herself.
So hour after hour, Gomer thought on her unworthiness, her uselessness, her failures, unable to seek or even accept her husband’s love. Frustrations heaped with self condemnation turned to days, and she found herself further from her husband. And when a man would meet her eyes and smile, she could forget all her shortcomings and bask in the attention. The attention was at least a brief affirmation when she had longed just to be accepted since childhood. He didn’t see her as a mistake… He didn’t have better things to attend to… She couldn’t turn away from that…
Our culture encourages people, especially in matters dealing with the opposite sex, to follow their hearts. But, as Christians we need to remember that we’ve been warned that our hearts are in a bad way:
For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander (Matthew 15:19 NIV).
What kind of women are we?
Will we follow our hearts?
Or will we follow the way, the truth, and the light of Jesus?