There is something innately frustrating to me about doing something that merely must be redone like making a bed or running five miles in one-mile circles. I used to feel this way about washing dishes – that is, until my dear friend Susanna became my roommate. At first, she tried to motivate me by telling me how much better clean dishes were. The problem was that I readily agreed with her and, yet, I remained unmotivated. Therefore, I had to find some other motivation. And I did. Love.
I love Susanna and, because she loves clean dishes, I love to clean them for her. Before I leave the house – even if I am running late, I try to leave clean dishes (especially her favorites) so that she comes home to them. Although I now love cleaning dishes, my fundamental motivation remains my love for my friend and my knowing that it makes her smile.
God wants us to see Him the same way. He wants us to love Him tenderly as a husband, not dutifully as a master: “‘In that day,’ declares the LORD, ‘you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master’” . He gives us the Law to show us what makes Him happy. If we love Him, we want to know and do that which pleases Him.
This is why, when Israel chose to do that which displeased Him, He was heart-broken. He knew that their disobedience reflected their heart – a heart that did not love Him and, thus, did not care about what pleased Him. Their “consult[ing] a wooden idol”  and “offer[ing] sacrifices on the tops of the mountains”  were indications that they were “joined to idols”  with “a spirit of harlotry” .
Yet, as a husband covenants with his wife, God covenanted with Israel. In spite of Israel’s faithlessness, He promised to pursue her: “I will allure her … and speak kindly to her … I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and compassion” .
Lord, Your Word is full of knowledge of what makes you smile. Yet, because I do not love you as I ought, I do not care about pleasing you. Please forgive me for my idolatrous spirit and do not forsake me. Bring me to you in justice, lovingkindness and compassion. Amen.
 Hosea 2:16 TNIV |  4”12 NASB |  4:13 NASB |  4:17 NASB |  5:4 NASB |  Hosea 2:14, 19 NASB