Book Review - Redemption by Jacquelin Thomas

*********Spoiler...sort of, even if you read this it is still worth the read********

First, I must say this is not the first book I've read of Jacquelin Thomas. I read Defining Moments which from what I can remember was good. It was a sequel to The Prodigal Husband which I have yet to read, but soon I will. But this is about the book Redemption.

Jacquelin Thomas is a good writer, who uses common bible stories, and puts them into modern-day settings with a twist. Too many times we think the Bible is out of date and not applicable to us in this day in age; but God and His rules/values never change no matter what the situation. The Bible is a timeless book with life-governing principles that apply throughout the ages.

This book was based on the story of Hosea and Gomer found in the Bible in the book of Hosea. The story of Hosea and Gomer is about unconditional love. Love that goes beyond the basics/surface and reaches the core…and then firmly plants itself and creates roots there. It had my questioning how I currently love. I mean do I really love unconditional like Hosea was suppose to love or like God loves us. I came to the conclusion I don't because I have a breaking point, a point at which I say no more...a point where I put my foot down. This was not the case for Hosea nor is it the case for God. If He stopped loving my based on my conditions I'd be screwed by now.

I think Redemption challenged me to be better in my marriage. It challenged me to love more, forgive more, and worry about everything else less. I said, 'I do' without stipulations and conditions; but too many times the unmentioned and undefined stipulations and conditions rear their ugly heads and cause our love to falter. The story of Hosea was meant to be an example for the children of Israel to show what they do to God and how he still loves them unconditional.

This book hits home for me because it challenges me to love unconditional without the stipulations and void of the self-defense mechanisms. Many times I believe the stipulations and conditions come while we are protecting ourselves. The marriage of Gomer and Hosea is filled with prostitution, illegitimate children, and maybe, even drugs but all this did not keep Hosea from loving his wife and accepting her back, or even raising children that were not his own. The unconditional part comes when even after all she has done, Hosea still accepts her back and doesn't hold over her head the mistakes she has made. He forgives her and starts anew each time she leaves him to return to her 'worldly' ways. It challenges me, in my marriage, to love like God loves.

As for the book, it's about a televangelist who marries and actress. Although many didn't approve of their marriage they are determined to make it work, and for a while it does. However, Marian, actress, wife, mother wishes to return to the acting business after a break while raising her sons. This proves to be more than this family bargained for. Marian allows herself to become a victim of the wrong side of the 'Hollywood lifestyle,' and completely destroys the family she and her husband, Warner, once created. Yet in the midst of it all Warner is determined to take on the challenge given to Hosea to love unconditional without the strings, even though like Job he is tested. He is impressed to love and protect his wife and help her even when she doesn't want his help.

Yes, by the end of the book I was in tears, and probably a couple times before that. To see the love this man has for his wife and the fact that it parallels the story of Hosea which is a direct reflection of the way Christ loves us leaves me speechless. Check out the book and the story of Hosea.
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