The Ten: Lovers of the Bible

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In February, stories of lovers and romance surround us, offering a glimmer of hope that maybe the true love we all seek can be found. But what true stories of lovers do we find in the Bible?

1. Adam and Eve (Genesis 2)
Imagine having a man or a woman tailor made for you! While that isn’t how real love works, this did happen with the first man and woman. After forming man out of the earth, God showed Adam that it was not good to be alone. God then made Eve from Adam’s rib, giving her equality with Adam, that the two might be united side by side. 

2. Ruth and Boaz (book of Ruth)
Ruth’s noble character caught the attention of Boaz, a well-respected man of faith, and slowly their mutual respect blossomed into love. In a vulnerable act of humility, Ruth expressed her desire to become a member of his household, either as a servant or as his wife. In response, Boaz did not rest until he made Ruth his wife. 

3. Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24)
The first time the word “love“ is used in the Bible between a man and a woman, it’s between Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac was a very eligible bachelor, and his father sought to arrange a marriage for him by sending his servant to find a wife. The servant prayed that God would guide him to the right woman for Isaac, and God answered his prayers.

4. Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 29)
Jacob was willing to work unpaid for seven years to earn the hand of Rachel in marriage. Could you imagine that— seven years without pay . . . and all for a girl! But those seven years seemed like only a few days to Jacob because of his love for her. Even after being deceived, Jacob continued to work an additional seven years without pay to finally marry Rachel. 

5. Solomon and the Shulamite (Song of Songs)
How can you mention love without bringing up the most sensual book in the Bible . . . the Song of Songs! Solomon’s poetry of the love between the Lover and his Beloved capture an all-consuming desire for intimacy, which beautifully reflects God’s own desire to be close to us. 

6. Hannah and Elkanah (1 Samuel 1)
Elkanah loved his wife, Hannah, but she was unable to bear children, so he married a second wife to start a family. Elkanah loved his first wife, Hannah—resulting in jealousy, bullying and depression. Elkanah and Hannah’s love for one another tried to overcome these issues but they could not do so without God’s intervention. 

7. Hosea and Gomer (Hosea 1,3)
The prophet Hosea was instructed by God to marry and unconditionally love an adulterous woman. At one point, Gomer ended up as a sex slave, but instead of leaving her in her sinful predicament, Hosea redeemed her. He did not need to purchase her, as legally Gomer was considered his wife, but godly love drove him to pay the price for Gomer’s freedom. 

8. Samson and Delilah (Judges 16)
Manipulation, seduction, betrayal, passion—Samson and Delilah’s romance was the pinnacle of toxic. While their love may have been sincere at first, Delilah’s allegiance was to the highest bidder: the Philistine rulers. On four separate occasions, Delilah betrayed Samson’s confidence, resulting in his torture and death and proving that, in the end, love really is blind. 

9. Woman at the Well (John 4)
Based on what we know about the Samaritan woman, we can assume she desired true love but had only found disappointment. She places barrier after barrier between herself and Jesus in their interactions, yet Jesus continues to show her compassion and He overcomes every barrier to reach her broken and gentle heart.

10. Jesus and us 
There is no greater love story in the bible than that of the Bridegroom and His Bride. This love story is captured between the pages of the Bible and unfolds day by day within our heart as God seeks us out and pursues us like a young man in love with the girl of his dreams. We are Jesus’ Bride and the focus of His endless and relentless love.

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