What does it mean when God says you are beloved?

Self-ImprovementSpirituality

  • Author James Rondinone
  • Published October 19, 2023
  • Word count 1,870

17

You Are Beloved

I think you’d agree with me when I say that most people want to be loved. When we look for the right one, somehow, we have specific criteria that we look for: good looks, tall or short, rich, athletic, similar hobbies, fat or skinny, adventurous, free spirit, like-minded, funny, member of the same faith or political affiliation, etc. And if somehow the relationship becomes fulfilling, the couple decides to either live together or get married.

Along the way, situations will come up. Some are financial; others might involve physical, verbal, and/or emotional abuse, not being faithful, alcohol or drug issues, not being honest, declining physical health, not wanting to have children, sexual indifference, lack of communication, etc. Unfortunately, for many, separation or divorce is the result. We live in a world where love is desired, and yet when it wanes, it’s most often why so many people no longer remain together for one reason or another.

Here are some interesting statistics on divorce.

The current divorce rate in the US is 2.3 persons per 1,000 people. Overall, the rate of divorces in America is falling. Divorces amongst people aged 50+ years are rising. Fewer couples choose to marry than pre-1990. The most common causes of divorce are conflict, arguing, irretrievable breakdown in the relationship, lack of commitment, infidelity, and lack of physical intimacy.122

So, what is it that might help to keep the marriage union together? I found an interesting article on this topic. Let’s take a few minutes and see what it has to say.

HOW TO GET LOST IN GOD’S LOVE AND SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE

Every person on earth has a deep desire to be loved. And as wonderful as love in marriage is, it will never be a fulfilling love unless we first saturate ourselves in the unfailing love of God.

“Lord, fix my husband. Fix us!” As quickly as the prayer was on my lips, I felt God ask, Do you believe I can do what [you’re] asking Me to do?

I did not.

My husband, Bob, and I had reached a place of deep pain. Busyness. Sinfulness. Selfishness. I was angry with Bob. The circumstances don’t really matter. They’re probably a lot like the circumstances in your marriage from time to time. But convinced I [couldn’t] love him well until he loved me better, I dug myself into a prayer routine that proved futile.

I was, in fact, looking for love in the wrong place. As wonderful as love in marriage is, it will never be a fulfilling love unless we first saturate ourselves in the unfailing love of God.

Before you accuse me of sounding cliché, I’ve learned this on the hot pavement of life, and I’d like to offer four practical tips that have helped me to live it out.

ADMIT THAT WHAT YOU NEED MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS WORLD IS TO BE WELL LOVED.

Because love is a basic need of humanity, every person has a deep desire to be loved. During a difficult season of feeling unloved in my marriage, God led me to Proverbs 19:22 (NIV): “What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.”

The Bible uses the phrase “unfailing love” more than [thirty] times, and not one of them refers to any source other than God himself. He alone holds the answer to our deep craving for love. This means that your husband or wife will never be able to fulfill this need unless you first find satisfaction in God’s love.

LET YOUR SPOUSE OFF THE HOOK.

The greatest symptom that my need for love was misdirected was that I was praying for God to change my husband — without having the humility to ask God how He wanted to change me. [It’s] never wrong to pray for God to make your husband or wife more like Him. However, when your prayers are void of your own need, that might indicate you’re trying to have your needs met through a person’s love rather than through God’s. When I realized this in my own life, I simply asked God to make me hungry for His love.

It takes a lot of courage to admit that your marriage might not be exactly what you want because [you’re] not exactly what you need to be. Be brave. Put yourself under God’s care to be changed.

WRITE A LIST OF THINGS YOUR SPOUSE DOES TO EXPRESS HIS OR HER LOVE FOR YOU.

Do this as an act of thanksgiving to God. My counselor assigned this task to me and, although I took it on reluctantly, it had a dramatic impact on my heart. I am, in fact, a very loved woman. I have a husband who never fails to ask for forgiveness, prays with me each night at bedtime, willingly enters into counseling when we need it, manages our money well, begs me to sneak away with him from time to time, and tolerates my weaknesses as much as I tolerate his. It’s easy to lose sight of all this when we’re hurting each other, and [it’s] so important to refocus our thinking to be grateful. As I did this, it became an act of loving my husband through God’s love in me.

INVEST IN THE FRIENDSHIP OF YOUR SPOUSE.

This world’s paradigm of love can often put a lot of emphasis on sex, [romance,] and passion in marriage. If those things aren’t on full boil, we tend to think our relationship lacks love. But God’s Word defines marital love more in terms of friendship and commitment than sex and romance. Take a night to play a board game or enjoy a hike together on a Sunday afternoon. If you can meet your spouse for lunch, consider canceling an appointment with a personal trainer or even a friend.

I’ve long embraced the biblical story of the woman at the well (John 4). She tried man after man but never felt that her thirst for love had been quenched. She was desperate and love-sick. Then, when Jesus showed up, He offered her the love she really needed. But she said, “You have nothing to draw water with, and the well is [deep.”]

How like us! How like me. You don’t have to be a woman who has had many husbands to be parched with a thirst for love. You just have to be a woman [who’s] trying to get something from her husband that only God can give. I know. [I’ve] been there many times, just waiting for God to show up. And when He does, I’m prone to tell him, “But God, I’m in so deep, and you don’t have a bucket!”

It doesn’t matter how deep the problem; the solution is still God’s love. And He has buckets and buckets of love to fix your marriage. And to fix your heart.123

Since the fall of Adam and Eve, relationships have been fractured. Each of us has a sin nature that contains passions or tendencies that evidence, in some instances, more good human traits than bad or worse human traits than good. The causes are varied, such as the fallen nature, genetics, family upbringing, peer group affiliations, etc.

Along with this, there have been countless books on how to save a relationship. It’s unfortunate that when a marriage deteriorates, we tend to look at our partner differently. No longer as the one who’s our teammate, our best friend, our confidant but as an enemy. How much child support are they requesting? How much of what we own together will they want? Who will have custody of the children? And what will the visitation rights be?

But when we become a child of God, a verse from the book of Colossians tells us how He continually chooses to treat us no matter how we’ve chosen to treat Him.

Colossians 3:12

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Did you know that at salvation, God calls you, the elect, beloved? Let’s begin by clarifying what it means for you to be called God’s elect. God has chosen you, the elect, to salvation as those who would believe [in] his Son.124 Why did God single you out in eternity past? He didn’t choose you because He chose some to heaven and others to hell. You were chosen because He knew beforehand that when the gospel was presented to you in your time on earth, you’d decide to respond to it.

Another misperception as to why God selects certain ones is as some might say is because of their excellent works. Clarification concerning this misconception is found in the following verse from the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

And because of your unmerited response, i.e., not of works to the gospel of grace, God declares you holy (you’re standing in grace as someone set apart from the world unto the Lord),125 and beloved (dearly loved; this is God’s love, … a love that denies self for the benefit of the object loved).126

The word beloved is a verb that, in Koine Greek, is in the form of a perfect passive participle.

With this designation, we could rewrite this verse and state it this way. When you responded to God the Father’s invitation of salvation, you, the elect, at this point in time, became profoundly loved and the reality of God loving you personally continues with the present result that [you are the object] of His love.127

And as you learn about the spiritual qualities of God’s love and apply them to yourself, you’ll begin to express these self-less qualities for the benefit of your believing or unbelieving husband or wife, friends, enemies, associates at work, fellow believers, unbelievers, those that have hurt you, etc. Whether they receive this love doesn’t change the love of God that’s emanating from your life. And no matter what the ultimate result is of these relationships, you’ll evidence to them what the Bible says is of great gain.

1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Godliness with contentment is an inner sufficiency that keeps us at peace in spite of outward circumstances.128

Have you ever bought something and said something like, it’s perfect? In my younger years, there was something that I had the same sentiment about. What was it and what’s the spiritual blessing associated with it? Please continue on, and we’ll soon find out.

Endnotes

122“What are the current statistics on divorce?” 20 November 2022

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123Dannah Gresh. “HOW TO GET LOST IN GOD’S LOVE AND SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE” FOCUS ON THE FAMILY 19 November 2022

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124The Pulpit Commentary.

125The Bible Exposition Commentary/New Testament.

126Weust’s Word Studies.

127Weust’s Word Studies.

128The Bible Exposition Commentary.

My name is James Rondinone. I am a husband, father, and spiritual leader.

I grew up in Massachusetts and began my own spiritual journey early on in life.

I attended Bible college, having completed a two-year Christian Leadership Course of Study and graduated as valedictorian (Summa Cum Laude).

Studying and teaching the Word of God has been a passion of mine for over 20 years.

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