I’m reading “Life of the Beloved” by Henri Nouwen, and it’s messing with me in an incredible way. I can’t articulate fully how it’s affecting me but I wanted to share an excerpt that hit me especially hard this morning.
The book is phrased as a letter to one of Henri’s friends. It has a fatherly tone where he gently encourages, challenges, and wishes for his friend to understand the “Life of the Beloved”, and what it means to be one of God’s beloved children.
This passage was deeply encouraging to me this morning, and I trust it will be the same for you:
Listening to [God’s] voice with great inner attentiveness, I hear at my center words that say:
“I have called you by name, from the beginning. you are mine and I am yours. You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests.
“I have molded you in the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother’s womb. I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace.
“I look at you with infinite tenderness and care for you with a care more intimate than that of a mother for her child. I have counted every hair on your head and guided you at every step.
“Wherever you go, I go with you, and wherever you rest, I keep watch. I will give you food that will satisfy all your hunger and drink that will quench all your thirst.
“I will not hide my face from you. you know me as your own as I know you as my own. You belong to me. I am your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your lover and your spouse…yes, even your child…wherever you are I will be. Nothing will ever separate us.
We are one.”
This revelation of being God’s Beloved has vast implications and effects on our marriages. It is only when we are secure in Him that we can truly love anyone how we are called to.
We are HIS children.
You are His Beloved.
We pray as beloved children
When Jesus taught us to pray, he started with “Father…”. He didn’t start with “King”, “Creator”, “Lord”, “Savior”, “Almighty”, or even “God”. He started with “Father”. (See Matthew 6:9-13)
The parent-child relationship is truly unique. It’s only the child of the King who can awaken the Great King at 3am asking for a cold glass of water, and not risk punishment. A servant would never dare, an acquaintance would never get close enough, and a citizen wouldn’t have the right.
We have been adopted in, as children.
You are His Beloved.
As His Beloved, we can truly love
May we carry the identity of God’s Beloved. May we gain the full security He offers. Only then can we love our spouses fully, selflessly, and how God asks of us.
You are God’s Beloved.