Every woman longs in her heart to be loved. From a little girl twirling in her dress for daddy, to a young woman hoping for flowers from a secret admirer, to a woman who has been married for years and knows that one of the most romantic things a man can do is the dishes. We long for the thrill and beauty of romance in our lives. We want to feel noticed, treasured and fought for… everyday. Unfortunately, even in the happiest of relationships, it is simply not possible for another person to meet our every need for romance. Never completely satisfied; we try to ignore our longings for more or we meet them ourselves with romance novels or The Bachelor. We may simply seek to numb ourselves with ice cream or wine (or both!), not recognizing that the craving is deeper and it is there for a reason. We were made to be loved.
“Our hearts yearn to be loved intimately, personally, and yes, romantically. We are created to be the object of desire and affection of one who is totally and completely in love with us. And we are.”
The whole story of the Bible is a love story between God and His people. He longs for a deep and meaningful relationship with us. He says, “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT). He romances us with wild flowers and sunsets. He sacrificed everything to pay the ransom for us. He calls us Beloved. Being in a committed, loving relationship with another person is a blessing, but there is only ONE who can meet your EVERY need, EVERY day. He longs to be the Great Love of your life. Look to Him to meet your deepest need for love and you will discover a new sense of identity, peace and purpose.
A New Sense of Identity
In spite of God’s relentless pursuit of our hearts, we tend to hold back from Him. We don’t let Him satisfy that deep longing for romance. Why? Because we’re ashamed. In our eyes we’re not worthy of His love. I’m ok with acknowledging that God loves me when I have it all together, but what about when I fail? Do I truly believe He loves me when I snap and swear at my kids? Does He love me when the credit card statement comes in the mail and I’ve spent more than I’ve made? What about when my marriage is struggling and I just can’t seem to forgive? When I eat an entire box of cookies late at night when no one else is looking—does He love me then? If I can’t even love myself most of the time, how can HE possibly love me?
No matter how hard we try to ignore His still, small voice,
we can never hide from God.
Just like Eve, we want to hide in shame. And we CAN hide, can’t we? We’re good at hiding. With an extra layer of makeup, a good pair of spanx, or simply a good enough excuse not to leave the house at all, we can hide our brokenness from the world. But no matter how hard we try to ignore His still, small voice, we can never hide from God.
“Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
No matter how we try to hide, nothing can separate us from His love—not debt, not another failed diet, not shame. Instead of trying to hide our brokenness, God longs for us to come out from behind the bushes with naked trust. Where we call ourselves “Broken,” He calls us “Beloved.”
“The heart of it is this: to make the Lord and His immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God’s love for you and His choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.”
A New Sense of Peace
No matter how broken you feel, you have a truer identity: you are “Beloved.” Accept it and begin to radically define yourself as one beloved by God. When His choice of you constitutes your worth, you can finally be at peace within yourself.
“With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Suddenly it’s ok to be imperfect. In the presence of others, you are free to simply be yourself. You don’t have to put up a front or a show, because His is the only opinion that truly matters. When you are lonely or heartbroken or betrayed, you can find solace in His love because it never fails. When you don’t measure up to your own standards and find yourself to be utterly unworthy of love—you are Beloved anyway. In His vast and infallible love for you, you are safe, you are cherished, and you can rest.
“In the spacious love of God, our souls can lie down and rest. This love from him is not something we must struggle for, earn, or fear to lose. It is bestowed. He has bestowed it upon us. He has chosen us. And nothing can separate us from his love. Not even we, ourselves.”
“I am Beloved.” It’s hard to express how life altering those words can be when they are internalized and believed. My small seed of faith that I am indeed His Beloved has brought so much joy, hope and freedom to my life. Because I am Beloved, I am free to love myself. I don’t have to buy in to the lie that I’m not enough anymore. He has bestowed His love on me. I am worthy, I am chosen, I am more than good enough—I am Beloved. What an awesome and undeserved privilege, to be loved by God—to be chosen and pursued by Him. I want to radically define myself as one loved by God and let that be the most significant thing about me. I even tattooed it on my wrist. As I go about my daily stuff—brushing my teeth, feeding my kids, working at my computer—I am reminded that I am loved and chosen each time I notice the word “beloved” written on me.
A New Sense of Purpose
Our identity as His Beloved brings a new sense of purpose to our lives. Psalm 103:4 says that He “crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.” His love is literally a crown on your head. A crown conveys the legitimacy of its wearer; her dignity, authority, access and purpose. We are His representatives on this earth, each created with unique purpose and a destiny to fulfill. As I begin to grasp and accept God’s love for me, I can’t help but recognize His choice of me as well. When I see myself as loved and chosen, it fills me with confidence and a greater willingness to step out in obedience and faith.
His love makes me want to go out and fulfill my purpose,
because I know it brings Him pleasure.
His love brings out the best in me—it makes me want to go out and fulfill my purpose, because I know it brings Him pleasure. When it’s ok to be imperfect, His power can shine in the midst of my weakness. Being loved by Him, I can surmount any challenge that comes my way because He is right beside me. When I am secure in His love I don’t have to depend on receiving love from imperfect people and I have abundant reserves of love to give out. Jesus says, “love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends” (John 15:13 The Message). Because I am Beloved I can walk around as a loved person, free to forget about myself and my hang ups and love others unconditionally and sacrificially.
The Greatest Love
We can love sacrificially because His love is sacrificial. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was the ultimate proof of God’s love. “There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends” (John 15:13 The Voice). A gift more precious than roses or jewellery could ever be, He loved us at our absolute worst and gave that which was most dear to Him. “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son” (John 3:16 MSG).
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
I pray that you would know this love that surpasses knowledge and that you are the object of it. Jesus is the literal expression of God’s love for you, and by inviting Him into your heart you will begin to understand that you are “Beloved.” You always have been His Beloved, whether you recognized it or not. He has noticed you, treasured you and fought for you. He longs to be the Great Love of your life. Open your heart to be loved by Him in an even deeper way and you will find the identity, peace and purpose that you were made for.
Do you know this extravagant love? How has it changed you? How has it changed how you see yourself? What would your life look like if you opened yourself to His love in an even deeper way? Share with us in the comments below!