Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. ~ Ephesians 5:1
I don’t do “mushy” and I don’t do “cute.” I laughed out loud when I read the word for this month was “beloved.”
I sat under the teaching of a sweet Christian woman who called everyone “beloved” as she taught. I would cringe every time she said it.
I never like it when I read blog posts or women’s books where the authors write, “Beloved, …” “Sweet sister…” or “dear one…” And, don’t even get me started on being a “Jesus girl!”
When I hear these terms, I think someone is trying to schmooze me and they expect way too little of the faithful women of God.
Out of absolute curiosity, when I was in Bible study with that teacher who used the word beloved regularly, I had to study its use in the Bible. I found that it is not a word for sissies or one to be discounted. It conveys a truth about the Holy Trinity and God’s love for His people.
God said to Jesus, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” Moses spoke this word as part of a blessing on Benjamin (Deuteronomy 33:12). Paul used it to describe his own regard and love for believers that he had come to love as he traveled and preached (Romans 12:19, 1 Corinthians 4:14).
What really struck me about the word is that any time a mere man used it (one exception being the many times it is used in Song of Solomon as he describes his beloved), they were loving the ones God loves. “Beloved brother” and “beloved children” are terms Paul repeatedly used.
What I discovered is that it is a perfectly good word to be used with regard to the people of God. In fact, it is a reminder that we are the beloved of God. The Bible uses it referring to people’s beloved family members, too. But, most often, it is used as a term for the family of God.
So, when someone calls us “beloved children,” beloved sister,” the “beloved of God,” or just plain “beloved,” it should encourage us. Someone has recognized our faith, or, is perhaps reminding us that even in His correction of us, God sees us as His beloved.
To be “the beloved” of God who shows “grace and such” even by the use of this word in His instructions to us, is a very good and hopeful thing to come to see.
So, sweet sister, rest in knowing that when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are counted among His beloved. Not a bad place to be.