However you say it, “beloved” means dearly loved. (check out these ways the word has been used…The Gospel of John’s Beloved Disciple; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Beloved Community)
To love dearly, to be dearly loved.
I had a moment this morning as I was hovering over a bowl of cereal, when my mind wandered (eating cereal doesn’t require much brain power, thank goodness). I asked myself, “How am I a helper to my wife? What do I offer her? What do I bring to our relationship?”
She should be the one I most easily call beloved, but how is my love shared? What evidence can I point to that beloved is a fitting description?
I thought about my occasionally helping with household chores. Roommates do this.
I thought about running errands or helping get children to school and into bed. Friends and babysitters do as much.
Gifts? Physical affection? Words of encouragement? Listening? Wise counsel?
I’m starting to feel a bit panicky here. Isn’t there anything?
The more I think about it, the more I realize I have some serious work to do. I’ve called her beloved, but I have done poorly at demonstrating it.
I can’t say I love her as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25). I can’t say I’m always patient and kind, not envious or boastful or proud (1 Corinthians 13:4).
Or more accurately, I can say these things. It’s the doing of them that finds me wanting.
My only consolation is that relationships are hard work. Don’t believe anybody that tells you otherwise. Hard work. And if you find someone to call beloved, isn’t it worth the effort? Isn’t it worth struggling to figure it out? Isn’t it what we were created for?
So long as I draw breath I have an opportunity to do it better, to love her more, to show the meaning of beloved. I’m up to the challenge for the more I love her, the more I show God how much I love Him. And that, my beloved, is the first and greatest commandment (the second is like it, don’t you know?).
Life is better together,
3 thoughts on “Beloved (Lent #36)”
Love seeing a man of God still working hard to do what He asks. Thanks for loving your wife so much and trying to love her more. Gabe will do as much and MacKenna will expect the same. It’s a good cycle to start.
Good reminder, friend!