Being Loved

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. - Romans 5:6-8 (MSG)

One of my earliest memories goes back to when I was about four years old, and my younger brother, three. At the end of every day, he and I would go on alert, listening for Dad’s fan-tailed Chevy to pull into the driveway. Dad usually prompted us with a couple of pops on the horn. My brother and I would gasp, jump up, and run around yelling, “He’s home…he’s home!” My mom would jump in and add to the drama with “Hurry, hurry!” as she went to the hall closet, grabbed a big blanket, and brought it into the family room. That was our cue to crouch on our knees and tuck in our arms, legs, and heads; then Mom flapped the blanket out like she was spreading it for a picnic and covered the two of us, hiding us from Dad just in time.

Into the house Dad would step, hollering, “Hi, Mom! Where are the boys?” Then he’d say, “Are they in the closet?” as he loudly turned the knob and swung the closet door open. “Nooo, not in the closet. Are they in the kitchen?” We could hear chairs in the kitchen getting resituated.

By now, my brother and I were about to burst.

Dad would tromp back into the family room, whereupon we would spring up and yell, “SURPRISE!”

What happened next was Belovedness: two boys and their father, tangled up in a blanket, laughing, tickling, and hugging.

This is what it is to “be-loved,” to be fiercely pursued with affection.

I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, Dad or us boys.

When we release God from the lie that he is either an angry dictator, has better things to do, or is simply a distant casual observer (or some combination or the three), and embrace him as the Father of all fathers, then we might begin to know we truly are the Beloved Sons.

The cross lavishly accomplished more than forgiveness. It afforded us, and God, the privilege to be reunited, to feel our value and worth to be ransomed by a Father who paid everything he had to set us free. (Rom. 5:8; Gal. 5:1; Luke 19:10; John 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:20)

If you didn’t get that kind of love from your earthly father (and far too many men didn’t), then you need to circle back with your Father God. He will provide it for your heart. It is what we were made for and it is what the enemy of our hearts is hell bent on keeping us from.

In your time alone with God, ask Him:

Father, how have I missed your Love? What have I believed about you that is in the way of me receiving your Love?

Jesus, what does it look like and feel like to be a Beloved Son of a Good, Good Father?

Holy Spirit, will you show me what Love really looks like by Loving me and getting through all the mess that is in the way to change my masculine heart…deposit in me through experience and encounters with you “Be-Lovedness”?