(In this latest blog series, I am sharing the stories behind some of my original recorded music. I hope you enjoy hearing the songs and reading the background behind each one.)

Gregg and Amy are friends who regularly share online stories about their family. They write with refreshingly honesty, and their love and devotion to each other and their kids shines through like the summer sun. Recently they posted a picture of their daughter who had gotten hold of a marker and got creative with it—marking up her face and arms. Their picture is at the top of this blog and the caption that accompanied it was both precious and perfect:


‘Sometimes I think God must sit up in heaven laughing, “Hm…I know. I’ll give her THIS one.”

As a parent (and now grandparent) I can relate to this, and still cherish the many moments like this from our family’s past. As I reflect on my children and grandchildren, a word comes to mind that perfectly describes my thoughts and feelings about them:

Beloved.

I wish the word “beloved” would make a comeback in our modern age. It means “greatly loved” and goes beyond mere emotions. Instead, it expresses a deep bond that never fades or ends, regardless of what happens.

In this performance-centered age, it can be easy to view ourselves through the lens of failures and broken dreams. God doesn’t see us that way. Because of what Jesus did on our behalf, all who come to God are viewed as His very own beloved daughter or son.

We are no longer defined by our past. Our present and future stature in God’s eyes is one of His adopted children, beloved and cherished beyond comprehension. Our successes, failures, accomplishments, or dismal life-performance will never add to or diminish God’s love for us.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! “ (1 John 3:1)

Even when we are tempted to wonder how God could love us with all our mistakes, sins, and scars, His love for us is unchanging and unfailing. Like Gregg and Amy’s child in the picture, God looks at us with all our flawed markings with eye of love and acceptance. While He still trains and corrects us, he does this with the perfect love of a Heavenly Father who holds no animosity towards His beloved.

Conversely, when we are tempted to think we deserve God’s affection because of something we’ve accomplished, reality soon reminds us that all we have done in life is like a sandcastle—here one moment and gone the next. Still, even this doesn’t matter: God loves us simply because God loves us!  

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

(1 John: 4:10)

When we embrace the reality that we are God’s beloved, we can enter the new territory where we can also know and embrace God as our Beloved.

Of all the songs I’ve written, “Beloved One” is one of my wife’s favorites, and she suggested that it be sung as a duet so that all people could related to the message.  Our good friend Chelsea Kimball sang it with me.

I hope you notice the nuances of the chorus of the song “Beloved One”: The two words speak of us being called by God as His beloved, and also gives our reply by calling God our beloved.

After I wrote and recorded the song, I realized there is a third nuance of the phrase “Beloved One”. Because of God’s love we are able to see each other as our “beloved” one. This is a world-changing reality that belongs to all who understand and experience God’s love, as this verse reveals:

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:7-12)

I hope you remember the picture Gregg and Amy shared, and call to mind the song “Beloved One” when the world tries to bombard you with thoughts of alienation and worthlessness.

You are—and always will be —God’s beloved one.

God bless you!

Chris Atkins

(Here are the lyrics of “Beloved One” to read as you listen to the song)

Beloved One

Words and music by Christopher J. Atkins © 2011, 2019 Christopher J. Atkins. All rights reserved.

You are the only One who defines me

You are the measure of my worth

Nothing I have or give or discover

Nothing in heaven or on earth

Brings meaning to my life

Or value in your eyes

Lord, You define me

Lord, You refine me

And Lord, You have called me

Beloved one

Beloved one

Beloved One —Lord, I am Yours.

You pulled me out of darkness and shame

Lord You are the One who set me free

You called me Your own and gave me a share of

Your heritage for eternity

You’re the center of my life

The greatest treasure in my eyes.

Lord, You define me

Lord, You refine me

And Lord, You have called me

Beloved one

Beloved one

Beloved One — Lord, I am Yours.

Beloved one

Beloved one

Beloved One — Lord, I am Yours.

Beloved one…

Beloved One — Lord, I am Yours.

Beloved one

Beloved one

Beloved One — Lord, I am Yours.