As Troy pulled the tangled sheets out of the dryer at the laundromat, he cried, “You belong to me! I thought I’d lost you forever!” But he wasn’t talking with his girlfriend or wife. He said these words when he retrieved the match to his other Nike bike sock.
The right words, the wrong meaning. You belong to me? Maybe what made it fall short of his heart was that as much affection as he had for his bike socks, they couldn’t love him back.
Mark had a different take on those magic four words. As he strolled through the aisle at the pet rescue center, he looked intently at each canine to see which would be his perfect pet and companion. When he hesitated in front of one cage, the furry animal with soft ears and a wildly beating tail wiggled with pleasure. She barked and licked Mark’s fingers through the fencing.
“I want to hold this one,” he told the volunteer worker. Soon, man and dog were bonded, and he petted the dog and said to her, “I’m calling you Caramel. You belong to me!”
But somehow, those magic four words need to be more. Can they meet the needs of readers who buy more than 72,000 romance novels a year?
“You belong to me?”
It’s not fulfilled in the context of fiction. People need to be truly loved, to experience the real deal, genuinely valued in a two-way relationship. It can’t come in socks, pets, or romance novels.
Next to the best three words ever, “I love you” come the best four words ever: “You belong to me!”
Love. On Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, number one and two are food, shelter, safety, security, then comes love and close relationships. Everyone needs love.
What if love was available to all without qualifying with looks, money, achievements, and conditions? It is. God offers us the gift of love—free and clear—along with forgiveness and a caring friendship forever.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” [1 Peter 9-10]
“You belong to me!” The most important words in our language. As God speaks them and cocoons us with his love, we know that his care is forever in a two-way relationship.
You belong to me! From God, those four words are the real deal.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com and her speaking engagements. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]