Terms of Endearment
Sweetie. Honey. Darling. Babe. Dear. Cupcake. Sugar. Honeybunch. Pookie. Teddy Bear. Love. My beloved. Baby doll. Beautiful. Dear heart. Honey-Sugar-High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup (borrowed that one from a friend).
Most couples land on favorite terms of endearment for one another. In a novel that released last year, the happily married but crisis-laden couple used terms like “my pugaliciousness” and “my bride” (they’d been married more than twenty years).
Reading through the Psalms again, it struck me that the psalmist used many “terms of endearment” for God. David didn’t always address God as Lord or Lord God and leave it at that. He coupled reverence for God and intimacy with God.
In the version I’m reading now—the Common English Bible—David expresses his devotion to the Lord with phrases like “God of faithfulness” (Psalm 31:5), “my rock and my fortress” (Psalm 31:2), “my saving presence and my God” (Psalm 42:11), “my protective fortress” (Psalm 43:2), “You who are my king” (Psalm 44:4), “refuge and strength” (Psalm 46:1), “Lord of the heavenly forces” (Psalm 46:7), “Exalted one” (Psalm 56:2), “God Most High” (Psalm 57:2), “Father of orphans and defender of widows” (Psalm 68:5), “my helper and deliverer” (Psalm 70:5), “my shield, my glory, the one who restores me” (Psalm 3:3)…
David’s approach challenges me to deepen my communication with the Lord, making sure the terms of endearment I use when I talk to Him in prayer are more expressive of all He means to me.
Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels, novellas, devotions, and non-fiction as well as events for women or for writers. Her latest releases are the novel When the Morning Glory Blooms, and the nonfiction Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices, both from Abingdon Press. www.cynthiaruchti.com