I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3 KJV
And We are Drunk in Love.
When Mr. & Mrs. Shawn Carter hit the stage of the 2014 Grammys their appearance was about more than collaborating on another hit. As Laura Turner wrote for BuzzFeed at the time,
Far more than just a sexy marriage, this was intimacy sanctioned by grown, Christian folk.
Like many writers, particularly those of us who started out in the blogosphere, I used aliases for those close to me. I cannot tell you how he got the name, but it is apt, and it stuck. It is my one and only legitimate nickname for my husband, he who eschews them, and it is simple. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. I married My Beloved.
I got ownership rights, and so does he.
Y’all don’t even understand. I love me some him, as the saying goes. He and I take the notion of Christian marriage seriously. One of seven sacraments, according to liturgical tradition we are bound for life, body and soul. Soul and bodies, baby, and we celebrate our sacred union. We have given ourselves to one another, in sickness and health, thin and not-so, sharing who we are and what we have.
I have friends who struggle with sexuality and intimacy because the Church has done the worst possible job of teaching us to celebrate our beauty; they also tried to ignore the comeliness of my chocolate skin, but I see the God in me, and skin of bronze is something with which I can relate. There is also the notion of the Church teaching shame and then, while claiming sexual piety and purity, allowing God’s Beloved to suffer, sometimes subject to so-called holy hands (but that’s another essay).
I am blessed to have been raised by Rev. & Mrs. Carter (Dad and Mom, not Bey and Hova) to see my physical body as beautiful. I was raised without shame about my nakedness. I was taught modesty, yes, but an appreciation for my form (we are Imago Dei, are we not, even when unclothed?).
I am grateful to have been taught by a Godly man and woman in the context of their own Christian marriage to appreciate loving, and being beloved. Jill Scott penned an ode to then-husband Lyzel Williams that is by far one of my favorite ballads. In “Lyzel in E Flat,” she sings of making love, being in love, being desired, learning, laughing, all of the things I find sexiest in a relationship. It is grown and sexy, smart, playful and sacred. My brain is my favorite sex organ; I find engaging conversation with My Beloved sexy as hell. Intimacy begins for me long before the first touch.
Jills singing to Lyzel, coos
“You woo me, you court me, you tease me, you please me
You school me, give me some things to think about
Ignite me, you invite me, you co-write me, you love me, you like me
You incite me to chorus”
You incite me to chorus? Yes, girl, just thinking about it makes me want to sing and holler. And dance.
“Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?
Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” Proverbs 5:15–19 NIV
Drink continually from my cup, Beloved, to the point of your intoxication, if necessary.
We going in.
I am a very serious person, so I laugh a lot. I write because it helps me understand the way I feel about the world. I married my high school sweetheart, and together we made two exceptional people and raised a dog so remarkable, I wrote a book about the faith lessons he taught me. I envision a world where each of us embraces the Perfect, Precise Image of God that we are, naturally, at every given moment, even as each of us exists in a liminal state.