To be chosen in Christ “before the foundation of the earth” is a long time to be loved. But we were destined for adoption for the good pleasure of God’s will. That means we are the object of God’s eternal affection so that love lavished upon us has as much to do with God’s desire to love as to be loved in return. It is a mutually pleasing arrangement. God gifts us with glorious grace and we live for the praise of God the giver’s glory. The mystery of God’s will made known to us through the apostle Paul is that God is somehow incomplete or unfulfilled without us. And we are less than we were destined to be without God. The church has not always done justice to describing this reciprocal relationship casting God as a stern judge who merely puts up with us or excusing continued rebelliousness on our part by a cheap grace that that does not count the cost of our redemption to the Christ. But when we understand ourselves to be dearly loved children we can no more be afraid of God’s wrath than a child laughing while bouncing on the knee of a devoted parent fears rejection from that same parent. And in the same way we live to make God laugh with pure delight and joy just as we desire to please a beloved parent.