February 22, 2014

Best New Love Song

Year after year, the debate rages on about which love songs rank among the best. 

If you are a teen, you may gravitate toward the recent, puppy-love pop tunes by Bruno Mars and the like. If you're a single adult, your choices could range from the wistful and lovelorn to the angry and bitter. And if you're middle-aged or more, married or single, you probably gravitate toward the old school...depending on your era of preference, anything from Jim Croce's "Time In a Bottle" to Perry Como's "When I Fall In Love" might tickle your fancy.

I tend to enjoy a little soul in the mix, so my playlists include artists ranging from today's Adele to yesterday's Lionel Richie and Barry White. But this week, I was introduced to a new R&B love song from John Legend's latest album. Now, while I don't ascribe to all of Legend's collaborative pairings and philanthropic projects, he can without a doubt turn a tune. And "All of Me" does not disappoint.

Written for his love of seven years and released right before she became his bride, Legend has crafted one of the most mesmerizingly beautiful songs that [incidentally?] mirrors the biblical model of man and wife. [Don't worry, I'll get back to this in a moment.] Of course, in this day and age of music videos being fairly raunchy, Legend's includes quite a bit of partially-concealed nudity and sexualized scenes. Some might say that because he and his wife are the ones engaging with each other in the video, that makes it okay. However, if you know me at all, you will know that I think that is a load of hogwash! None of us need to see Legend's bare chest or anything his svelte model bride has going on. So I will not post a link to that here, but I will include some lyrics later on.

For now, lemme' get back to the biblical marriage part. [You knew that was coming, right?]

In 1 Corinthians 7:4, "the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does." According to Scripture, within marriage, our bodies belong to each other. For the youth who may say, "Ewww..." here, #sorrynotsorry - it's true! Bible-sanctioned naked time (as my husband and his college buddies call it) is a good thing and a godly pursuit for a man and wife. Ephesians 5 takes this idea a step further, though, and more fully explains that "wives should submit in everything to their husbands" and husbands should "love [their] wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (vv. 24-25). 

What does it mean to "give yourself up" for someone? Is this referring to a little dirt on the hands? A bit of a skinned knee? No! When Christ gave Himself up for the church, He died. Point-blank. Period. End of sentence. He completely surrendered Himself for His bride. And after three days, He rose again...defeating sin, death, and the grave so that we could be wholly His.

So let's take a gander at that chorus and bridge from "All of Me":

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose, I'm winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

Cards on the table, we're both showing hearts
Risking it all, though it's hard

Man, I'm tearing up just recalling the hauntingly beautiful piano and vocals that go along with these words. But even for those of you who haven't yet heard the song, don't these lyrics perfectly reflect God's call to those who are married? Both to rejoice in each other and to lay down everything for each other...even when it's tough?

Ephesians 5 speaks of how God designed marriage to be an in-the-flesh representation of His love for us. Think back to the pairing of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:23-25: "The man said, 'This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." Since the dawn of creation, God has designed marriage to strip away the pride and selfishness in each single party in favor of joining the two as one flesh, calling them to selflessly work together as one in order to show God's love to the world. 

And folks, this is God's intention for all marriage, not just Christian marriage. The uniting of man and wife as one in order to depict the greater unity of God and His chosen people has always been the intent for all of human creation. And while that's a huge call to live up to, may we as believing couples strive to uphold this illustration for others - believing and non - that we might be a clear witness to the pure and holy passion of our Savior's love for us.

Here's a video of the entire "All of Me" with just the lyrics pictured. Listen along, and praise God for all the avenues (even the secular ones!) that He can work through to put a megaphone to His purposes.

2 comments:

  1. Great post, Leah! Marriage is a unity of two sacrificial people living for the One who designed them to be together in the first place....because He is the one who created marriage and what it stands for to begin with.

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