I listen to a lot of music. And by a lot I mean I drive my wife nuts with it. But there is one tendency in music that really drives me nuts. It’s the tendency for love songs to all focus on the initial connection, the passion, but in general, not the commitment on the long-term. It seems like most love songs focus on the meeting stage, or the new love stage – not the lifelong committed stage.
And the reason this bugs me is because I think the committed lifelong stage – the we’re in this together no matter what stage – is the most important one. And in some ways it’s the hardest one.
You might disagree especially if you’ve been looking for someone to spend your life with (and you might be right!). But for me in my ministry what I see is sometimes how hard it is for people to keep the love they found in the centre of their lives. As a pastor I so often meet with couples whose relationships have slid, who forget that they got together with that person because they were worth loving, who forget it’s hard work to keep selfishness out of relationships. I just wish more songs would talk about the beauty of lifelong commitment and its realities, and how it’s worth working towards.
And that’s when I came across this song by MuteMath called Light Up. And I really love it. Here is what they sing,
Don’t say enough, we’re not out of love
We just grew up having to find out that
Hearts go astray, sparks slip away
But I have to say, I still light up for you
For you, I still light up for you
Don’t let the tears undo the years
That got us here. We traveled all this way (all this way)
And no matter how we sort it out
Know I’m for sure that you’re the
One for me (the one for me)
I love those lines. They don’t pretend that everything in every relationship is perfect all the time. They don’t pretend that life is always easy. But they also don’t give up on the beauty of finding a future with someone through the ups and downs. That even in the difficulty he sings about still lighting up for his spouse.
And when I think about my future with Krista, that’s what I want. A marriage where we both, no matter what we go through, still light up for the other person not just today but in 50 years.
I love the commitment to the future together no matter what happens, “We traveled all this way (all this way) / And no matter how we sort it out / Know I’m for sure that you’re the / One for me”
So all that’s to say that I think it’s beautiful words and lyrics. And also that I think it’s something worth striving for in any relationship: to never lose the spark, so that whenever your spouse walks in the room you still light up. That’s what a beautiful marriage to me feels like – that whenever your spouse walks in a room – you can say “I still light up for you”. I can say that today with Krista, and I want to be able to say it each and everyday of our lives. That’s what I’m working towards, what about you?