Love Songs, Commitment, and MuteMath

MUTEMATH_OG_IMAGEI 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?

A Different Kind of Love

I heard a song today called “Beautiful War” by Kings of Leon. I really liked the song, and there was one line that really resonated with me. It’s this, “Love don’t mean nothing / Less there is something worth fighting for”.

The reason I really like this line is because so often love in our day and age seems like something sappy, and wishy washy. It seems like something fluid, and sometimes even passing. When I think of love though, yes there is emotion and passion to it, but there is also something solid. There is something deep. There is something more than just feelings, there is conviction and commitment.

And I think that’s why I really liked that line in that song, that love doesn’t mean a lot unless. It’s committed to something worth fighting for. This for me means that love is a commitment to fight for something, or someone. Love isn’t something or someone that you can easily give up on, or it’s really not love.

And when I think about love in this way, it makes me think of God. God gave up his place above us, to come to save us. He thought we were worth fighting for. He thought we were worth dying for. Sure there is emotion there, but it’s not a wishy washy love. It’s a committed, sacrificial, conviction that causes action.

So I guess that’s all to simply say that love for me runs deeper than just feelings. Of course true love comes with emotion, and passion but also one with a commitment to “something worth fighting for”. And I think this is the type of love that lasts, because it preserves, pushes forward, and refuses to give up (1 Cor. 13:7-8). This is the type of love that God shows to us, and that I think we need to seek to show others.1422732_38534421

Disciple Making Rather than Decision Making

Mother Teresa wrote this:

You, in the West, have the spirituality poorest of the poor much more than you have the physically poor. Often among the rich are very spiritually poor people. I find it easy to give a plate of rice to a hungry person, to furnish a bed to a person who has no bed, but to console or to remove the bitterness, anger and loneliness that comes from being spiritually deprived, that takes a long time.

I think that this is true and deep. Being spiritually deprived leads to anger, bitterness, and loneliness. And changing that reality doesn’t happen through a tract, it doesn’t happen through one conversation, it doesn’t happen through one big event. Changing that reality takes time, commitment, conversation, and, most of all, Jesus Christ.

I’ve often said that we here are much more interested in people becoming disciples of Jesus, rather than just making decisions about Jesus. Making disciples takes a while. It means addressing people’s spiritual deprivation, their hurt, anger, bitterness, and loneliness. It means being Jesus to them over the long haul. Not just a few weeks, but months, and years.

So here is my question for you: who are you committing to long-term?

It’s not just about giving someone a plate of rice. It’s about giving a plate of rice each week, sitting down for conversation, for connection and for a shared commitment. So that’s my question, who are you committing to be there with, watching, hoping, and expecting Jesus to become real in their life.

Because remember we’re here to make disciples, not just help people make decisions…