This week on the Not Alone series, we’re talking about marriage. And since Lent is over, and hence my sacrifice of wedding/marriage-related reading/thinking is also over, I thought I’d finally put out this post that’s been on my heart. Many of the songs on the radio today are sad love songs—and not sad because they’re about loves lost, but sad because the type of love expressed and desired isn’t real love at all, but an at-times grotesque imitation. Happily, though, a few songs are getting national play and popularity that do express the essence of love—particularly the wondrous kind found in marriage:
Sara Bareilles “I Choose You”
– “I will become yours and you will become mine/I choose you”: Love binds us. We become one flesh. Love is not just a feeling, but a choice, a commitment.
– “My whole heart/Will be yours forever/This is a beautiful start/To a lifelong love letter”: Love is meant to be a lifetime. Unlike romantic comedies where the marriage is the end of the love story, marriage is the beginning.
– “I am under-prepared, but I am willing/And even better/I get to be the other half of you”: Love is between two people, fallen as we are. And no one is 100% prepared, but love is an act of the will. And loving another person is sanctifying.
John Legend “All of Me”
– “Love your curves and all your edges/all your perfect imperfections”: Love is not just accepting all the bits of a person, but loving them.
– “Give your all to me/I’ll give my all to you”: Love is the gift of self—the whole self; it does not hold back. Love is reciprocal.
– “Even when I lose, I’m winning”: Love is sacrifice, but from that sacrifice comes authentic joy.
– “Cards on the table/we’re both showing hearts/risking it all/though it’s hard”: Love can be hard, but if both come with open hearts, it is worth it.
Goo Goo Dolls “Come to Me”
– “Come to me my sweetest friend”: Love isn’t just romance, but friendship—a person you choose for your life, bound not by familial affection or the hormones of desire, but an act of the will to share things with the person.
– “Fortune teller said I’d be free/And that’s the day you came to me”: Love isn’t freedom from, it’s freedom to. So often people associate relationship with constraint (ball and chain), but authentic love is freeing–his freedom is when his relationship begins.
– “Today’s the day I’ll make you mine/So get me to the church on time”: Love is sacramental. And what’s more: the beloved isn’t really the other’s until the sacrament that binds them.