Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Heart of a Lover

Jesus in Contemporary 

Christian Music.

I grew up attending a Presbyterian church in New Orleans where we sang the old hymns like 'Blessed Assurance,' 'The Old Rugged Cross,' and 'How Great Thou Art.

But there was one song we sang that always took me aback: 'Jesus Lover of My Soul.'  Truthfully, I didn’t know what a lover was when I was a child, but when I got older, I thought “Ick!” It sounded so carnal.

Fast-forward to today’s contemporary Christian music which is often downright romantic. Lyrics like “I’m running to your arms [Jesus],” “Jesus, hold me now,” “My heart is spoken for," ”I give you my heart,” and “Back in His arms again,” to site only a few. And most of these songs are written and performed by men. I was, and still am amazed by this -- and I began to think more about the nature of those lyrics. I am deeply moved by romance – but it was confusing to me when it crossed-over into the spiritual realm.

The place to go, of course, was Scripture.


What I found there was more emphasis on our hearts than our minds. We are instructed to use our hearts to trust God and “lean not on our own understanding (our minds).” That doesn’t mean we don’t use our minds -- but that once our understanding has been satisfied, we live with God from our hearts. The very nature of faith is accepting in our inner-most being (heart) that what our minds cannot see or fully understand, is real and true. I continue to grow my mind for sure… but I live from my heart.

The strongest emotion most people feel in their hearts is love.


If you have ever been in the throes of romantic love, you know that it can feel like a kind of delicious insanity where reality is suspended in favor of the hopeful delirium that someone has finally come along with whom we feel completely known and accepted. We even call it a “soul mate.” It is wonderful … for a while, anyway. Then, slowly, we return to reality, usually jarred by disappointment. And the truth sets in that unconditional love is not, after all, possible from another human being. 

But what if we could experience that healing, “connected” romantic (heart) love and not be disappointed?


What if we could be with someone that loved us even more the deeper we knew each other? The rush might never subside if we could know that we were unconditionally loved, cared for, and safe – and that that “someone” would never, ever leave us, no matter what

Who gets that? ... Oh, I know ... WE DO!


That is exactly the way God loves us. He is the devoted soul mate/lover that will never leave us, and the loving Father who knows what’s best for us. We were made for Him. We are God’s delight and He wants to be with us all the time

Romance isn’t necessarily carnal (physical) but rather a condition of desire. God calls us (the church – His people) His “bride.” He desires to love and be with us every minute of every day – well into forever. I feel totally romantic about that.

To learn a little more about the contemporary Christian music scene, link to a column I wrote for our local newspaper, the Los Altos Town Crier.

I have a song for everything.


"Forever Reign" by One Sonic Society; "Let My Words be Few" by Phillips, Craig and Dean; "Safe" by Phil Wickham; "Jesus Hold Me Now" by Casting Crowns; "Back in His Arms" by Mark Schultz 

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