I started out this afternoon writing one blog post, and ending the night writing this one. It is of little matter by which this transition has occurred, yet both are fundamentally linked to the nature of God. Once again, I’ve found myself pondering upon lyrics within song we sing to and about God. This week the subject being “Pieces” by Amanda Cook (Bethel), the song can be listened to below:

While the lyrics are included within the video, I have included them below as they will be pertinent to the rest of this discussion.

Unreserved, unrestrained
Your love is wild
Your love is wild for me
It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed
Your love is proud
To be seen with me

You don’t give Your heart in pieces
You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

Uncontrolled, uncontained
Your love is a fire
Burning bright for me
It’s not just a spark
It’s not just a flame
Your love is a light
That all the world will see
All the world will see

You don’t give Your heart in pieces
You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

Your love’s not fractured
It’s not a troubled mind
It isn’t anxious
It’s not the restless kind
Your love’s not passive
It’s never disengaged
It’s always present
It hangs on every word we say
Love keeps its promises
It keep its word
It honors what’s sacred
‘Cause its vows are good
Your love’s not broken
It’s not insecure
Your love’s not selfish
Your love is pure

You don’t give Your heart in pieces
You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

I found something particularly intriguing about this song, and the dichotomy between the nature of God and society. While this comparison is not expressed explicitly, one may reasonable draw the conclusion between the nature of love between God and our humanly expectations. Not too long ago, I wrote about being content in singleness. One thing I revealed is that I have always been single, which is not inherently negative or unacceptable. The purpose in divulging this information is to allow anyone (you, the reader) to form your own conclusions on my premise, as I am no expert on the matter. However, one may observe and draw conclusions through others, society, and entertainment. Thus, the fact that I lack any first hand experience or knowledge may cause you to question my premise. Hopefully, that will not be the case. Yet, I have forth come with this information as to not mislead anyone.

Throughout Pieces, we see a number of characteristics ascribed to God’s love. His love is unreserved, unrestrained, wild, unashamed, proud, uncontrolled, uncontained, a fire, a light, present, and pure. His love is also not shy, a spark, a flame, not fractured, troubled, anxious, restless, passive, disengaged, broken, insecure, and selfish. Throughout, Cook makes a clear distinction between God and the rest of our worldly relationships. Our relationships, platonic and romantic, are subject to failure based upon the singularity which all of creation is subject to. Sin. Due to this reality, from birth all of us are unable to fully comprehend the extent of God’s love and are unable to fully love others. Truthfully, I would argue that we are unable to fully appreciate the true love which is only found in God.  Frankly, this is not to deny that we are capable of understanding or appreciation, but to call into context that despite where we walk along the path of sanctification we are all subject to sin. So where does this leave us? Are we able to fully know, exhibit, and give true love?

Throughout the song, I, perhaps due to observation or subjugation, see that the description of God’s love reveals the issue of men and their relationships with women. Particularly, this is reveals within the phrases/stanzas “Your love is proud to be seen with me, You don’t give Your heart in pieces, You don’t hide Yourself to tease us, Your love’s not passive, It’s never disengaged, It’s always present, It hangs on every word we say, Love keeps its promises, It honors what’s sacred, ‘Cause its vows are good, Your love’s not broken, It’s not insecure, Your love’s not selfish.” Some of these characteristics are not limited to men, but some are very much charged toward men. I do not see this as accusatory, or limited only to men, but I see a definite plague within men, a lacking of true manhood. To begin, I want to look at the line, “Your love is a fire burning bright for me. It’s not just a spark. It’s not just a flame.

Far too often, we mistake infatuation for love. Infatuation is short-lived, it is passionate, often described or characterized as a spark. While infatuation may be key in the first instances of attraction, it does not last long enough to build upon. Similarly, a flame is short-lived. There for a moment, then gone. Irregardless of which is preferable for the description of the this instance, it reveals a fundamental problem. The entertainment industry oft glorifies this stage and men continue to jump from one flame to another, in a constant cycle of moving from one quick interest to the next. One flame to the next. This is underlined by the selfishness that is found at each of our hearts. On the other side, God’s love is presented differently in a means that is consistent with that of scripture. “Your love is a fire, burning bright for meYour love is a light that all the world will see.” Historically, to light a house, street, town requires the use of fire and oil. In order to maintain it, fuel (obviously) is required. A full fledged fire will last much longer than a spark, flame, or flash. This line is indicative of a couple of things, firstly, God’s love is everlasting. It, as the beginning of the song states, is unreserved, unrestrained. His love knows no limits, no bounds. Secondly, if we have been touched by the love, mercy, and grace of God, then our lived will reflect that. Now this does not necessarily tie into romance, but does play into all of our relationships with people. If we are truly followers of Jesus, then we should be like a fire, a source of light, to all people, nations. As Matthew 5 states, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (14-16). Thus, seeing this aspect of God’s love, we have a better framework to build upon our understanding of true love.

The next phrase/stanza that causes a snag in our worldly relationships, comes in “You don’t hide Yourself to tease us.” When the transition from first attraction to the beginnings of a romantic relationship, a man must make clear his intentions. Not to cast blame, but it is selfishly wrong to string along someone we might find as a potential. The hopes of a relationship is not something to dangle before someone. Love is end of a series of hoops we are to jump through. Yet playing hard-to-get is unexplainably used to cause romantic interests to question the motives and intentions of the other. It is wrong to tease love, a relationship. God does not shy away, nor does He remove himself to cause us to question Him. God does not tease true love. The ramifications should God tease love and the relationship He seeks to have with us would cause us to be endlessly miserable as we are never given any source of fulfillment or understanding. We would be left questioning God’s motives, God’s intentions. This, perhaps, is best described as turmoil. Fortunately, God made clear His intentions. Constantly seen throughout the Bible, God has laid out plainly how, why He loves us and seek to share it with us. Furthermore, this very essence is laid out in “Love keeps its promises, It keep its word, It honors what’s sacred, Cause its vows are good, Your love’s not broken, It’s not insecure, Your love’s not selfish, Your love is pure.” What sticks out most to me, is that God keeps His vows, which are His covenants with His people. The dichotomy thought this song, even if I have imagined it, gives me a sense of hope.

Seeing and trying to fully understand the endless, boundless, complete love that God has for myself and all of creation, I find hope. I find joy. I find peace. I am fortunate enough to have several role models to learn from who set positive example as I go through life. And most importantly, I have the best example of how I am to go about showing love to others. God. This extends to men. If we, as men, are going to pursue the hearts of women, we first must guard them. We must honor what is sacred, and keep our vows. We all long to be loved, to give love, and to share in that love. Because we were born broken because of sin, we actively seek this out. It is fundamental to our survival as individuals, as people, but only if it is done properly. That means that we must pursue God first and foremost! How can I even try to love somebody when I am unwilling to accept God’s love first? How can I display honest love, when I am unwilling to come to God for love?  I believe that true manhood is found when men seek out God and follow in His will. That means constantly seeking to be more like Christ. Casting aside our selfish desires and tendencies, and picking up the responsibilities of carrying our cross everyday. Though I will fail, though I will not choose wisely, I will follow God. Embracing Him for the truth that is found in Him alone. His love is the only reason you or I could ever know Him for who He is, for who His son is, why Christ had to die for my sins, for my failures, so that I may be able to even grasp a fraction of God’s love. All of this, this display of love from God, is laid out plainly in 66 books, letters, that are personally given to me, to all of us. While there is more to be said about God, to understand about God, I see some merit to the words of this song. Some of which is what caused me to see an exchange between our broken ability to love genuinely and how God’s love is unfailing, unwavering. Perhaps I have created this comparison in my mind, but I do believe that this is purposely done. In many ways, casts a reflection meant to show why I need God. Why I need to first experience His grace, mercy, love. Why I must first pursue Him, before I even contemplate pursing the heart of someone else. Someone who God created. Who God loves. Who God adores. Who God sent His son to die for! God’s love is what I must search for, must seek for. What a profound thing! It is simple, God is the example by which we measure our own lives. While we may never live up to that example, it reveals our need for Him. Our dependance on Him. May we seek Him in all things, in love, in relationships, in friendships, in the good, in the bad. For He is the great sustainer, the unchanging one, the one who was and is to come.

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