With the approaching of Valentine’s Day, I found myself Googling “The Greatest Love Songs of All Time.” Wow. Pretty interesting list.
Many of the “secular” love songs could be described as mushy…overly sentimental…even corny. And some of your favorite songs probably didn’t make the list (sorry, but Kenny Chesney’s “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” was overlooked).
One of the striking things about the tabulation of great love songs is that often they’re just a dim reflection of the kind of love God has for us, and wants from us. After all, the Bible tells us “love is from God” (1 John 4:7). That’s where it comes from. Our Lord is the ultimate Lover and the source of all genuine human love. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). And even if you think you’ve got a pretty good supply of human love, it’s destined to run out someday unless you’re connected to the never-ending source of love.
Perhaps you’ve never really thought of God as the ultimate romantic. But if you take a look at the world’s great love songs, you’ll see they’re often more scriptural than you’ve ever imagined.
For example, when the Bee Gees asked the probing question “How Deep Is Your Love?,” can’t you hear Jesus asking you about that as well? In John 21:15-17, He asked Peter this question not just once, but three times. And Paul picked up on the same theme when he prayed for you to be “rooted and grounded in love…able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).
Yes, God’s love is very deep, very wide, very long, and very high. As John Mark McMillan says in his song, “How He Loves,” “if His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.”
So, I could go on and on about how the world’s love songs reveal the human craving for a love that ultimately must be found in a relationship with God:
- We all want to experience a constant love like Whitney Houston expressed in her song, “I Will Always Love You.”
- We want to experience the transforming love described in Celine Dion’s song, “Because You Loved Me.”
- When we pass through life’s storms, we want God’s assurance that “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
- We’re desperate to have someone who truly believes in us, even when we don’t believe in ourselves, and Kenny Rogers expressed this well in “She Believes in Me.”
- We need someone who loves us not because we’re perfect, but rather says “I Love You Just the Way You Are,” as Billy Joel and Bruno Mars have sung about.
Yes, we’re looking for romantic love, but we also need something deeper and more durable than that. We want someone who sees us with grace—“Through the Eyes of Love,” as Melissa Manchester’s beautiful song says.
However, if your God is just a religious God, it will be pretty hard to see Him in any of these love songs. You definitely wouldn’t want a religious, angry, puritanical God to be your Valentine, would you?
I’m sure glad God saw to it that The Song of Solomon would make it into the Bible. Lest we think of Him as some distant, judgmental, religious tyrant in the sky, He reveals Himself there as our passionate Bridegroom and Lover, obsessed by our beauty—even when we feel anything but beautiful. And even when we’re down on our luck and down on ourselves, He sings love songs and dances with us (Zephaniah 3:17).
It’s so cool that Jesus didn’t choose to do His first miracle in a church service. Instead, He turned water into wine at a wedding! (John 2) Ironic as it might sound, Jesus wasn’t nearly as religious as we are. If we could grasp that fact, we would be much better at attracting unbelievers—and especially young people—to the Savior’s unending, sacrificial love demonstrated on Calvary.
What are your favorite love songs? They probably say a lot about what you need God to do in your heart today. So, go ahead and sing. Go ahead and dance. Throw caution to the wind.
He’s waiting to be your Valentine.