Last Sunday (March 8), Pastor Tim preached on Matthew 5:27-32 (he is preaching through Matthew’s Gospel right now) and covered the topics of adultery, marriage, and divorce. Before the sermon, Tim read some passages from Hosea over the congregation in order to prepare our hearts to contemplate how the Lord has promised to remain faithful to his bride, the Church, even though we are often unfaithful to him. Afterwards, some songs that I have on file came to mind and I thought that I’d share some of them with you regarding Christian marriage and the reality of divorce, even for believers. Most, if not everyone, who is reading this has probably been touched by divorce in some way. And let’s be honest, marriage can be a major struggle sometimes. God ministers to me through music, and so I pray that these songs minister to you as well. For two in particular I want to give you the lyrics, but the rest will just be available for your listening pleasure in my Box.net sidebar media player.
“Hosea” ~ Resurrection Letters (Vol. II) – Andrew Peterson (Hosea 1:2, 3; 2:13-16; 3:1, 2)Every time I lay in the bed beside you, Hosea, Hosea, I hear the sound of the streets of the city. My belly growls like a hungry worlf and I let it prowl till my belly’s full. Hosea, my heart is a stone. Please believe me when I say I’m sorry, Hosea, Hosea, You loveable, gullible man. I tell you that my love is true till it fades away like a morning dew. Hosea, leave me alone. Here I am in the Valley of Trouble. Just look at the bed that I’ve made: badlands as far as I can see. There’s no one here but me, Hosea. I stumbled and fell in the road on the way home, Hosea, Hosea. I lay in the brick street like a stray dog. You came to me like a silver moon with the saddest smile I ever knew. Hosea carried me home again. Home again. You called me out to the Valley of Trouble Just to look at the mess I’ve made, a barren place where nothing can grow. One look and my stone heart crumbled–it was a valley as green as jade. I swear it was the color of hope. You turned a stone into a rose, Hosea. I sang and I danced like I did as a young girl, Hosea, Hosea. I am a slave and a harlot no more. You washed me clean like a summer rain And you set me free with that ball and chain. Hosea, I threw away the key. I’ll never leave.
“Don’t Give Up On Me” ~ Resurrection Letters (Vol. II) – Andrew Peterson (Acts 2:1-4)The road is long that leads me home tonight. It disappears into the distant light, my love. Don’t give up on me. You know I love you, but I’m just a man. I don’t always love you the best that I can. My love, Don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on me. I won’t give up on you. Got all these letters that I never did write. All this affection I kept inside my heart. Don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on me. I won’t give up on you. You were there when I shook my fist at the sky. You were there when I fell to the earth and cried. Do you remember how it felt just like we died and rose again? And the storm inside was raging. It was howling like the wind at the Pentecost, And his love was teaching us a language we thought was lost. I have felt the holy fire of love, been burned by the holy fire of love. Made clean by the holy fire of love. I walked beside you in the canyon flames, Deep as an ocean and hot as a thousand suns. We barely survived. Now I wake up in a golden dream: Angel voices in the rooms where the children run, all covered in light. Don’t give up on me. I won’t give up on you.
“I’ve Got News” ~ Resurrection Letters (Vol. II) – Andrew Peterson
This is a great song where Peterson’s writing is candid and real. That is one of the things that I love the most about his music. It is humbly honest. Just listen to the first few words: “So you think I’m something special, I know a thing or two?/Like my eyes don’t ever wander, like my aim is always true?/So you think I’m not a dirty rotten scoundrel through and through? Lady, I’ve got news for you.” Though this song has fun feel to it, it is very convicting. Sober-mindedness is a necessity in marriage.
“Born Again” ~ Recovery – Jeremy Casella
This song is about Casella’s own personal childhood experience of enduring his parent’s divorce. We know that divorce is wrong and should be avoided at all costs, but it still happens, even to Christian homes. I appreciate Casella’s openness to share this very personal memory with us.
“Love and Learn” ~ Heaven in the Real World – Steven Curtis Chapman
I’m a huge Steven Curtis Chapman fan. I’m not familiar, though, with much of his stuff since the Declaration album (which I didn’t like by the way), but Chapman had already solidified his place in CCM history by that point. He is known for writing love songs to his wife on his records, and that is something I always appreciated growing up. This song is about fighting. Chapman gives us an inside glimpse of his marriage where everything is not always picture perfect. But in it, he shows us that the marriage is the place where sanctification occurs and where the gospel should be visibly demonstrated, particulary in forgiveness.
“Go There With You” ~ The Great Adventure – SCC
This is just another good song by Chapman about his committment to his wife to endure this life with her through any test or trial.
“Here and Now” ~ Way Back Home – Phil Keaggy
This song has a “wedding song” feel to it. Keaggy stresses the importance of making vows and being determined to keep them thereafter.
“Terrible Mystery” ~ O How the Mighty Have Fallen – The Choir
The Choir is one of the classic Christian rock bands. They’ve been around for awhile. I have a few of their other albums, but this one–their newest one–is my favorite. It has a smooth, atmospheric tone to it, and I love Derri Daugherty’s vocals. Apparently, this song is a true story of a divorce. I’m not sure if it’s of a band member or just someone related to the band. However, The Choir try and capture the essence of how hard it is to cope with divorce when it happens, and I suppose based off the title, sometimes it’s hard to explain how it ends up happening.
Can you think of any other Christian songs that depict the reality of marriage and minister to those who have been affected by divorce?