Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The more I listen to Steven Curtis Chapman's "All About Love"...

...the more I like it.

The CD is associated with a pleasant memory for me, anyway. Last fall, Doug and I invited our friends, Ray and Teri, to accompany us to Family Life's "Rekindling the Romance" event at the Allstate Arena near Chicago. The seminar itself was wonderful, with speakers like Alistair Begg and Joe Stowell, and it culminated in a renewal of marriage vows that was deeply emotional and powerful for my husband and me.

But one of the highlights was the music of Steven Curtis Chapman. After having met and interviewed Steven on three separate occasions, I'm convinced he is the real deal--a man who is sold out to God and using his talents to worship Him and further His kingdom. You couldn't meet a nicer, more down-to-earth, genuine Christian man.

I vividly remember Steven taking the stage at "Rekindling the Romance" with nothing but an acoustic guitar and singing to a hushed audience of married couples about his prayer to the Lord to help him truly love his wife, Mary Beth:

"Out of all the gifts you've given
Besides the very gift of life
There is none as precious to me
As the treasure of my wife
And still all the love in my heart
Is like a raindrop to the sea
When compared to your love for her
And that's why I'm asking please
Will you teach me what she needs
I'm an earnest man when it comes
To learning how to love this woman

How do I love her
How do I let her know she means more than anything to me
How do I love her

Well I know it's gonna take a lifetime
To answer this prayer I pray
But that okay
'Cause I've given you and her my lifetime anyway"

Ray left his seat during an intermission, and returned to hand us a copy of the CD. I've been enjoying it regularly ever since.

"All About Love" is Steven's tribute to marital love, something which is sorely needed in this day and age. He perfectly captures the mixture of wonder, romance, frustration, down times, and joy that are all a part of a committed union.

Chapman tells "There are a ton of songs about falling in love and about break-ups, but in my opinion, there aren't enough songs that dive deep into what happens in relationships on a day-to-day basis. That's something that I really felt I wanted to explore with this project."

Looking back, I remember sharing with Steven in Nashville a couple of years ago, how his song "God is God" had ministered to me and encouraged me while dealing with my father's terminal illness. I was amazed and touched to see tears glistening in his eyes as he listened to me.

While I don't give a blanket endorsement to the music of any singer, I have been impressed with the depth and "scriptural-ness" of Steven's lyrics. The songs of his that have blessed and enriched me are many, including "God is God" (click here to read the lyrics).

(Below, a pic of Steven and me in the 101QFL booth at the Gospel Music Association Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, in April 2003.)

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