For those of us longing for romance and still single, love songs to relate with are hard to find.
If you’re a dreamer like me, then you might notice this only rarely. The artist’s lyrics written to their spouse are fluttering from your speakers… yet your mind filters them into an image of your future partner. Soon enough, you’ve hoarded an enormous love song playlist, and you grin with ruthless glee, knowing your bride or groom-to-be and wedding guests will hear every one of them (including the hip-hop odes of monogamous affection).
Or, maybe you’re a practical type, in which case the lack was already obvious. Love songs are a decent way to glean wisdom you can store away for later… but there’s nothing for you to personally latch onto right now. The focus on marriage relationships in Christian music (while understandable) leaves you wanting more for your current season of life, with all its shifting uncertainty and hopeful speculation.
For both personalities, assembling a soundtrack that engages us and reveals purpose in the present is valuable. Here are five songs that break the cycle to speak in a unique way for singles. Doubtless, there are other examples out there, but my discoveries are all by The Vespers— a band of two sisters and brothers, who create beautiful and dynamic folk/roots music.
1. Not Enough
Though written from a married perspective, “Not Enough” takes an introspective look at the ideal relationship. Single listeners have an advantage here, to best understand and practice the song’s message.
How can two people fall in love, secure a home, and start a family… yet still feel like a crucial piece is missing? The unspoken answer is Jesus. If we desire romance and settling down for their own sake, we will feel empty (and that’s okay). With God as our focus and source of satisfaction, relationships can be properly appreciated as gifts and even display Christ’s love.
Jesus describes Himself as living water, causing us to thirst no more and spill eternal life onto those around us. If you aren’t dating anyone yet, you have an opportunity to ensure that this same experience is yours, as a solid foundation for that upcoming relationship. You are free to seek God’s kingdom first, trusting Him to provide a mate along the way and lead you both into an adventure that is far more than enough.
That said, The Vespers have many more songs that portray love in a simple, positive light. “Signs” is an upbeat track with the theme of anticipation– the singer is noticing hints of attraction from a person she admires, and is dying to hear him admit those feelings with plain words.
As uncomfortable as this time often is, it’s okay to notice attractive qualities in your Christian siblings, and to keep your eyes wide open for what God might do. If this crosses a line into lust or obsession, you will know by the Holy Spirit’s conviction… but otherwise, this is designed to be fun and bring out your emotions.
You aren’t weak for wondering when he or she will show up. After all, the first thing God declared “not good” in creation was Adam being alone. His solution was to parade a pair of every animal species before our world’s first bachelor, before presenting a partner from his very own flesh and bone. If our Creator thought it appropriate to provoke Adam’s desire for a companion before providing one, then I believe that we too, through honestly yearning and remaining expectant, can glorify God and grow closer to Him.
3. Flower Flower
With its goofy and sweet tone, “Flower Flower” takes another look at the wait for romantic love. Whereas the last song shared something imminent and frantic, this track highlights a lengthy and patient process, using the humbling metaphor of a flower.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life . . . Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? . . . Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow.”
-Jesus in Matthew 6:25, 28-30, 34 (ESV)
God cares about you, and sees your waiting. Jesus also understands it, seeing that He’s waited for almost 2,000 years to meet His bride in person. Your day will come before you close your eyes, the curtain closes to prepare a final scene, and it concludes with heaven and earth coming back together.
*Content warning: feels*
If you’re a geek who is currently single, but is still healing from the loss of a time when you weren’t, then this song is for you. The concept of “Winter” is simple: the singer is haunted by past memories and commitments, which follow her with every sight as she boards a train.
Breakups are painful. The Vespers didn’t try to cover this fact with cheap platitudes, and neither will I. It feels cold.
The singer simply says that through that coldness, she is made warmer. The Holy Spirit, our Comforter, is made all the more real to us through crushing discomfort. Jesus’ steadfast faithfulness becomes so much more meaningful as we experience a human relationship falling apart. As hard as it is, I promise you that the Lord will make you better now because of it.
5. Dear Sir
“Dear Sir” is a soft love song with stunning harmonies, dedicated to that special someone you will one day meet. I think it’s the best of the five, despite being the earliest in The Vesper’s music career.
The positive characteristics of this person are mostly universal, such as respectful chivalry and intimate emotional support. There are a few exceptional traits that us geeks can appreciate, like using big words effortlessly and reading each other’s’ book recommendations for a later discussion.
No matter your beliefs about predestination, free will, and “the one”… there’s no need to pick a fight here. We’re simply agreeing that the goal is to end up with one companion, and God knows who that will be. You’re choosing to wait for him or her; deciding to stay alone if they never come; living your life, firstly for Christ, but also as a nonverbal declaration of “I love you!” to your eventual partner who will cherish each year of faithful patience.
It’s for a glorious purpose, my fellow geeks. We don’t always think of singleness in this way. Still, these songs can serve as a helpful reminder, and I pray with high hopes that He will renew our minds toward this redemptive view more and more, until the awaited day comes.
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