Questions about “My Dear” by Bethel Music

There is a sweet spot in writing worship music that keeps songs on the mark. What’s the mark? It’s the intersection of doxology and orthodoxy. It’s best described by the combination of passages in Ephesians and Colossians that speak to singing to the Lord.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart… (Ephesians 5:18-19 ESV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – (Colossians 3:16 ESV)

The intersection here is one in which doxology and orthodoxy are tied to one another. The result should be songs that both point the church to God in praise while enriching the church theologically.  When we wander off this axis we end up promoting worship that can sit at the dead end of intellectual snobbery or the off road rabbit trails of romanticism. The post previous to this highlights the song “Now Why This Fear?” released by Sovereign Grace Music. It’s a great example of the intersection resulting in passionate praise that is theologically rich. It’s worship that lifts the heart and grounds the soul.

When I came across a song today that was released recently by Bethel Music, it raised some questions for me. The song is called “My Dear.” I’ve watched the video and read the lyrics several times. These people are great musicians and capture much of what’s popular from the Coldplay “whoa-ohs” to the Mumford and Sons instrumentation.  The people in the video exude the kind of joy and ardor that I’ve come to expect from those associated with Bethel Music. Here’s the question: Is the song intended as a performance or is it a song developed for the church? If it’s an artistic performance piece then I would just leave it alone. On the other hand, if it’s for the church then it deserves scrutiny. Bobby Giles of Sojourn Music recently asked, “why do pastors and theologians pick on songwriters?”  His answer was short and to the point:

“We put words in people’s mouths, which they will sing in church services as well as their homes, cars and other places throughout the week as they worship God. If you don’t feel the weight of this responsibility, you should. You must.”

So, if I am evaluating a song like this as a pastor as well as a worship leader, my conclusion is that it would not be used in our worship. Why? Because it wanders away from that sweet spot towards sentimental romanticism.  I’m not suggesting that every song has to be a theological treatise. Indeed, we need songs that allow us to focus our hearts, close our eyes, lift our hands and sing with abandon. However, there is a point in which a lyric can deteriorate into little more than romanticized words repeated ad nauseam.  It’s catchy to say the least, but referring to God as “My Dear” over and over again highlights a growing tendency towards feminizing God the Father and helping to distance an already alienated male culture within the church. The word “ravish” shows up in this song as it has in a number of others. It’s a word used once in Song of Solomon and Proverbs, and it’s  questionable because ravish is a word often used to describe overpowering someone sexually. It’s a kinder word than rape and that’s why it shows up in trashy romance novels quite a bit.  It’s current usage in our dictionaries is overwhelmingly negative and should at least cause us to consider our use of it.

Nice tune. Well played. Great lyrics? Useful to the church?  I’d be interested in what you think.

My Dear
Hunter Thompson
Bethel Music

I am Yours and You are mine
I am ravished by the sight
Of one glimpse into Your eyes
My lover’s coming for His bride

For there is none upon the earth
That I desire before You, Lord
For You’ve been faithful all my days
Your love endures, it’ll never fade away

I need to say what my soul is singing
I need to say what my heart is screaming
I need to say what my soul is singing
I need to say what my heart is screaming

That I love You my Dear,
That I love You my Dear, my Dear
That I love You my Dear,
That I love You my Dear, my Dear

You’re everything I ever wanted
Everything I ever needed
You’re everything I ever wanted
Everything I ever needed
You’ve ravished my heart, You’ve ravished my
You’re everything I ever wanted
Everything I ever needed
You’ve ravished my heart

That I love You my Dear,
That I love You my Dear, my Dear
That I love You my Dear,
That I love You my Dear, my Dear

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

6 thoughts on “Questions about “My Dear” by Bethel Music

  1. There was a band called Pop WIll Eat Itself. In many ways on most days I think it has. And worship music which has worked so diligently to follow in pop’s train is giving evidence of doing the same.

    This is quite catchy melodically and harmonically . . . no question. But a hook is pretty thin makings if that’s all one has for a song. And that’s sadly all I see here. They actually remind me a bit of Pomplamoose who I think are a bit more engaging mostly because they choose pretty solid repertoire to cover,

    This thing is just too scattered lyrically to start with . . .

    I am Yours and You are mine
    I am ravished by the sight
    Of one glimpse into Your eyes
    My lover’s coming for His bride

    That first verse does not narrate a complete thought, but throws pieces of at least two ideas at us. Is it a song of an intimate relationship or is it about the eschaton? And what, pray, is “the sight of one glimpse?”

    For there is none upon the earth
    That I desire before You, Lord
    For You’ve been faithful all my days
    Your love endures, it’ll never fade away

    That second section is perhaps the most cohesive and useful of the lot. Then from there on out it just seems like cheap, verging-on-erotic romantic drivel . . . puppy love.

    I need to say what my soul is singing
    I need to say what my heart is screaming
    I need to say what my soul is singing
    I need to say what my heart is screaming

    That I love You my Dear,
    That I love You my Dear, my Dear
    That I love You my Dear,
    That I love You my Dear, my Dear

    You’re everything I ever wanted
    Everything I ever needed
    You’re everything I ever wanted
    Everything I ever needed
    You’ve ravished my heart, You’ve ravished my
    You’re everything I ever wanted
    Everything I ever needed
    You’ve ravished my heart

    We’ve been worshiping in a house church context for the last six years and have not been out and about much during that time. However based upon what we heard visiting a great many churches in ’05 and with what seems to “sell” these days, this sounds to me like a song to bet on. It should catch on and spread like wildfire.

    I don’t think these kinds of songs are bad if they are recognized for what they are and used wisely especially as part of a larger repertoire that includes finer lyric crafting and more theological substance. I could imagine this being very useful in youth group contexts. But worship planners who regularly lean on this kind of content just to juice up a Sunday should be ashamed of themselves~

  2. I think that Jesus is the Lover of my Soul, and is my groomsman… who showed His love for me by dying for me on a cross. Yes, I do think that songs can be romantic sounding in nature, but I’d rather profess my undying love for my Lord, than something/someone else, in song. He wants our hearts. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I see nothing wrong with the song, except the words “my dear”… could be changed to “Jesus” or “my God”.

    For some… Jesus has ravished their hearts. His love has become apparent and real. A song like this would have to be in REAL response to His love for us. We love Him because He first loves us. I am convicted that I shouldn’t sing a song of worship unless it is real for me. You know?

  3. “one glimpse of your eyes” is from Song of Solomon 4:9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

    It might not be a direct quote, but I’m positive that it is taken from Song of Solomon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsP-FIhIcWI&fb_source=message Hear what Paul Washer says of that verse… It is how God looks at us.

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