What “The Song” Teaches Us About Oneness
[This is Part 4 in the “Embrace Your Marriage: A Virtual Marriage Retreat” series. It runs each Monday this September. Read my post from September 1st here, September 8th here, and September 15th here. Then come back on the 29th for the final part.]
Sure, I enjoy a good Bluegrass tune. I even find myself teary eyed during an especially melancholy Alison Krauss ballad. And folk music? Well, there are some pockets of it I love. But country music in general? Or even its sub-genre of Americana?
They’re not really my thing. Or should I say, thang?
Which is a brave statement for me to make considering the region of northwest Georgia from which I hail. Here, in certain necks of the woods, those might be considered fighting words. Right alongside, “College football? Um … why’s it such a big deal anyhow?”
The irony in that confession is that I am a huge fan of storytelling through song. It’s one reason I love Andrew Peterson’s music. He knows how to weave a compelling and profound tale with his lyrics. And isn’t that a characteristic for which country music is known? Telling tales. Tales of love. Of betrayal. Of second chances.
So imagine my surprise recently, when I found myself applauding a film full of … yep, you guessed it … country music. More specifically, Americana. Believe me, it doesn’t happen often.
You see, a few weeks ago Ted and I had the opportunity to watch The Song. It’s a new film based on the life and writings of Solomon. And it tackles one of my favorites topics: oneness in marriage.
It’s the story of musician Jed King as he aspires and ultimately obtains his dream to be a successful singer-songwriter. Yet, his dream brings more than he anticipated. It also brings temptation. And when temptation comes knocking, does Jed hold true to his promises, true to his word, true to his song? Or does his life become a picture of meaninglessness, a haunting story of moral confusion and brokenness?
But it isn’t just Jed’s story. It’s also the tale of his wife Rose. How will she respond to Jed’s choices? Both the good and the very, very hurtful. Will she trust God with her husband and her marriage? Or will she depend on herself?
The Song is an engaging, at times painful, and, yes, gritty exploration of what might happen when a couple stops living out marriage together. When a striving for oneness and a willingness to sacrifice for the good of the team is replaced by a focus on individual needs and individual wants and individual desires. But, at the same time, this movie also beautifully illustrates that God can bring redemption and restoration to even our greatest messes. That nothing is impossible for Him, not even our marriages.
And that’s what I appreciate about this film. As the tale of Jed and Rose unfolds, I find myself reminded of three important truths when it comes to oneness.
1. Oneness Requires Work
The process of oneness – or growing into the united state of marriage – isn’t something that just happens without effort. We have to work at it and toward it daily. And then, when we obtain it, we have to maintain it. Daily. This effort includes and depends on self-sacrifice. On putting the long-term health of our marriage ahead of our individual agendas.
2. Oneness is Worth the Work
“Two are better than one,” Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” The work it takes to be one in marriage is hard and challenging at times, but it’s worth it. I love what Matthew Henry has to say in his commentary on this verse. He states:
Solomon lays this down for truth, that two are better than one, and more happy jointly than either of them could be separately, more pleased in one another than they could be in themselves only, mutually serviceable to each other’s welfare…. the pleasure and advantage of holy love will be an abundant recompense for all the work and labour of love.
Don’t you just love that? Who doesn’t want “abundant recompense for all the work and labour of love”? I know I do.
3. Oneness is 1+1+1
Most importantly, oneness is something that requires inviting the Lord to be the center of our marriage. In Ecclesiastes 4:12, Solomon tells us, “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Matthew Henry comments:
Two together he compares to a threefold cord; for where two are closely joined in holy love and fellowship, Christ will by His Spirit come to them, and make the third … and then there is a threefold cord that can never be broken. They that dwell in love, dwell in God, and God in them.
The Song is a film that encourages us as couples to dwell in love and to dwell in God. To fight for our marriages, but not to do it alone. It’s a movie that reminds us not to grow weary when it comes to continually striving for oneness. No matter how difficult it can be at times.
Plus, it’s also a movie filled with country music that won over this non-country-music-loving gal. And that alone is no easy feat.
This week, as you strive to embrace oneness in your marriage, let me encourage you to do two things.
1. Go see The Song. Here’s the official trailer and you can find out if it’s playing near you here.
2. Consider this week’s “Embrace Your Marriage” challenge:
Spend time talking with each other. Plan to do something that provokes conversation, like a board game or a walk in the park.
To which, I’ll go ahead and add, “or watching The Song together.”
Don’t miss my team members’ posts on embracing oneness in marriage. You can find them here:
- Darlene Schacht at Time-Warp Wife
- Lisa Jacobson at Club31 Women
- Courtney Joseph at Women Living Well
- Jennifer Smith at Unveiled Wife
- Shelia Gregoire at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum
Also, be sure to come back here next Monday for my final post in the “Embrace Your Marriage: A Virtual Marriage Retreat” series. I’ll be talking about:
- September 29: Embracing Your Friendship