” Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil. When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him (Proverbs 16:6,7).”
I’m not a big fan of the songs of the 30s and 40s, but they are growing on me. I just about have to become a fan because I hang around Starbucks a lot and they play this genre frequently. (I hang around Starbucks so much that my friend says that if he owned stock he would sell it if I stopped going. He thinks I should put up a cot.)
One particular song really moved me this morning as I sat here in Starbucks. The song is “The Way You Look Tonight”. The version I heard was sung by a female and it got me to reflect on my relationship with my wife. I was doing that already when I walked in here, but the song made me reflect even more.
The lyrics of “The Way You Look Tonight” were written by Dorothy Fields, the music by Jerome Kerns. Ms. Fields said,”The first time Jerry played that melody for me I had to leave the room because I started to cry. The release absolutely killed me. I couldn’t stop, it was so beautiful.” Mary Cleere Haran, one performer of the song, calls it “the most beautiful song ever written”.
The reason I like the song so much is because the woman is brimming with admiration for her man. She likes his smile, his laugh, his charm, and his words. She doesn’t want him ever to change. She’s just nuts about him.
I admit it. I want my wife to be nuts about me. But over the course of our marriage a lot of my words and actions haven’t been very charming. But I’m working at changing now so my wife will one day repeat to me the phrase from Ms. Fields song that says:
Lovely Never ever change Keep that breathless charm Won’t you please arrange it ‘Cause I love you Just the way you look tonight.
I’ve surely got a long way to go before I earn those lyrics from my wife. But I am working at it more and more.
This extra effort is what the apostle Paul instructed the Thessalonians to give in the fourth chapter of one of his letters to them. He had taught them how to live “in order to please God (v.1)”. He told them in his letter to “do this more and more”.
So more and more I want to work on the way I treat my wife. I especially am trying to control my temper and my tongue. Words can heal or hurt. I want mine to do the former from now on. As Ms. Fields wrote, I want my wife to love me, not to fear me:
With each word your tenderness grows Tearing my fear apart And that laugh That wrinkles your nose It touches my foolish heart.
If I my wife would be willing to sing “The Way You Look Tonight” to me before I pass out of this life, I would die a happy man. I am making that my goal.