Is it totally heretical to liken Ne-Yo to God? If you answer yes to this question, stop reading now. If you’re curious or otherwise completely not offended by this comparison, you can continue to read.
As one of my professors says when he is making a somewhat radical point (which is an everyday thing for him), “come with me on this one.”
So, come with me on this one. But Ne-Yo’s song, “Let Me Love You” is like an epic testament to the love of God. Though I’m 99.9% sure that he had no intention of this being a result of his words, I think that you can easily look at the song in this light. In case you haven’t been blessed by his vocal chords before, or just need a reminder of his words, I’ve included the lyrics below, minus the repeated lines (because let’s face it, it’s late and I’m lazy.)
Much as you blame yourself, you can’t be blamed for the way that you feel.
Had no example of a love that was even remotely real;
How can you understand something that you never had?
Oh baby if you let me, I can help you out with all of that.
Girl let me love you, and I will love you until you learn to love yourself,
Girl let me love you, and all your trouble, Don’t be afraid; girl let me help
Girl let me love you, a heart of numbness, gets brought to life, I’ll take you there.
I can see the pain behind your eyes, it’s been there for quite a while
I just want to be the one to remind you what it is to smile
I would like to show you what true love can really do.
Now, if you have heard this song, you’re probably singing along with it as you read the lyrics. But if you haven’t, and if you weren’t told that it was a popular Top 40 hit, it would be very believable for it to be a “Jesus song,” (aka what I refer to all Christian music as).
The premise of the song can be taken quite literally to the love that God provides us. We can’t be blamed for the love that we have experienced that has fallen short of our expectations. We just need to acknowledge that the only fully fulfilling love is that of God’s love for us. Therefore, we can compare other love to being not “even remotely real.” And God gives us solace, rhetorically asking us “How can you understand something that you never had?” This should stop and give us pause, because it means that we are not to feel ashamed that we aren’t ready to accept the grandeur that is God’s love and grace. But the nice thing is, if you let God, he “can help you out with all of that.”
The reason that I even thought of this topic to write about was sparked from a conversation I had with one of my dear friends about the need to love ourselves before we are ready for anyone else to love us. Though that’s a pretty deep topic, when she left my apartment, I kept thinking “girl let me love you, and I will love you, until you learn to love yourself!” from this song. I know that the lyric goes against the logic that I just presented, but it’s neat to think that God’s love can be thought of like this: we don’t have to love ourselves fully to accept His love. Rather, He will hold us close and love us unconditionally until we are able to love ourselves truly.
Not only that, but God wants to love us “and all your trouble” and to not be afraid, but let Him help. This is pretty much 100% against what we are taught growing up: be strong, overcome your troubles and learn from them, etc. But here, we are reminded yet again that God delights in our weakness. This is a great reassurance, because we can remember that our failures and struggles are the opportunities for which God can show his power and love. He willingly takes our “heart of numbness” and brings it to life.
Lastly, God wants to return pure joy to our lives; to light up our hearts with the passion and joy for life that He created in us. Essentially, He wants to “remind us what it is to smile,” and He “would like to show you what true love can really do.” So… what’s next? “Girl, let Him love you.” Because guess what? He will love you until you learn to love yourself…and will never stop loving you.
Verse for tonight: “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10