What comes to mind when you hear the words “First Love?”
I think these two words draw us in because we think back to a memory of love. For example, basketball was my “first love.” How would you fill in the blank? “__________” was my first love. Or, maybe we remember our first girlfriend or boyfriend as our “first love.” With this being Valentine’s week, I think about how my wife is my “first love” because we share the truest, deepest sense of this, a lifelong commitment to love and respect each other through life’s ups and downs.
When I wrote the song First Love in 2003-2004 (for the album Draw Near), I was thinking about all the meanings behind this. Yet, most of all, I was thinking about how God first loves us. I cannot earn His love. He offers it as a free gift, and grows this in me as I surrender my heart to Him. Then, last summer when I was composing a new, revised version for Treasures of Peace: The Stanton Lanier Collection, I added inspiration from Psalm 63 and the phrase “your love is better than life,” referring to God’s love for me.
As you listen to this track, you will hear the new (2014) opening and closing melodies inspired by Psalm 63, and the original (2004) middle section with verse and chorus, inspired by 1 John 4. These references are down below.
How could you apply “First Love” in a fresh way this Valentine’s Day?
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love… Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:16, 19 (NIV)
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” Psalm 63:1-4 (NIV)