BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#338 - "Proof of Your Love" by For King & Country
1 Corinthians 13 provided Joel and Luke with all the inspiration they needed for their latest single.
 


Carrying a name that evokes substance and a sense of purpose, For King & Country make their debut with music that more than lives up to their clever moniker. Enveloping their insightful lyrics in a sea of ear-grabbing melodies, brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone have forged a distinctive sound that has earned them an enthusiastic fan base as well as the respect of industry professionals who keep tapping their music for use in high profile TV shows. 
 
Together, Joel and Luke ignite each other's individual passions to form a unique, distinctive voice that blends into simmering sibling harmony, unrivaled by any other collaborative group to date. Born in Sydney, Australia and relocating with their family to Nashville, the brothers remember music being a constant presence in their life. Growing up in a large family of seven kids, the siblings began their creative experimentation early on, soaking up life experiences that would influence their musical future.
 
For King & Country's debut album, Crave, is a vibrant collection of songs, marked by emotional honesty and a riveting transparency. The first single, "Busted Heart (Hold On to Me)" is among the duo's newer compositions and was inspired from a conversation on the brokenness that every person feels at some point in their life. 
 
I had the great opportunity to interview Joel and Luke in person at Creation Festival Northeast about their newest hit song "The Proof Of Your Love." 
 
Joel and Luke, please share the personal message behind writing the song "The Proof Of Your Love."
 
Luke: This was one of the last songs that we wrote for the album, ironically. Joel came to me in the studio that day and told me he wanted to write something that would gently nudge and encourage people and at the same time challenge them. That's a very difficult line to balance. People don't want to be challenged too much and be turned away. When we were looking at the Bible passage 1 Corinthians 13, we knew there was something significant that we hadn't written about. We decided to put those words into this song. That's how the song came to be.
 
Joel: Adding to that, there's a powerful message in proclaiming those truths from God's Word first. The lyrics have me singing, "If I sing, but don't have love, I waste my breath with every song." Rather than have this be a judgment to listeners, it's time for me to proclaim it. Then you can make it your own and put your tent pegs in the ground and announce that you are standing by those same words.
 
Please tell me about the Bible verses you used in writing the song. 

1 Corinthians 13:1-13: "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
 
What's the take-away message for listeners?

Joel: It's been incredible to see the power of these words. When we talked with you a few months ago at WinterJam about "Busted Heart," we also discussed the power of music. We've seen it with this song as well. People are responding to the Truth of the song. The take-away message and application for the song is simple. We often try to convolute Scripture and try to build these elaborate ideas of how to become the person we should be. Really it's simple. It may sound rudimentary, but the straight up Truth is that it's about Love. Our cry in this song and as a band is about letting our lives look like Jesus. How we handle ourselves onstage, offstage, in an interview like right now, with my girlfriend, with Luke's wife, with our family, it goes across the board for us.
 
Luke: We didn't write the song, the words come straight from the Bible. The other thing when we sing this song from stage and speak these powerful words, we are challenging ourselves every single time. If I were to challenge myself in my own walk every day back home or every day I'm travelling, my life would be radically changed if I do it and allow the proof of God's Love to really manifest itself in me.
 
Lyrics:
If I sing but don't have love
I waste my breathe with every song
I bring, an empty voice
A hollow noise

If I speak with a silver tongue
Convince a crowd but don't have love
I leave a bitter taste
With every word I say

So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You
And what You're made of
How you lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof
The proof of Your love

If I give to a needy soul
But don't have love then who is poor
It seems all the poverty
Is found in me

Ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
When it's all said and done
Ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
When we sing our final song

Only love remains
Only love remains
 
So often, even as Christians, we think by avoiding conflict and passively avoiding people in general means that we're following God's commands. However, we are called to actively love one another. There is a lot of great biblical truth throughout this catchy song, "The Proof Of Your Love." I've been consistently challenged by songs that include messages about living out the "Golden Rule," found throughout the Bible. Leviticus 19:18: "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD." Matthew 7:12: "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Luke 6:31: "And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise."
 
I think in our world that we live in, so many things are glorified: money, popularity, relationships, etc. There's all these things glorified in our culture and in the song we're talking about how we can do good things in the name of Christ. We can move mountains, we can give away everything we have to the poor, the Bible tells us if we don't do those things in love, it is meaningless. 
 
For me, the reverse of that is true, we can not have money, or fame, however if what we are doing has the right motives, and if we're treating people with kindness and patience, God sees that and that matters to Him. There are days when I wake up and I am convicted to live out the words of the song and that Scripture passage. Today I'm going to be patient. Today I'm going to be kind. 
 
As Joel and Luke and I discussed the song and the profound message, we talked about how we are commanded to love others by Jesus. This song challenges me to think about how well I am loving others. 1 John 4:19 says "We love because He first loved us."  
 
In Francis Chan's book Crazy Love on page 94 he writes: "I was challenged to do a little exercise with these verses, one that was profoundly convicting. Take the phrase love is patient and substitute your name for the word love. Do it for every phrase in the passage. By the end, don't you feel like a liar? If I am meant to represent what love is, then I often fail to love people well. Following Christ isn't something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are."  
 
As you listen to this great song by For King & Country, think about how well you are loving others and know that Jesus loves you and wants us to glorify Him and "let my life be the proof of Your Love." Amen to that!

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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