BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#195 - "Beautiful" by MercyMe
What is God's heart for us, His creation? NRT's Kevin Davis taps into that with Bart Millard.
 


One of my top 10 albums of 2010, and my favorite overall album by the Texas-based adult contemporary band MercyMe, is their latest project, The Generous Mr. Lovewell.

The album revolves around a fictional character the band created who reminds us that we simply need to love others well. For some of us, it means that we need to put hands and feet on our ideology and rhetoric. For others, it means that we need to continue in doing well, but to not stop there. We need to let people know why we are called to make a difference. The band’s prayer is that this album would mobilize the body of Christ to encourage people in word and deed.

The message of committing to extravagant selflessness and faithful optimism threads its way through every song. “It’s one thing to be kind to someone, to be decent,” Bart Millard notes, but “if we really believe we have this hope, then to stop short—to not be the hands and feet of Jesus—seems almost offensive. Our dream is for this album to inspire others to ‘pay it forward’ to the cross. It doesn’t have to be about major sacrifices. Just let your life become such that people know what you stand for.”

I got the chance to interview lead singer Bart Millard about the song “Beautiful.” (You can listen to our entire interview here.)

Please tell me the story behind the song “Beautiful.”

We wrote the song with our daughters in mind. The band has 15 kids among all of us. I have 4 kids. Satan targets our girls from a materialistic way, telling them how to act and how to look, what to eat and not to eat.

As guys, we can’t always fully understand girls. I’ve already seen my five-year-old daughter see commercials and asking for things that she sees on television. I try to tell my kids all the time that they are perfect and I know my daughters need to get their confidence in themselves from me. The way they want to be treated by men needs to come from me.

All of us have felt unlovable at some point. At times, I feel worthless. I have an argument with a friend, all that I’ve come to like about myself is suddenly falling apart. Who can love me if I don’t even like myself? It’s hard to drag ourselves out of this way of thinking. We are taught to live according to these expectations. We think we need approval and accomplishment to validate our lives. But what does God tell us? He says, “You’re beautiful. You are made for so much more than all of this.” He loves us, even in our failings. It’s kind of a simple Sunday school type of response, God loves you.

Please share the Bible verses that tie-in to the song.

Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Jeremiah 3:15: "Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding."

How can listeners apply that message in their walks as Christians when they listen to the song?

God doesn’t just love us like we “love” video games or popcorn. He loves us passionately. “You’re the one He madly loves enough to die.” His love isn’t casual. It’s not something he says when it’s convenient or when we do something great. He loves us so much that He sent His son to die for us.

Even at our worst, even when we were mocking Jesus and spitting on Him and murdering Him, He still said, “Forgive them. They know not what they do.” He could have saved Himself at any time, He could have caused any one of the people driving the nails into Him to cease breathing and rid Himself of the pain. But He didn’t.

And if Jesus loves us that much, we must be worth something. “Before you ever took a breath, long before the world began, of all the wonders He possessed there was one more precious.” We’re more precious than His life.

Here are the lyrics:

Days will come when you don't have the strength
And all you hear is you're not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart
They'd see too much

You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful

Praying that you have the heart to fight
Cuz you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you've held inside so long
But they are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die!

You're beautiful, You're beautiful
In His eyes

You're beautiful!
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful!
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful!
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful!
You are treasured
You are sacred
You are His


I have three young daughters, and I can’t help but get emotional when I listen to MercyMe’s “Beautiful.” I know it speaks to girls and women of all ages, but this song has many layers, and I relate to the message that God created us to have value.

I look at my wife and I hope she is secure in my love for her, that she knows that I love her and would never leave her. I look at my three little daughters and I hope I am communicating to each of my girls that she is beautiful, that she is valuable, and that she is a blessing to me.

God feels that way about men as well. We are valuable to God. As men, we are appointed by God to take care of and partner with the women in our lives. The song is a great reminder of the kind of heart we should have both as people valued by God and as Christians who can communicate our value to other people.

The challenging question for me in the song--every time I hear it--is: Have I told my wife and my daughters that they are beautiful? Have I invested in my family emotionally, spiritually the way that God has called me to reach out to them and to lead them? I’m extremely moved by the passion behind the lyrics speaking of how the world says we are never good enough, yet Christ saw something beautiful in us worth dying for. As we enter this Lenten season, this is an amazing song to sing and pray and remember “You're the one He madly loves, Enough to die!” Amen.

Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org.

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