Love is universal and devotion is something we all like.

Hooky. No, I’m not talking about skipping school. It’s the kind of music that sticks in your head. That’s Bruno Mars’ song “That’s What I Like.” It’s no wonder the song is at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. At the risk of you not being able to get it out of your head: watch the video here. See what I mean?

To say Bruno’s song is catchy is an understatement. On the surface it seems to be a tongue-in-cheek homage to his girl. Just to reinforce, check out the lyrics: here. But take a look at it a little closer and you’ll see he’s pleasing himself as much as he’s pleasing her. Making her happy makes him happy and when they look in the mirror it’s each other that they see as the fairest. Mutual affection; who would have imagined?

To say today we’re urged to make ourselves happy first would be a moot point. The idea that we might be completely devoted to someone else’s happiness seems almost counter-cultural. Maybe that’s what makes “That’s What I Like” so intriguing. How could a man be so devoted to a woman? Sure, he passes it off as what he likes but I think we know better. In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” But that was way back when, right? I don’t know, maybe it’s not so outdated.

Thing is, men and women still devote themselves to one another. It’s called marriage. I looked it up, it’s real. They still submit to one another just like Ephesians 5:21 recommends. Since this whole helper/partnership thing was God’s idea it’s no wonder that there are a lot of directives and declarations about how men should view women. Proverbs 31: 10 says an excellent wife is “far more precious than jewels” even though it sounds like Bruno is just fine with having both. The bible states it simply: “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”(Colossians 3:19). It even approximates Mr. Mars’ conclusion about his fawning over his lady being as much about himself as it is about her. In

Ephesians 5:28 it says: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Seems like spreading this whole love thing around might be a pretty big deal, and it is.

Like man and woman and marriage, love was God’s idea. From Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” To First John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” To Paul telling the church in Corinth to “Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14) The bible is just chock full of this thing called love. It’s probably because the message is we are loved and we are urged to think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works (that comes from Hebrews 10: 24).

So what’s the bottom line? It all comes down to John 13:34: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” We should love each other just as God has loved us. Lucky for us, that’s what He likes.

I have to admit I’m always amazed by how these “poppy” songs carry biblical themes. Now, I realize I’ve put “good book” references in you ladies’ hands and I’m just fine with you passing this along to your husbands and significant others so go ahead and do that. Yes, you’re welcome.

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