Music Review: Blake Shelton’s ‘God gave me you’

When secular musicians try to write and sing a song with religious undertones, it is normally best when they say less; because musicians are musicians and not theologians.  In that respect, Blake Shelton’s ‘God gave me you’ fits this mold perfectly, because other than singing the chorus over and over, there really is not much else to the song.

First and foremost, it is important to note that the song is not directed to God; instead it is directed at a random individual.  If one were to watch the video, they would discover that it includes clips of his then fiancé now wife; so presumably the song is directed toward her.  But one should not have to rely on a video for the meaning of a song; and hearing this particular song independent of the video, one could reach the conclusion that it is directed toward a spouse, a child, a friend, or even a dog.

The issue of who the song is directed toward is further complicated by the lyrics, again mostly the chorus.  One particular line ‘God gave me you for the ups and downs; God gave me you for the days of doubt’ would seem to be directed specifically toward a spouse.  And if so, then yes, a spouse is there for support and companionship through good times and bad.  But a spouse is not just a live-in therapist; there is also the matter of procreation, which is never mentioned in the song.  Without the key component of procreation, this line could be directed toward a spouse, but could also be directed toward a close friend, or even a sibling.

The other dominant line is ‘When I think I’ve lost my way, there are no words here left to say, God gave me you.’  To be honest, I am not sure what this line means, other than perhaps the person God has given knows what you are thinking and feeling even without words being spoken.  Given that animals do not have the capability of comprehension, this line could equally be directed toward a cat or dog as it could a human.

To add another wrench to the matter, there is also the question of who God is in the song.  God is identified more as the supreme match maker, giving you someone to support you in tough times, while doing little in the way of offering any comfort Himself in terms of forgiveness of sins through the cross of Christ.

Overall, God could be described as the supreme matchmaker to an extent, drawing people together at just the right time that one is needed.  And to that end, Shelton is correct, if all one is looking for in God is someone to offer a shoulder to cry on, or a sounding board as one shares struggles of the day, well yes, that is what God has given you; but that does not necessarily only come in a spouse; close friends can do the same job, as could a therapist, let alone a pastor.

To go on the intended assumption that the song is directed toward a spouse is nice, but it is incomplete.  A spouse is there to offer comfort and support; but that is not the only reason a spouse is there.  Spouses are given specific responsibilities by God, the two most important being: companionship and procreation.  Apparently Shelton thinks that only one is relevant.

God does provide people in your life to be with you in hard times, but more importantly He offers to you His Word, the forgiveness of sins, Baptism and Lord’s Supper in those difficult times.  To leave out these in favor of the efforts of sinful beings, is to leave God out entirely.

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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