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That’s What Love Looks Like

Blog – 9-2-15

That’s What Love Looks Like

Last week I wrote about one of my favorite people, Mama Bear. It obviously resonated with many of you because I received tons of comments about how moved you were by her story.

This week I would like to share the story behind a song I wrote about Mama Bear. Randy and I were writing together one day in Nashville. We had written a couple of songs already and were looking for something else to write about. The creative juices were flowing, and we didn’t want to stop. We actually wrote from noon until 4:00 in the morning that day. Yes, that’s over 16 hours! Randy doesn’t go to bed until early in the morning because he’s been on the road so long, and I was just along for the ride!

Mama Bear had said something at dinner the night before that hit me hard. She was talking about how her and Papa Bear had had 65 beautiful years together, but “it just wasn’t enough.” As a songwriter, I’m always listening closely for those little nuggets that people say in everyday conversation. It was a simple comment, but the sentiment behind it definitely hit me straight in the heart. I brought the line up to Randy and said, “We need to write your mom and dad’s story, because it’s such a beautiful love story…but, what are their names?” That’s when I finally learned that their names were Hazel and Bruce. Hazel and Bruce sing much better than Mama Bear and Papa Bear!

I started noodling with a fingerpicking thing on my guitar, and Randy quickly took over and made it much cooler, and a melody quickly formed. The words came fairly easily as well because we knew with certainty the story we wanted to tell, and before we knew it we had the song written. I think we finished it in a little over an hour. I loved the melody and ended up tweaking the words a bit sometime later, but it continues to be one of the favorite songs I’ve ever written. It amazes me how deeply it touches people when I sing it at my live shows. That’s when you know you’ve done your job as a songwriter!

As I reflect on the song and more importantly on their love story, it reminds me of a couple’s bible study based on the book,“Love and Respect,” ,” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs that John and I went through a few years back. It’s an amazing book that I would highly recommend to any couple already married or anyone thinking about getting married. It talks about how a woman’s deepest desire is to feel loved and a man’s deepest desire is to feel respected.

In Ephesians 5:33, Paul writes, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” This message has been around for over two thousand years, and it’s just as true today as it was when it was written. In his book, Dr. Eggerichs talks about how “without love, she reacts without respect. Without respect, he reacts without love – ad nauseam. Thus was born the Crazy Cycle!” Anyone who is married has certainly experienced that crazy cycle where we keep reacting to each other negatively until eventually we don’t even know what we are arguing about any more! This book helps you find quick, easy and most importantly biblical ways to deal with those conflicts. If you’re having struggles in your marriage, which we all do, I encourage you again, please read this book with your spouse. I guarantee you won’t regret it!

As I thought about Mama Bear and Papa Bear’s marriage, it appears to me that they got those two very important things right. I could tell by the way Mama Bear talked about their life together through the years that she felt extremely loved. There was no question about it. I also could tell very clearly that she had nothing but respect for Papa Bear. You could just tell by the way she talked about him. They gave each other exactly what we are all born needing…the love she most desired and the respect he desperately needed. I guess that’s why the name of the song came very easily, “That’s What Love Looks Like.”

Here’s a link to the song and a video we put together of Hazel and Bruce. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it inspires you to approach your marriage with love and respect! Feel free to share it with friends!

Mama Bear and Papa Bear

Hugs and love,


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