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How He Loves Us – Battling Versions

    Kim Walker Smith and David Crowder

    Different Versions of How He Loves Us

    As many of you know, there are two versions of the popular worship song, How He Loves Us. Both songs have their merit, but I felt it interesting to to through the two versions. This post is not to judge which is better nor to debate which worship leader is more, well, anointed. In fact two of the main worship leaders that are identified with each version have performed several different songs and have lead millions of hearts to praise. I own albums from both and have personally benefited from them.

    With that as the backdrop, let’s look at the lyrics to the song:

    He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
    Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
    When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
    Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
    And how great Your affections are for me

    And oh, how He loves us, oh
    Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us all

    And we are His portion and He is our prize
    Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
    If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking

    (So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss)
    (And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss) 

    And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
    I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
    When I think about the way

    The only real change in the two versions is the type of kiss that happens when heaven meets earth. The original version of a sloppy wet kiss was changed to an unforeseen kiss. This change is completely understandable. Guys have a hard enough time thinking they are the bride of Christ, so getting a kiss from heaven is already pushing our limits… a sloppy wet one is almost sacrilegious.

    Therefore, let’s not judge or condemn the change. There is still a kiss. It still stretches many of us in our imagination.

    Does an Unforeseen Kiss Fit the How He Loves Us?

    However, it does change the meaning. The other lyrics talk about how great are God’s affections for us. We are sinking in the ocean of His love. We are being blown about like a hurricane of His love. There is an overwhelming passion of God towards us that is uncontainable and makes our hearts beat violently inside of our chests. His love makes us uncomfortable and excited at the same time.

    Now an unforeseen kiss is very sweet. It takes us off guard, showing us love when we were not looking for it. It’s like my wife waking me up with a gentle kiss. It makes me smile and brings me joy. It is still a nice thought but very different than a sloppy wet kiss.

    Does God Really Want to Give You a Sloppy Wet Kiss?

    The sloppy wet kiss describes an uncontrollable emotion. It describes two lovers revealing aroused passion. It is very intimate and raw. It more naturally fits the hurricane, sinking, and beating out of our chest. But, does it fit the reality of God’s passion for us?

    Do you feel Song of Solomon has anything to do with your relationship with God? Song of Solomon is extremely sensual portraying the romantic love between two lovers. There is kissing, gawking, fondling, and much more. We even find a sloppy wet kiss:

    “Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue.” – Song of Solomon 4:11

    What Was the Joy Set Before Jesus?

    We just finished celebrating Easter. What is it that Jesus died for? What was the joy set before Him? He was not looking forward to the day you were saved nor the day you enter heaven. He was looking forward to an intimate relationship with people who would be passionately in love with Him. Salvation and entering heaven are just events in that process.

    A couple that falls in love may look forward to the wedding day and honeymoon, but that is only because of the intense desire to spend every minute together. If after the honeymoon the two never want to spend any time together, the beauty of those events are lost. The wedding day and honeymoon are joyful because they start the process of a lifetime of begin together.

    The disciple Jesus loved was the one who reclined on His chest. The woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears got her story told wherever the Gospel would be told. Do we love being with Jesus or just love doing things for Him? God passionately loves us. Let’s spend time in His presence and allow Him to tell us how much He loves us.

    Do You Agree?

    Let me know you thoughts in the comments below. Do you agree? Which version do you relate to more?

    Original image courtesy of Passion

    4 thoughts on “How He Loves Us – Battling Versions”

    1. I love this song and I love both versions.

      I have to thank you, Kevin, as I never felt completely comfortable with the “sloppy wet kiss” line but didn’t really grasp the meaning behind the “unforeseen kiss” either. You have actually cleared up my misunderstanding and awkward feelings on both.

      As to which version is my favourite, it actually depends on how I am feeling. Some days Kim Walker Smith’s version, the passionate shouting, are just what I need or express exactly where I am. Other times, the more quiet, thoughtful Crowder version is where I am at or speaks what I need to hear.

      I also love the version by the actual author of the song, John Mark McMillan. Have you heard that one?

      1. Dear Caroline,

        Thank you for sharing. I like to sing loud, which Crowder also does on other songs. I have heard John Mark McMillian’s version. I found his video where he explains his thoughts behind the song. Here is the YouTube link:

        Through my anger and frustration, God could still love me. Despite of who we are, God will want to be a part of who we are.

    2. Here’s the thing: I come from a background of abuse, including sexual. I learned and loved the unforeseen kiss version. When I first heard “sloppy wet kiss” it immediately brought to mind terrible images that made it hard to focus on the song. I imagine anyone who has been through this type of abuse would react with aversion as I did. I couldn’t imagine God forcing gross, wet kisses on me like that and it made me upset that anyone would put that kind of image of God out there. This song seems to be about the loving relationship between God and man, but “sloppy wet kiss” doesn’t bring to mind live or gentleness; instead, “sloppy wet kiss” brings to mind forceful, inconsiderate, pushy, and controlling which I do not associate with God at all. I’m all about creativity (I have a degree in theater), but when it messes with the image of God, it bothers me.

      1. Dear Lynne,

        I’m sorry this happened to you. This wasn’t God’s design for you, and it is understandable that your background has tainted your view of this. Please note that the “sloppy wet kiss” reference was how the song was originally written. The “unforeseen kiss” was added in to make it more acceptable to mainstream Christian radio. Whether it is an unforeseen kiss or a sloppy wet one, either of them would be unacceptable if it wasn’t invited by the receiving party. My point in the article is that the song seems to be about the wild, passionate love of God for us that is like the force of a hurricane and can drown us. Where a peck on the check is sweet, it doesn’t represent two people who are madly in love with each other. I know trauma from your best has tainted the imagery, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t convey something beautiful. God will never overwhelm you unless you want to be overwhelm by Him. He waits for us to respond to His wooing. He wants intimacy with us, but He doesn’t force it.


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