Response to Rock City (ft. Adam Levine)'s hit single "Locked Away"

A common yearning

You may have heard "Locked Away," the hit single by Rock City (ft. Adam Levine). It rose to the top of Ryan Seacrest's Top 40 multiple weeks and draws in listeners through a compelling melody and lyrics that connect with our deepest longings. It draws upon a common yearning of the human soul, a desire to know how our closest loved ones would respond to the core questions asked in the song.

Questions like, If you knew my flaws, would you still love me the same? Would you stick around if you knew the mess I really am? If you knew the ugly parts of me, would you stand by my side?

Every day, people are wrecked by the feelings of abandonment caused by those whom they care for most. An absent father who is present physically but not emotionally. Or a father who doesn't stick around at all. A husband or wife who gives up on their marriage entirely, or seeks fulfillment with a coworker or website. We see this all around us and wonder if our own loved ones will stay. If they knew our mess, would they stay?

[If you haven't heard the song, I have included the video and lyrics below. The chorus is very catchy, so be warned - it may be in your head the rest of the day.]

Marriage says yes

A covenant-keeping, biblically faithful marriage says yes in answer to those questions. The gift of marriage is that we can show our flaws, and trust that our spouse isn't going to run away. Our consumer driven, me-first mentality has undermined the beauty of that commitment. As a result, romantic relationships are often driven by what we can get, not what we can give. We enter them with a performance mentality, always feeling a need to only show the best version of ourselves. It ends up feeling like a job interview. We are always trying to show our best and hide our flaws, hoping we will make it to the next round, constantly wondering when we are going to be cut loose.

This consumer mentality has crept into our marriages. A fear of divorce and selfish motives continue to fuel a mentality that asks "what can I get?" before asking "what can I give?" We expect our spouse to be asking the same questions, so we hide our worst for fear of them leaving. And we wonder, "If I showed you my flaws, if I couldn't be strong, tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?"

The beauty of marriage is that it says yes! Marriage is not a contract, it is a covenant. It is not at all like a job interview, it is like God's relationship with his people. Love in a marriage invites us to strip off the façade and share our true selves, with confidence our spouse isn't walking away. Love says, "I've seen the ugly and messy, and I love you the same."

Love says, ‘I’ve seen the ugly and messy, and I love you the same.’

Jesus says yes

Our hope in marriage is grounded first in the hope we have in Jesus. God has seen us at our worst and he still pursues us in love. "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rm 5:8)." There is nothing you can hide from God. He has seen it all and knows the worst parts of you. There might be things about you that make you say, "If my spouse knew XYZ about me, they would leave me for sure." Whatever that thing is, God knows about it, and he has not left you. In fact, he did the exact opposite. He pursued you, even when you were living in the darkness of your sin. Jesus says yes to you. Even if you have had to endure the difficulty of a spouse saying no, Jesus still says yes.

Jesus also gives us an example of how we are called to respond to our own spouse. When we learn about their dark places, do we offer them the love and grace Jesus has given us? Or do we respond in condemnation? Even at our worst, Jesus has said yes to us, and I believe that he calls us to do the same for our spouse.

So in response to Rock City and Adam Levine - Jesus says yes! And so does a covenant-keeping, Christ-centered marriage.

[Note: I realize that there are certain actions our spouse could make that will require us to walk away, for safety, etc. And you might be in one of those situations. If so, you need the help and support of pastors, family, friends and loved ones to know how to proceed. This post is not intended to be comprehensive for every possible scenario, although it will be applicable for most.]

Music Video and Lyrics

Video

Lyrics

If I got locked away
And we lost it all today
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?
If I showed you my flaws
If I couldn't be strong
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?

[Verse 1: R. City]
Right about now
If a judge 'for life' me, would ya stay by my side?
Or is you gonna say goodbye?
Can you tell me right now?

If I couldn't buy you the fancy things in life
Shawty, would it be alright?
Come on show me that you are down

[Pre-Chorus: R. City]
Now tell me would you really ride for me?
Baby tell me would you die for me?
Would you spend your whole life with me?
Would you be there to always hold me down?
Tell me would you really cry for me?
Baby don't lie to me
If I didn't have anything
I wanna know, would you stick around?

[Chorus: Adam Levine]
If I got locked away
And we lost it all today
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?
If I showed you my flaws
If I couldn't be strong
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?

[Verse 2: R. City]
Skilidi dong dong dong dang
All I want is somebody real, who don't need much
A gyal I know that I can trust
To be here when money low
If I did not have nothing else to give but love
Would that even be enough?
Gyal me need fi know

[Pre-Chorus: R. City]
Now tell me would you really ride for me?
Baby tell me would you die for me?
Would you spend your whole life with me?
Would you be there to always hold me down?
Tell me would you really cry for me?
Baby don't lie to me
If I didn't have anything
I wanna know, would you stick around?

[Chorus: Adam Levine]
If I got locked away
And we lost it all today
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?
If I showed you my flaws
If I couldn't be strong
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?

[Bridge: R. City]
Tell me, tell me, would you want me?
Tell me, tell me, would you call me?
If you knew I wasn't balling
Cause I need a gyal who's always by my side
Tell me, tell me, do you need me?
Tell me, tell me, do you love me?
Or is you just tryna play me?
Cause I need a gyal to hold me down for life

[Chorus: Adam Levine]
If I got locked away
And we lost it all today
Tell me honestly would you still love me the same?
If I showed you my flaws
If I couldn't be strong
Tell me honestly would you still love me the same?
If I got locked away
And we lost it all today
Tell me honestly would you still love me the same?
If I showed you my flaws
If I couldn't be strong
Tell me honestly would you still love me the same?
 

You can find the video and lyrics at this link: http://genius.com/R-city-locked-away-lyrics