In 2015 Thomas Rhett released a simple, stripped-down country song entitled “Die a Happy Man.” The song became his breakthrough hit, topping the Billboard Country charts for 17 weeks. It was a song written for one woman, but it seems like every woman fell in love with it. With a syrupy sweet country song, Thomas Rhett gave women what they want from men – words.
I grew up on Randy Travis tapes. I know I sound like a 44-year-old dad here, but I struggle with current country music. It seems like you could take the words truck, girl, beer, and jeans and write every song in country music’s top 40. Furthermore, today’s country boys can’t figure out if they’re from Nashville or Detroit. Right after they twang about the beer in the back of their truck they rap about that girl walking across the parking lot in her “torn up” jeans. Can you imagine what it would have been like if Reba had rapped?
Emerging from the fray of the redneck Chevy rappers comes Thomas Rhett, the country crooner. He’s like Ed Sheeran at a bass fishing tournament. But take it from a man who lives in a house full of women, the Branam girls L – O – V – E this guy. And they’re not alone. From everything I’ve read and seen about him, he’s got all the girls hooked. What’s the deal?
The deal is that there is a lot that men could learn from young Thom, so pay attention. Why do women love Thomas Rhett? I’ll say it again.
Women need words, and men need some work. Hey bro, your wife would LOVE IT if you could figure this out. So for all of my stumbling, bumbling, grunting brothers in the room, let’s listen to Thom and learn the lyrics our ladies would LOVE to hear from us!
Sadly, Thomas Rhett is that like every other brother in country music as his lyrics seem to reflect that he has a hard time putting the alcohol down. Long before Hank, Nashville has always had a drinking problem. Thom, take a lesson from those who came before you. No matter how great your songs sound, that stuff will destroy your marriage. You’d be way better off without it.
Aside from the alcohol, I think what resonates with women about Rhett, is that his lyrics are not those of a perfect man, but those of the common man struggling with the rapidly changing scenes of life. Like the rest of us, he’s made mistakes, he’s been let down, he’s been let go – but despite it all, he makes one thing clear. He’s fallen head over heels for his wife.
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (ESV) says that, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
The fact of the matter is, a lot of men are just plain rude to the women around them. This is especially deplorable if “rude” describes the way that a husband speaks to his wife.
Husbands need to realize that our wives are not looking for us to be the second coming of Shakespeare, but they do want us to share. She wants to hear about your day. She wants to comfort you in your fears. She desires to be connected to your aspirations. She just wants to know what’s in your soul sometimes. And I think it is equally as important to say, she wants you to listen as she shares her soul with you.
True love requires a lot of grace. It gives a man and a woman space to share. I think that’s what women like about Thomas Rhett’s song, “Life Changes.” It’s a song about soulful honesty and a woman who is willing to meet him there.
There is a beautiful exchange in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 when the “all things” of life are met with a person who helps you share the burden, believes in you, hopes in you, and endures it to the end with you.
Share what’s in your soul. She wants to meet you there.
Women want to be pursued. They do not want to be a prize that is won and then shelved. They want the hunt to go on forever.
Thomas Rhett songs are the history of a relationship. They record the first pursuits of his wife and we all know that women love to reminisce, especially the romantic scenes. But I think what women also really love about Thomas Rhett songs is that they want to be “that girl” that “that guy” is still going after. “Last night was the best night” – but what about next weekend? Hey bro, with a little work, that could be you!
In the midst of the Old Testament is the Bible’s Song of Solomon. It is a racy, erotic pursuit of a woman by a man. Don’t believe me, read it for yourself. You will find within its pages a man who is extremely attracted to a woman who absolutely cannot wait to touch her. He complements her. He woos her. But he can’t catch her. The sexual tension builds for 8 chapters and ends with her voice,
“Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.” Song of Solomon 8:14 (ESV)
Roughly translated – “Come on big boy!” Women love the chase. And it is awesome to see that this erotic, romantic side of sex is found within the canon of inspired Scripture.
But when you read the book, don’t miss this. He SO DESPERATELY wants to touch her, but she SO DESPERATELY wants him to keep talking. For him sex is touch. For her sex is talk. Marriage is not the end of the chase, it is merely the place where the chase finds its fullest expression and sexual freedom. Husbands should never stop pursuing their wives.
Why do women love Thomas Rhett songs? They are artistic. They are romantic. They are creative. They are Valentine’s Day on a guitar.
But oh yeah. Men hate Valentine’s Day. It is commercial. It is cliché. It is because they have to come up with something!
Valentine’s Day is artful love and men seem to struggle with it.
Boys will be boys, but girls – please don’t give up on them.
And girls, wow – the expectations! Every man reading this post is thinking, “I hate Brian Branam. I hate this blog. I hate Thomas Rhett – please shut up!”
Attempts at artful love can become an awkward mess. I get it, so please, hang on a second. Before we cash it all in on each other, let me speak to both – the men and the women and bring a measure of grace to artful love.
Fellows. Read this. These are the lyrics to Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.”
Baby and that red dress brings me to my knees
Oh but that black dress makes it hard to breathe
You’re a saint, you’re a goddess, the cutest, the hottest, a masterpiece
It’s too good to be true, nothing better than you
In my wildest dreams
And I know that I can’t ever tell you enough
That all I need in this life is your crazy love
If I never get to see the Northern lights
Or if I never get to see the Eiffel Tower at night
Oh if all I got is your hand in my hand
Baby I could die a happy man yeah
Wow! What a song. The problem is that when you try to talk to your wife you sound more like Merle Haggard than Thomas Rhett. Got it. We don’t all have the gift! But that’s not the point. I don’t want you to read those lyrics and think that you have to be poetic and rhyme all of the time – that’s not it; but I do want you to pay attention to some things.
Baby – she loves affectionate names.
Red dress – he notices her.
Oh but that black dress – SPECIAL NIGHT PLANNED! That’s the dress you want to see come out from time to time! She’s saving it for you!
You’re the cutest, you’re the hottest – yep, sounds middle school, but no matter how old, girls love even the goofy stuff. Always flirt. It makes them laugh.
In my wildest dreams – truly cliché! But she’s not looking for you to say something new, she’s just looking for you to say it to her.
Hand in hand – it’s not always about sex. She loves affectionate touch.
Baby, I could die a happy man – does your wife know that she makes you happy? She needs to hear it!
So now let me speak to the sista’s! Mam, you didn’t marry a Hallmark movie. Cut him some slack. If he tries and you make him feel stupid – he’ll never try again. Be careful in how you respond. Let him catch you when he can.
In speaking to husbands, Ephesians 5 reveals an amazing mystery to men. As Christ and the church, a man’s words to his wife can actually make her more beautiful.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25–27 (ESV)
The imagery of the passage is borrowed from that of a woman preparing herself for her wedding day, the day on which she will give herself to her husband. She is at her best. But the image goes deeper by bringing in the power of words.
A woman should not feel that her wedding day was her most beautiful day. A wise husband will continue to beautify her with his words.
What’s interesting about this is that a study conducted in 2008 found that men with attractive wives were most happy. Not surprising. But a caveat to the study was that women were most satisfied with men who were not necessarily attractive, but happy.
It is amazing how complementary we truly are to one another, especially in marriage. The study found that his pleasure in her motivated her to be attractive for him. His happiness adds beauty to her. Her beauty adds happiness to him.
My wife has long said to me. Watch how a woman dresses and you can tell how her husband talks to her. If she feels run down at home, she will appear run down no matter where she is. If she is loved by her husband at home, she will be beautiful no matter where she goes.
Words matter. Women love them.
My wife reminds me all the time. “Use your words.”
While we are talking about music during this week of love I will share with you that I proposed to my wife while playing Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine.” It will forever be “our song.” What’s your song? Or, what’s your favorite love song? Please share.
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