Song Stories:  “Better Man”

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22

In November of 2000 I was standing on the stage at New Testament Church moments before the service was to begin.  I was making sure one last time that my music was prepped, guitar was in tune, monitors set.  I looked up and noticed the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen walking across the back of the room.  She was stunning, a true picture of grace, and breathtakingly beautiful.  I was completely in awe.  I gathered my jaw and made a failed attempt at my composure.  I turned around to “re-focus” and noticed my friend Joe Hazelton laughing at me….apparently my reaction was not only in my head.

Years later, I’m 100% convinced that no marriage is as good as mine, and no guy as lucky as I. While mowing the lawn one day, I watched my wife play with our children in another part of the lawn.  I began to reflect on the man I was because of the woman she is and the chorus began to take shape:

There’s a look in your eye that makes me stand taller
A sound in your voice that makes me smile
And the way you say my name can only bring me higher
When you walk in the room I’m on my best behavior
When you walk out the door I’m still thinking of you
You’re the kind of woman that makes a man…a better man.

I sang it in my head over and over while mowing and took to my guitar immediately after.  The first verse, I thought, would be a reflection of who I want to be because of my love for her:

Faithful, eyes just for you and fully able
To stand and defend you
And the wisdom to know when to back down
Solid, both feet on the ground and stable
To put your arms around and be all that you need

“The second verse will be a glimpse of who she is”, I thought to myself. The picture of patience, incredibly loving, forgiving:

Patient, you wait so long I take for granted,
That all your dreams and all your visions are just as big as mine.
Loving, pockets full of second chances,
I’m so grateful you believe the best and forgive the rest.

Marriage is no small endeavor and is dangerous when taken lightly.  It’s a powerful gift from God and should be handled with extreme care.  This is why we make vows – in front of people – at our weddings: it reminds us of the weight of our commitment.  It’s why the officiant says the words “marriage should not be entered into lightly, but advisedly, reverently, and in the fear of God.”  Marriage has the ability to bring amazing joy to our life, but also extreme pain when handled poorly or improperly or simply taken for granted.  The difference between the joy and the pain can be found in the approach.  Marriage should not be sought in order to “gain” but to “give.”

Marriage is one of the best of God’s gifts to be received, but a good marriage does not happen by accident.  What makes a marriage “good” is not determined at the marriage altar, but through deliberate choices made by both husband and wife.  The marriage ceremony gives birth to the marriage, but proper care and feeding of the marriage is the duty of the couple as their marriage grows from infancy into various and more profound stages of maturity.  By saying that my wife makes me a better man, I’m not at all implying that she has control over who I am – every man has to make his own decisions about the man he wants to be.  The father he wants to be.  Every marriage takes work.  I’m convinced, however, that I am a better man because I am with her and I don’t take that for granted.  Finding a wife that is willing to believe the best, honor, love, and cherish – that’s what makes everything else easy, and that’s why I say that she’s the kind of woman that makes this man, a better man.

“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown….”  –  Proverbs 12:4

Production notes:
It’s the Fender Telecaster work from Andrew and the ping-pong delay work in the intro from Gabe that give this song it’s character.  I love the solo work from Andrew too.  I actually stole the bass line from a friend of mine – Ryan Reynolds – who suggested that a “Pino Paladino – style” bass line would be nice.  Although I played the bass track, Ryan’s influence made it better!  The song is intended to have a Bryan Adams – style rock sound.  Perhaps my favorite part of the song is the solo drive-out at the end!  We edited out some of Andrews’s solo for length, but still left the character of it.

Ryan Brink – Drums
Chris Lincoln – Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Keys, Vocals
Gabe Laramay – Electric Guitar
Andrew Stephenson – Electric Guitar (Fender Tele)
Luke Vogel – Mix Engineer
Nathan Dantzler – Mastering Engineer

Lisa Lincoln – endless inspiration