"[My wife] feels so loved. I wanted her to feel cherished. She came up to me one day with tears in her eyes and asked, 'Michael, do you really mean all these things you’re singing about?' I looked at her and said, 'Absolutely, honey.' We might not feel it every second of every minute of every day. But this is the outcry of my heart for her."
Michael O'Brien: Romancing Your Marriage
By Jennifer E. Jones
Since parting ways with NewSong, Michael O’Brien is a man on a mission.
He knows the divorce rate is skyrocketing in the world and in the church as well. In fact, O’Brien and his wife Heidi nearly became a statistic.
“We almost divorced six years ago,” he confesses to CBN.com. “We went to counseling. She went by herself, I went, and we went together.”
The O’Briens worked through their problems and stuck it out. The life lessons God taught Michael through the experience birthed Something About Us – a 14-track album all about the love between a man and a woman. For O’Brien, it is his utmost goal to help Christian couples stay together.
“Marriage is not about happiness as much as it’s about commitment,” he says. “You hear a lot these days, ‘They don’t make me happy anymore.’ That sounds emotional to me instead of what the Bible says about marriage. We cling to one another. Especially when we have hard times, we have a choice. As Christians, we need to work out our problems.”
O’Brien believes that Christian couples shouldn’t shy away from professional counseling when needed.
“God’s gonna honor that,” he says. “He’s going to restore things in you that you might not be feeling at the time. That’s the message that we’re trying to tell people. When you get married, expect that those times are going to come. Be willing to fight for your marriage.”
So how do couples find time for romance when they have kids, work, ministry and other distractions? O’Brien says that music can be a tool.
“It sets the mood. People play music when they have parties or when they’re trying to relax. [Something About Us] can be used for many different things,” he shares. “We’ve had a vision for going into ballrooms, everybody dressing up and dancing.”
He continues, “Creating moments of romance is hard in a culture where you’re driving to make a buck. We’re prayerfully thinking about how to create situations for couples to have that time. We feel like this record is going to help a lot of people. It’s inspiring.”
Something About Us, released on January 16, received early critical acclaim. Country artist Mark Wills called O’Brien one of his “favorite singers of all time,” while author and speaker David Nassar says, “Michael O’Brien reminds us all that passion and romance are God-given gifts for a husband and his bride. These are not just beautiful, soulful songs. They are modern day sonnets.”
Early test drives of Something About Us on the road were positive.
“It’s been overwhelming. Pastors have come up to me and said, ‘Man, why aren’t we doing more of this?’”
So why aren’t we? O’Brien suspects it’s due to overlooking a key section of Scripture.
“The Song of Solomon is in the Bible, and what are we going to do with that? A lot of us just pass through it. It’s poetry. It’s romantic. It’s a man pursuing a woman and vice versa. That’s the heart of God, or else He wouldn’t have put it in there.”
He adds, “The enemy is trying to break up the family, and he’s doing it. If Mom and Dad break up, the kids have problems. You can see the history of that. I pray that we can make a difference.”
O’Brien often shares with couples the importance of being good Christian parents.
“To me that’s an example of God’s love for us,” he explains. “He calls us His bride; obviously there’s something to that. When you’re raising children and they see that kind of love modeled out, it’s powerful. They start going, ‘I want a husband like my dad is to my mom’ and vice versa. They’re going to look at the heart of things. That’s raising your kids up in Christ in a real way.”
After everything Michael and Heidi have been through, what does she think about the album?
“She’s smitten,” he says laughing. “These songs are all about her, our love and lifting her up. She really is my hero. She has done so much for our marriage and my relationship with the Lord. This is the blessing that has come from us sticking it out. She is the crown of me.”
Today the O’Briens are a happy family of six, and now as a solo artist, Michael has more time to devote to the marriage that God salvaged.
“We’re very much in love,” he says. “If I look back six years ago to where we were, it’s the hand of God. I am so blessed.”
Something About Us (2006)
Go behind the music of Something About Us. Read this bonus interview.
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