In If I Had You, a man observes the lifestyle of his friends and his own lifestyle and concludes he needs something better than hedonism to satisfy him. The song begins by acknowledging that the material aspects of life do not matter so much as having love in your life:
And I’m working my strut but I know it don’t matter
All we need in this world is some love
Girls in stripper heels, boys rolling in Maserati’s
What they need in this world is some love
Those boys (and girls) really do need love and he seems to be speaking from experience. While he is without this love, though, the singer will continue the same lifestyle walking a line between the light and the dark, the wild time and death (“flat-line”):
There’s a thin line between the wild time,
And a flat-line, baby tonight
It’s a struggle gotta rumble, tryin’a find it
[Chorus:]But if I had you,
That would be the only thing I’d ever need…
Is this pursuit of the wild lifestyle itself a need, a want or a resignation? The singer may well end his edgy lifestyle if he got the love, but there is no obvious condemnation of the pursuit of money, fame and fortune, or the thin line. Still, he is content to knowingly and willingly pursue these other things while waiting for the Ultimate.
The song rightly points out that hedonism can only get you so far, and that love is somehow better. Human relationships working well are characterised by love given and received for mutual benefit. We all desire loving peaceful relationships, but a relationship motivated solely on what one can get from it is akin to a vending machine.
Not only does Christianity claim that God can be known and experienced, but that He yearns to buy us back from the misery of our own self-destructive lifestyle apart from Him. Moreso, He wants to transform our relationships so that we seek the benefit of others, even if these are at times difficult. There are no promises that life now will be or should be a party (or ecstasy for that matter). That is a promise for the life to come, pictured in the Bible as a wedding banquet – a feast hosted by the Creator of the Universe. Money, fame and fortune never could compete.