Hi, friends. Jemeia here! I am extremely excited to introduce to you a new series that I have been working on for quite some time called “To The Single Woman.” You can find out more about this series here. One purpose of this series is to inspire single women to learn from other men and women on what it looks like to live out singleness with purpose.
I am privileged to have Aaron Johnson (Artist, Producer, and President of CODA Entertainment, LLC) share the inspiration behind his music and discuss his perspective on Christ-centered relationships. He loves the Lord and is easily the most amazing and transparent human being I have ever met. Enjoy!
Ps. Be sure to check out links to his music on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud before you go.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your music (i.e. topics you frequently explore), and the meaning behind your band name, CODA?
My name is Aaron Johnson and I am a 23-years-old Christ-follower, musician, entrepreneur, and middle-child. I use these specific attributes of myself in my introduction because they characterize all of the things I have done and am doing currently in my life.
As a musician, by trait, mostly everything I’ve experienced in my life is realized in a greater way through the music I make. As a believer, my perspective on art and life in general, is informed by what Christ did for me on the cross. Topics that I frequently explore in and through my music include things such as faith, relationships, habits & addictions, as well as societal issues.
The artist alias that I’ve been given to attach to my music is CODA. This is a symbol seen all the time in classical art song sheet music that essentially denotes the meaning “this is where it ends.” The sign is used to signal the player that, upon arrival at the sign, you are to jump to the final portion of the score to finish off the piece. The reason I believe God has chosen to stamp my music with this title is really two-fold.
Firstly, in relation to the times at hand, the Lord has been trying to get our attention since the arrival of Jesus, that we are in the end times and that “the harvest is near” or that it will soon be time for Him to come receive the body of Christ and live in eternity with them. In light of that, I desire to use my music to announce the end times as being real and near.
Secondly, I desire to put an end to the normalization of such things as racism, misogyny, pride, violence, over sexualizing women and men, and flippant cultural ideas of who God is. Both of these reasons culminate in the short phrase defined by the word CODA, “this is where it ends.”
2. How do you stay grounded in Christ while pursuing music? How have you found your current state of singleness to be helpful in your walk with the Lord, and in pursuing your music?
I stay grounded in Christ whilst pursuing music through the understanding that, without Him, there is no reason for my gifts and talents (of which I have been blessed with many). So, I must use them in a way that proclaims and glorifies the Giver of these awesome gifts.
It’s really a mindset that says “these gifts are not mine, but possessions for me to steward.” I’ve found singleness to be a great and terrifying asset towards my relationship with Christ as well as my music. I say “great and terrifying” because being single, to me, started out looking like something that sucks.
However, recently, God has changed my perspective towards it. I see it as a blessing and not a curse, now. I am able to spend undivided time with God at virtually any point throughout the day where, in the past, I’d commit myself so heavily to a woman that I would not give time to Christ.
Musically, I am able to spend as much time as God would have me on perfecting the sound of songs that I write without having to be at all apologetic about texting someone back because of my creative process unfolding.
3. Where do you see your music going in the future, and what dreams do you have concerning your music?
I see my music becoming largely consumed in the future. It is a dream of mine to be able to support myself and others comfortably simply through my passion for music. I would like to build new instruments, schools, businesses, and help expand the reach of the music industry and the mindset towards the consumption of art.
I believe that God has amazing things in store for my music, so it is my job to protect the asset He’s given me in that, and allow Him to open whatever doors He pleases.
4. What has been your experience with dating- have you always been single or have you seriously dated in the past?
- If you HAVE seriously dated, would you say that it was Christ-centered? What were some pros and cons, not about the person but dating in general? Were there differences between dating and not dating? How are you finding singleness to be crucial in your walk with the Lord now?
- If you have NEVER seriously dated, what has that experience been like for you? Why do you feel you have remained single, and what have you learned from that, and about yourself? Give us some pros and cons.
I have been in two serious relationships in my life so far. One lasting about 9 months, the other lasting almost 3 years.
I’d say that, in my experiential opinion, some pros to dating are as followed: caring for the specific needs of another person, having someone to share important events with, having a friend who is closer than anyone else, knowing you have someone you can trust with your deepest secrets, and sharing inside humor.
In contrast, some cons to dating would be as followed: feeling like you must report to someone when you’d rather keep things hidden, not knowing how to resolve arguments, sexual intimacy issues that may arise, feeling stifled in other areas of life, experiencing “rose-colored glasses” syndrome (hiding your eyes to things you have issues with regarding your partner in order to maintain a completely spotless mental image of them).
The profound difference I’ve found between dating and not dating is the idea that, in one context you are voluntarily giving a part of yourself to someone and agreeing to the tension of hanging in that balance until a marital status is achieved. In the other context, you are able to give yourself wholly to something without a question regarding the involvement of the other party. Essentially, dating is less secure than singleness. Both, however, are beautiful.
5. What are your hopes for the future regarding dating, and what are some important things that you will look for in a future relationship and partner?
My hope for the future, regarding dating, is that the next person the Lord leads me to pursue would in fact be my wife. I am not a person who dates flippantly for the experience of life with different partners. I am one who loves relentlessly, given the opportunity to, and would rather do so in the context of an eternal commitment than a temporal one. So I hope that God allows the next woman I date, to be the one He would have me to marry as well.
Simple things that I would like to have in my partner would be an unapologetic faith, confidence in self, informed by confidence in the Maker, diligence, an insatiable appetite for more of Christ in her life, an unrelenting love for the people of God and the relationships she has with others, a witty sense of humor, an introverted personality, a high tolerance for people, and an adventurous heart!
6. There is this misconception that women are more emotional than men, that they feel the heaviest weight of heartbreak & rejection. This is not true. Men and women are simply wired differently. Have you experienced heartbreak or rejection in any past relationship? How have you coped and navigated that? (Feel free to be practical or spiritual with this answer).
I agree completely that men and women are equally emotional beings. We are simply created to express our emotions with slight variation to one another. I have certainly experienced heartbreak. As a matter of fact, I am still currently working through the heartbreak of being obedient to God’s call away from my last relationship. In the beginning of the recovery process, I self-medicated with porn, lashing out at God, isolation, and Netflix.
However, once I began to realize that what God was asking me to do was for my betterment and hers as well, I was able to be more thankful and outward about my pain towards the event. I began seeking discipleship and other brotherly relationships to invest in.
I began forcing myself to read God’s word regularly, even when I couldn’t bring myself to believe in it. I began to talk myself through certain bouts of depression and self-hate. I began to thank God for what He had given me and for what He had taken away. My perspective changed from one centered around greed to one informed by gratitude.
7. Loosely speaking, how do YOU approach relationships, and what does it look like for you to be intentional in pursuing a woman of God?
Personally, pursuing a relationship with a woman is a little bit foreign to me. It has been a few years since I have. However, what I do remember about how I approached my last relationship is that I expressed interest. Then I looked for ways to experience her on a fairly regular basis, whether it was finding out what church she went to or visiting her to talk for long hours.
It is also important to me to know what kind of people she is surrounded by. With regards to how to navigate going about a relationship in a God-honoring way, His word is the best resource for that. As well as intentional discipleship towards that end.
8. Picture your sister (old or young), future daughter, or a female in your life that you really care about. What advice would you give her about what she deserves? What red flags would you advise her to look out for, if and when she starts to date? Feel free to add any advice on being single or how to respect men.
To any women I deeply care about, I would caution you in these few ways. If he is prompting you to pursue him without letting you know he’s interested, don’t entertain him. Furthermore, if he is avoiding getting to know your friends and family, don’t trust him. If he asks for your number before seeking to know your name, ignore him.
If he is not a gentleman, don’t trust him. If he is avoiding commitment, he is not to be trusted. If he is not submitted to any leadership, spiritually or socially, I would not get too close to him or allow him to get too close to you. Lastly, but most importantly, if he does not have a visually active relationship with Christ, there’s no guarantee that anything good you may see in him will last forever.
9. Now, picture your son, brother, best friend. What advice can you give him on any of these topics: being single, intentional about pursing women, or how to respect women. Feel free to also give advice here on what he deserves or what red flags he should look out for when he starts to date.
To any young man that I know who is considering or beginning to date, I send the following caution and encouragement. Women are highly attracted to a purpose-driven man. Make sure that the woman you pursue is aware of a purpose of her own. Beware of a woman who is desperately waiting for a man.
Once you let the bat out of the cave, you’re going to need a team to get it back. Don’t have sex outside of marriage! You’re not naturally intelligent enough to handle what comes afterwards. DO NOT allow a woman to affirm your masculinity, only men can do that. Inspire her to pursue the Father, not you. Work to become the man God is calling you to be. Along that path is the woman that He has gifted to help you along your path and you along hers.
[bctt tweet=”DO NOT allow a woman to affirm your masculinity, only men can do that. – Aaron Johnson” username=”heyhanha”]
Wow, are you in utter shock too? Was that amazing or what? Thank you, Aaron. Be sure to check out his music at the following links!