Music is a powerful thing. Put anything to a catchy tune and watch it take over the minds of those who hear it. (Just ask the guy that sings “What Does the Fox Say?”).
Sometimes music can seem like the enemy to us as parents. More often than not, we hear about music that promotes drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and entitlement. I know that in my own life there have been several artists that I choose not to listen to because it affects my attitude. I may enjoy the music and it may not be “bad” per se, but if I have a negative or selfish attitude afterwards, it may not be beneficial for me.
1 Corinthians 10:23 states, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
Some music may not be beneficial for us or our kids, but the right music can be a mighty instrument to help us teach our kids about Jesus. Think about how powerful it would be if the Word of God were engraved in the minds of all of our youth the same way that some of the popular songs stick in their head.
Below are 5 ways that we use music for kids in our home:
- Family worship. Music brings our family together. It is a way for us to praise God, and rejoice in our Savior as a family unit. It teaches our kids to truly celebrate who God is. “Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.” Psalm 96:1-2
- Music allows us to reach our 10 year old where he is. At ten years of age, he has his own style and his own opinions. He has a way of expressing himself and a way that he relates best to the world. He is gaining understanding about the ways of life and trying to figure out how he, within God’s plan for his life, fits into the world. He has found several Christian artists within the Christian rock and rap genres that really speak to him. As I sat and listened to a song on his iPod (yes, we screen all of his music- even Christian artists), I realized how fortunate that I am to have Christian musicians like this one speaking Truth into his life. (I was listening to Move, by Flame at the time.) I may not communicate with my son by rapping (you would not want to hear me rap), but if that is the way that he likes to receive the message, I am thankful for someone that does. “Let my tongue sing about your word, for all your commands are right.” Psalm 119:172
- Music helps us to teach the little kids. Songs help us relay bible stories and biblical truths to them in terms that they can understand and in a manner that is fun. It reinforces what we teach at home and the songs are short enough to keep the attention of a young child. “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Colossians 3:16
- Music makes it easier for the kids (and adults) to memorize scripture. Our goal as parents is to equip our kids with the Word of God so that they can use it to stand firm in their faith. There are some great resources for making music a part of memorizing scripture and it makes it so easy for the kids to remember! More often than not, this is what we listen to in the car. (Check out Hide ‘Em in Your Heart by Steve Green or for older kids and adults try the Verses Project).
- Music helps our kids express emotion in a healthy way. The tempo, the tone, and the volume of a song can all be expressions of emotion. We can turn on an upbeat song and dance and sing to express joy, frustration, or excitement. We can play a slow, more somber song for quiet moments with the Lord- just taking a moment of thanksgiving when we are feeling relief, anxiety, or even sadness. Whatever the occasion, we can find a song that helps us to release our feelings in a positive, constructive way. “Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy;” Psalm 98:8
Romans 10:17 says, ”So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
I pray that our children truly hear the word of Christ, that He gives them understanding of exactly who he is, and that their hearts will turn towards him to follow in his path all the days of their life.