A few weeks ago I shared that I went on a little mini-road trip to visit some old friends and let God break through in a few areas of my life. While driving I was able to do one of my most favorite things (second to dance parties): Jam to Music. It was the roll the window down, crank the volume up, and belt out each song like Whitney Houston kind of jam session.
Since having children, my personal jam sessions have become a lot less frequent. I used to drive around in high school (back when gas was nearly a buck a gallon) all over town just so I could jam to some tunes. I remember sitting in my bedroom for hours listening to the radio and frantically trying to record my favorites songs on a cassette tape so that I had the perfect mix of songs for the road.
The truth is, I L*O*V*E music.
I always have. I'm not particularly gifted as a musician. I can carry a tune, but nothing remarkable. I can tickle the ivories at an amateur level. Regardless, I very much appreciate music.
Music inspires. The tired, the weary, the discouraged receive strength and hope from its sound.
Music motivates change. Traditions are challenged. Injustice is brought to light.
Music soothes. The stressed find rest. The hurting find healing, or at least distraction.
Music pays tribute. It honors heroes of the past, present, and future.
Music give voice to anguish and heartache. The desolate and hearbroken find refuge in its song.
Music fuels the art of dance. It sparks physical movement and drives the beautiful art of rhythmic motion. This, my friends, is what I probably appreciate most about music.
Music holds the key to our past. For every season of life, there is a song we remember it by. We hear a song from years ago and we remember the past like it was yesterday. It's tune and lyrics take us back; back to good times and bad.
Music has great influence. Its lyrics, communicated through poetics and rhyme, always have a message. Some speak a message of hope, others of despair. Some of love, others of hate. Some of life, others of death. Some of truth, others of lies. Some of respect, others of dishonor. Some of praise, others of blasphemy.
Just imagine life without music. It would be lacking in creativity, inspiration, and beauty. More specifically, imagine TV & Movies without music. Friends without "I'll be there for you," Rocky without "Eye of the Tiger," Titanic without "My Heart Will Go On," and Mr. Rogers without "Won't you be my neighbor."
With all the truths we have come to know about the music in our lives, the greatest truth is that God created it.
His created natural earth displays a symphony of songs.
We, His children, are drawn to the beautiful sound music gives AND we long to create it ourselves.
And I believe that He gave us music so we might enjoy and praise Him in and through it. Music communicates PRAISE to our God in a remarkable fashion.
There are countless Scriptures about music and its source in giving praise to God. May I share with you some of my personal favorites:
"Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
praise him with the clash of symbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD."
And Psalm 95:2
"Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."
And Psalm 96:1
"Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth."
God loves to hear the praises of His people through music! But with all its sources of good, there is still danger surrounding music because that which God intends for good, the enemy intends for evil.
When it comes to the music we listen to, we must be on the alert. For the enemy is prowling around looking for someone to devour. And why wouldn't he try to use the power of music to devour us.
We can mindlessly listen with little regard for its lyrical content or message.
My husband Keith often tells the story of when he went up with some friends to Karaoke to a song he grew up listening to. After only a few lines in, his face was beat red and he was shocked by what he was reading. He'd listened to the song countless times but had never really heard the message.
He isn't alone though. How many of us have listened to songs in our youth only to discover in our older, more mature (wink, wink) years that the lyrics were innapropriate, crude, blasphemous, or just downright evil?
We can also fully understand the songs content and message yet still continue to listen cause its catchy or just plain good music.
We play dumb to its effects on our heart and mind. We ignore warning signs and scoot questionable lyrics under the rug ALL IN THE NAME OF FUN. We know the music is morally dangerous, but we feel strong enough to avoid its evil grasp.
Either way we open the door to trouble.
Am I advocating burning all "secular" cd's and eliminating music from your life all together? Goodness, no.
But music does have power and influence over us..for good and for bad.
And if it has this kind of power and influence over us, then it surely can have an even greater power and influence over our children. Their little ears are like sponges. They hear and believe. They acquire so much of what they understand about life, love, and people through song.
Grayden, Cole, Allie and I listen to a lot of different music together. We have mom & kid jam sessions. We sing and dance to lots of different tunes. Already certain songs remind them of past experiences and memories. Yet, I admit that I am ON FULL ALERT as to what I allow them to hear. I don't need Cole hopping around singing, "I'm bringing sexy back." Cause he would, bring sexy back that is. No but seriously, I won't put a deaf ear to music and expect that it won't influence their little hearts and minds.
My favorite songs to listen to with them and to hear them singing and see the dancing to are those with a message of God's Truth and those that give Praise to God.
As we drove home yesterday, I smiled listening to Grayden & Cole sing (and Allie rock-out with flailing arms and bouncy feet) the lyrics to the following song entitled, "Counting on God."
Read the lyrics (or sing along if you know the tune) and let their truth regarding God and who He is strengthen your soul.
I'm in a fight not physical
I'm in a war but not of this world
You are the light that's beautiful
I want more I want all that's Yours
Joy unspeakable that won't go away
Just enough strength to live for the day
So I never have to worry what tomorrow will bring
'Cause my faith's on solid rock and I'm counting on God
I'm counting on, I'm counting on God
The miracle of Christ in me
The mystery that sets me free
I'm nothing like I used to be
Just open up your eyes
And you'll see...[back to Chorus]
This is the type of message I want my children to hear through music. A life-giving message!
Will my kids listen to music that isn't about God? Yes. And will I freak out? No.
But I do want to pray that they would be drawn first, and foremost, to music that brings Him glory and speaks His truth.
Join me today in prayer for our kids,
God, I thank you for the gift of music. As my children grow, my prayer is that they follow Your Spirit's counsel with regard to what music they allow their ears to attend to. Keep their ears on alert as the enemy schemes to devour them through musical messages that are full lies and have little regard for You. I pray they would be drawn first, and foremost, to good music that brings You glory and speaks Your truth. And may they experience the benefits of music daily; those benefits that You created and intended for good.