Modest Music Choices
Does what we listen to matter? Why does God care what type of music we hear, what CDs we purchase, or what musicians we hope come on the radio?
The Bible says:
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14
During my formative years, Michael Jackson, KISS, and many other bands that were considered sacrilegious were popular. There were some parents who didn’t pay a bit of attention to what their kids listened to. Then there was my mom 🙂 Many of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that my mom was a stickler for biblical teachings. She did not shirk in this duty when it came to music either. She didn’t care if the rest of the school was listening to “Beat it.” As far as she was concerned, this secular, yet popular, music could beat it because her children were not going to listen to it. When my brother got a KISS record, I thought she was going to have a stroke. She didn’t fare much better during one of my birthday parties, I was given a Michael Jackson microphone. The KISS record found its way into the trash and, as a condition for me to keep the microphone, all the stickers were tore off. LOL
As early as I can remember, I was exposed to a wide variety of music from southern gospel, blue grass, country, and even some rock as long as it was clean. My mom was always very careful who she let us listen to and what stations we were allowed to tune into. There were times I got annoyed with her being so strict, but mostly I respected her wishes on this. I also didn’t have much choice because, in the example of the KISS album, my mom had no issues trashing anything she felt inappropriate.
Why was she so strict? Why was she like that you may ask? Why didn’t she just let me grow into myself? After all, it is just music…..or is it?
I know of many people who listen to a song because they like the lyrics. Many listen because the song or the artist is popular. However, have you really researched the lyrics to the songs your kids sing or listen to? Have you researched the singers to see what kind of person they are? If you haven’t why not? Lately I have posted HERE and HERE about Christian Heroes for your kids. My friends, it should be the same with music. You see, my mom was so strict because when we really like music, when we really like a song, we sing it over and over. Those words in the song, good or bad, edifying or not, are constantly repeated and become etched in our minds. My mom knew that if she allowed us to listen to such things that we were going to be repeating them or thinking they were okay. Also, my mom knew that letting us listen to singers who were so against the Bible and God’s word, or didn’t value the teachings of God’s word, were wrong, too. My mom was a parent first. She wasn’t just my friend. She knew that God had placed her there to guide us, to teach us and direct us in the way we should go. How do you want your kids to go?
When we become a Christian and we put off our old self and take on the new, we should be prepared to walk away from anything that can interfere with our faith. Walking the narrow road of faith requires discipline and determination. It means we seek God everyday, in everything to help us make choices that will bring him glory, including the music we listen to.
Today many popular songs include topics about drugs, sex, violence, degrading both women and men, and I could go on and on. Parents, please listen and screen the music your kids listen to and do not be afraid to say NO! My mom was never afraid to say NO and, granted, sometimes I got mad because I felt like she was so unfair! 🙂 However, I am now grown up (mostly lol) and I try my hardest to listen to music that brings God glory and I make sure my kids do too! My kids, since they are home schooled, have a much easier time accepting what they can and cannot listen to. Honestly, they really don’t ask to listen to much besides Christian music. I am not going to get into types of music in this post because I will say that I do listen to all types, but I choose to listen to only songs and singers that bring God glory. Bringing God glory can happen through a particular country song the same it can through a Christian song. I will go out on a limb and say that most teens of today probably would not make it in my house..LOL. I am not here to be my children’s friend; I am here to train them in the way they should go, so that when they get older they can make good choices for themselves, for their family, but most importantly God. It breaks my heart to see some of the kids today idolizing atheists, non-believers and ungodly singers because they are popular. What hurts worse is when parents turn a blind eye and allow it to happen. These same parents often times buy the music! Many parents I have talked to say that they are allowing their children to make their own choices and grow into themselves. When is the last time you, as a parent, cooked dinner for your children only to find yourself fixing dinner again because they chose not to eat what you had initially cooked? The children are, after all, making their own choices and learning to “grow into themselves.” If you think about it, it’s not much different.
So how then can you guide your child, or even guide yourself to better music choices?
Generally, I always tend to think about music in terms of LYRICS.
L: LANGUAGE – Is the song going to act as a stumbling block in terms of language (swearing, degrading terms, etc.)? Personally, I don’t want a song full of cursing to be stuck in my head all day! Nor do I want a song that sensationalizes drugs, sex, and demeaning terms.
Y: WHY – Why am I listening to this song? Is it simply because it is the latest “craze” or because it’s what my friends are listening to? The top 100 songs are based on radio play and record sales. Just because others think the song is okay doesn’t mean that it is okay for me. (Remember you and your child may be the only Bible some people EVER read)
R: RESPONSE – What is the response to listening to the song? I’ve noticed that certain songs make me feel certain ways and there are often patterns to be found. Does the song make you feel happy or make you want to hurt someone? Does it calm you down if you’re angry or just make you angrier? Do you start lusting after particular tunes? Does the song make you feel discouraged? After listening to a song, do you feel like you want to curse at someone or pray for someone?
I: INSTINCT – This is your gut feeling. Sometimes I will hear a song and just FEEL that it is bad for me – and it usually is. Don’t try to compromise your gut feeling because you want a way to connect with your friends or try to be the cool parent.
C: CONTENT – What is the song about? Is it about things which Christians should be avoiding (drug use, extreme sexual content, violence)? Is the song edifying?
S: STATEMENT – What statement does this song say about YOU? You can usually tell a lot about a person by the music they listen to. If someone was to flip through your play-list on your iPod or other listening device, what would this say about you? Does your music choices reflect your lifestyle or your walk with Christ?
In a nutshell, I don’t think that we need to only listen to “Christian” tunes, but still be aware of the impact that our music choices has on our lives (and the impact our music has on those around us).
Remember, also,that just because you CAN listen to something doesn’t mean you SHOULD. The Bible gives us a guide for all entertainment choices. Here is what it says:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
This weekend it was my husbands birthday and we went out to eat. Here is what I wore 🙂
Headwrap: Garlands Of Grace
Shirt: Christopher & Banks
Vest: Christopher & Banks
Skirt: Christopher & Banks
Boots: Fred Myer
Christopher & Banks had a 40% off sale and then I got an extra 10% off that. So I saved a lot on the outfit. I love it! So comfortable here in WA with the rain and spring temperatures :).