“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.”
Ephesians 5: 19
Choices are always before us. Growing up as a child I didn’t get a choice what kind of music I could listen to. Since there wasn’t anything like contemporary Christian radio at that time, our radio was often filled with the sound of silence.
Today we have set before us a multitude of music choices. Some are great while others are well…not so great for our kids. As a parent I must ask myself how much of this culture should I allow my children to be exposed to. I am sure that’s a question we all wrestle with every day. Music is important to kids and how we respond to it can make all the difference.
Five years ago, I became part of a blended family. One thing that I loved was that they all enjoyed music. Their mother had given them a good foundation since they were small. Laura and the boys enjoyed music that had a great sound and uplifted the Lord in their lives.
Then the teenage years were upon us. When our oldest threw out his Christian CD’S (whenever he had a fight with his mom) we felt as though he was rejecting the Lord. His younger brother followed suit and soon we felt both had turned their back on Godly music. This was very disheartening, and Laura and I felt like we had lost the boys to the influences of the world.
My wife is a lot savvier in the area of “musical expression” as it were. I had strict music guidelines as a child while my wife came from the opposite side of the coin. Her parents allowed her sister, brother, and she to listen to whatever they pleased. So there had to be a happy medium somewhere in between when it came to our kids’ musical boundaries.
The biggest frustrations came when we had Christian music on, and the boys would complain and slip on their earphones. We wanted to interact with them and not have them retreat. Laura wanted to know what the boys were listening to and use it as a way to reach them. She began by getting the names of the artists and songs. Then she was able to get the lyrics off the internet. This gave us an idea what they were listening to. Some of it surprised us in a good way while some was a REAL surprise we needed to address.
Laura began an “exchange program” as it were. We would allow equal access time to the radio while we were all together in the car. Being an active family, this is where we spend a lot of time together. So, this seemed like to perfect place to start. It’s not that we enjoy their music but, we love them. We prayed that we would have wisdom, discretion, and doors to talk to them about what came out of that radio, both Christian and secular. For any program to work you have to set down guidelines. Here’s where we started.
( See part 2 for for the rest of the story.)