–Originally published on FWB21 Mar 31, 2011–
I like to sing. I mean seriously. I sing a lot of places, but when I’m working at home I like to really let it go.
So, I was doing laundry the other day, and a song I haven’t heard in years popped in my head. Before I knew it, I was belting out: Sha-la-la-la-la-la, Live for today!
As soon as the words escaped my lips, I stopped and shook my head. What on earth was I saying?!
Immediately I was convicted. I am daily concerned with teaching my children truth and trying to live consistently what I say, yet here I am being thoughtless and careless with my words at the top of my lungs. Sure, singing the oldies seems harmless enough, but I am keenly aware that Keith focuses intently on music and begs for repetition so he can sing along. “Live for today” is certainly not what I want him to memorize.
As a child, I absorbed much of my worldview from the music of Steve Green. (My mom is a huge fan. We have home videos to prove it.) I listened to a lot of other music, too (including the oldies I mentioned before), but what I heard most growing up were songs with rich, weighty messages like “The Refiner’s Fire,” “Guard Your Heart,” and “The Mission.” The repetition of such songs certainly made an impact on my thinking, especially as I matured enough to understand the deep truths I was singing.
Granted, I was eventually able to discern what music was uplifting to me, and what was less than healthy for my developing heart and mind. I was a big fan of the Grease soundtrack–until I was old enough to understand exactly what they were singing about. I was also a big fan of country music in general–until I noticed that a great many songs would put me in a melancholy mood because they made me dwell too much on the past, or they made me hungry for the wrong kind of love. My experience has made me really choosy when it comes to music now. Not that all music has to be “Christian,” per se, but that it doesn’t contradict that which we are diligently teaching our children.
Mick said something interesting recently in regard to our Sunday morning meeting. He said, “The reality is, people will leave with only an impression of what I said. They might remember a quote if they thought to write it down, but normally they could only repeat concepts from the sermon. It is very likely, though, that they’ll leave singing the exact words to the songs we chose for worship. So we must be very intentional about what the lyrics to our songs are saying. We must use every opportunity to reinforce a God-centered, doctrinally-sound message.”
I’m thinking the same thing should apply to the music in our home as well.