Parent Spotlight: Music

Parent Spotlight: Music
 Are your kids listening to music this spring break? Have you heard about the new Kendrick album? (Do you even know who Kendrick is?) Some topics are just plain tough (like music wars at home and at church). Parents often wish kids never heard about these hard truths, but unfortunately, they do (and often at younger ages than we think). Each month we’ll discuss one of these facts of modern life, equipping parents for conversations with their kids.
Who is Kendrick?
If you hadn’t heard, Kendrick Lamar (aka K-Dot) is a hip hop artist. His latest album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” was released late Sunday night and was streamed more than 9.6 million times on Spotify the first day. A Spotify spokesman said this is “a new global record for the most streams in a single day worldwide.” This album is marked “Parental Advisory Explicit Content.” Your child may not be listening to Kendrick Lamar, but do you know what is on your child’s iPod playlist? Some artists and groups who cater to the Christian market can be dangerous as well since parents may not watch them as closely (2 Peter 2:17-22).
 Image © elenathewise
If your child prefers the rap/hip-hop sound, I highly recommend LeCrae. Here is a link to a video sample of one of his slower songs (with lyrics). Some of his songs may be a bit grown up for some kids, so parental discretion is still advised. Still, he has a strong message of Christ as your all in all. I also like his habit of including Scripture in many of his songs. Read more about his album here on Plugged In Music Review.

Do I have to listen to my kid’s music?

You may not like it, but it’s important to know what fills your child’s ears and brain. Music sticks in the memory and touches the heart like nothing else. How many times have you gotten a song stuck in your head? Has it ever happened with a song you haven’t thought about for years? Do you want the repeating mantra in your child’s ears to be negative or downright harmful messages? In the Bible, music is used as an offering to the Lord (2 Chronicles 7:6). It soothed Saul’s spirit like nothing else could (1 Samuel 16:14-23). Music is used in ungodly ways too (see Daniel 3). As an expression of our emotions (see the Psalms), music should be used carefully and appropriately.
Encourage each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord. Ephesians 5:19 (ERV)
You need to know your child’s music.

I don’t like my child’s music. Should it go?

 Image © talanis
More than likely, you don’t care for all of the music your child does. We all have different tastes in music (just look at the music wars which plague so many churches these days) and each generation seems to have their own sound. But here’s the real kicker: do you not like the sound and style, or is it the words you object to? If you don’t like the style, that is a matter of taste. You might have to come to some compromise. When I was growing up, the rule was you listen to your music in your room and we listen to our music in the rest of the house. Road trips called for a greater compromise as we traded off styles of music. Things have changed a bit today with iPods and cell phones. Even so, each family must still come to their own arrangement. This is the time to grit your teeth occasionally and repeat memorized Bible verses. One that comes to my mind is:
Fathers, don’t make your children angry, but raise them with the kind of teaching and training you learn from the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 (ERV)
What about if it’s the words that you have an issue with? That’s a different matter entirely. It may be time for a heart to heart talk with your child. I recommend beginning by asking why the child likes that particular song, artist, or album. If you begin by asking questions and listening, your biblical counsel to come may be more palatable as it sounds less like an attack. All in all, remember this guideline:
And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds. Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. Philippians 4:7-8 (ERV)
Some people take that to mean only listen to Christian artists. Whatever your family decides, be sure to ask yourselves: is the majority of what I think about and listen to good, pure, honorable, and holy? If not, you might consider making some changes. Music expresses our hearts.
I will also put a new spirit in you to change your way of thinking. I will take out the heart of stone from your body and give you a tender, human heart. I will put my Spirit inside you and change you so that you will obey my laws. You will carefully obey my commands. Ezekiel 36:26-27 (ERV)
Ask God to guard your heart and the hearts of your family, revealing any areas where change may be needed. Have you discussed music choices in your family? How did you do it? Share your ideas with other parents in the comments below.
This blog is part of a Titus 2 Tuesdays Linkup Party.
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