Kids and Music
by Barbara Rainey
Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, . . . dwell on these things. PHILIPPIANS 4:8
One of the thorniest issues to tackle when raising children is music. Many children become devoted to music while in grade school, and its influence upon their lives can be huge.
What types of music will you allow your children to listen to? The apostle Paul provides a great media filter in Philippians 4:8: "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, . . . if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
Parents should approach this issue shrewdly and wisely. As your children grow older, your ability to understand their taste in music—and how music affects their emotions—is critical.
It's important to engage them in ongoing discussions. When one of our daughters was about 16, she began listening to a radio station that played Top 40 pop songs from the 1980s and the 1990s. As I paused to listen at different times, I was surprised by the suggestive lyrics in some of the songs. I would ask her, "Do you know what that is saying?"
"I turn it off when the bad stuff comes on," she'd answer.
"So you've listened to it long enough to know the song well enough to know the bad parts so that you can turn it off? By then it is already in your head."
We talked this through a number of times over a period of several months. Slowly she quit listening to that music. I never told her she couldn't listen to it, but I did challenge her convictions with timely questions that made her think about what she was hearing and how it was affecting her decisions.
Never forget: You are the parent by divine decree. Use your appointment strategically.
Take an inventory of your children's music. What do you think of the music your children listen to? What's your game plan to address this issue?
Ask God to give you wisdom about how to establish boundaries and challenge your children to develop convictions regarding the media they watch and listen to.