I’ve always been a fan of music.
I cannot play, or sing, or write, but I have a deep appreciation for the art and love good music. When I say music, I’m not talking about auto-tune and some funky effects and a human who sounds like a robot. I’m talking about someone on a guitar, or at the piano, pouring their heart and soul into the words that magically flow from them.
I think this started as a little girl, when before Dad knew Jesus, we listened to music together. His music was The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, that kind of thing. And I loved it. As I grew older, I still loved to listen to music, but the bands changed. And the genre changed. I now say I have an eclectic mix of music on my iPod, ranging from the simple chords of “Sweet Home Alabama” to some, you know, “All About That Bass”, to everything Taylor Swift ever recorded ever. Ever.
When my Dad got saved, his music changed.
He turned in the “Ramblin’ Man” for some Southern Baptist tunes I couldn’t stand. Y’all do not be offended. I was young and had my own opinions and thought I knew it all, okay? He always said to me I needed to listen to Christian music and how much music affects you. By the way, the first time he ever heard
He turned in the “Ramblin’ Man” for some Southern Baptist tunes I couldn’t stand. Y’all do not be offended. I was young and had my own opinions and thought I knew it all, okay? He always said to me I needed to listen to Christian music and how much music affects you. By the way, the first time he ever heard Third Day he thought it was terrible. Just saying.
Mom loved country music before her Jesus days and so she understood why I liked it (Dad hates country).
Though she understood, she wanted me to listen to something different. After many “discussions” I realized their concern had to do with themselves. Music took them back to the days before Jesus saved their souls. The days before grace intercepted their lives and turned them into new creatures. Listening to those old songs dredged up old memories of older days and times they were not so proud of. Their testimony was overcoming the things they had done, and they did not want their music to be a reminder.
My testimony is a little different; I grew up with said parents who cared what music I listened to. I was very sheltered and while I hated it as a teenage girl I totally understand as a mama. Of course, I did my little rebellion phase, sure, but I never walked where they did and am so grateful for that. So even as an adult, we would have the music conversations and I would gently remind them the country music songs did not bring me back to a place of bonfires and booze.
Then I had a child, a son, who I love dearly and much more than anything before, ever.
I listened to Luke Bryan constantly (not exactly quality music, I know, my standards started sliding). As my son grew older, he began talking. And after he started talking, he started singing. Which was great when the words were “Jesus loves me” but listening to country music this was not the case. His favorite song was (and still is) “Cruise” which is not terrible. Some people thought it adorable when he would sing about bikini tops and whatnot but I realized this was not what I wanted to instill in my children.
What I realized when I became a mother is what we as parents do is what our children do. I do not want to glorify using women as sex symbols and getting drunk in the woods. Sure, yes, I fully understand that “boys will be boys” and I want him to admire the female body but in the right way and in the right time.
I think sometimes what we as parents and family members think is cute is actually exposing our children to things before they are ready. Or before they really need to see it. I do not want my son to think a scantily clad woman improves the look of his truck, or that a tractor ride needs to end in sex. I am not a prude nor a feminist but I think if we want to be seen different maybe we should act differently. (“Girl in a Country Song” is amazing and the music video hilarious, in case you were wondering).
This is not meant to sound harsh or to condemn anyone who reads this.
I am sharing an experience in my life and a turning point for me. I want what my children hear as little ones to reflect God and His love. Jeremy now bellows “God is on the roof, on the roof, hallelujah!” (he doesn’t always get the words right) but I think God is much more pleased with that than other things I’ve heard him sing.
Not everyone agrees with me for being so strict about what I want to hear my kids listening to. Sometimes when I mention I only listen to Christian music they think I never listen to anything else, ever. I still rock my 70s classic rock (thanks, Daddy) but I do not do it with my children around. I know enough to skip over “Highway to Hell” and being a mom I think part of my responsibility is to shelter them while I can. Yes, I know a big bad world is out there, but they do not have to know about all that just yet.