Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. Ps 147:1
Two of the strengths Sharon brings to our home is her love for and talent with music. She has a beautiful voice and has used it to honor the Lord in worship for many years.
When we first started raising children, thinking about discipling our family and what we hoped the culture of our family would be, we both wanted to have a home filled with music.
Music is a Gift
Scripture makes clear that music is a gift from God. He commands us to use this gift in many different ways. The chief way we are to use singing and music is praise Him.
Good music is also good for our souls. Singing combines our emotions and truth. I have often wondered why, when we talk about private disciplines of a healthy Christian, we do not include music. I believe regular, private singing and worship music should be a habit of the Christian.
Could many of the mental health issues among Christians be moderated by a steady exercise of singing to the Lord? Martin Luther said, “Music drives away the Devil and makes people joyful; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give music the highest place and greatest honor.”
In this short note, let me encourage you to fill your life and home with music. It will benefit you and is an aid in family discipleship. The following are some suggestions to consider.
1. Start the morning with encouraging and bright worship music. Music helps set the tone of the home. In our poorer days, all we had was a boombox with some cassettes and CDs. But that was enough to fill the downstairs with music. We tried to make it a habit to turn it on during the morning get-ready hours.
2. Play worship songs you enjoy. We will think about children’s songs in a minute but I want to suggest that the first type of music we should be playing are songs we enjoy – adult Christian songs. Of those, I can think of two types: songs that are meant to be sung by a congregation in worship and other Christian songs that encourage us.
The reason to play encouraging Christian songs is obvious. They edify our souls and get our focus upward. The words build us up. The music lifts us up. With online streaming it has never been easier.
Additionally, in our own family worship, we also wanted to fill our home with theologically rich music that we sang in church. Great hymns teach us good theology. Music causes these truths to impact our lives differently than sermons. This is one reason it is so vital to play hymns for our children. But there is another less obvious motivation.
One reason young children are bored when they sit with us in church is that they don’t know the music. Haven’t you visited a church where you didn’t know the songs? It is easy to feel disconnected. Our children can feel the same way. But when our children know the songs that we are singing they will be excited and engaged.
I was reminded of this principle just this week. Having conducted a weekend conference, I was worshipping with the church the next morning. In front of me was an adorable girl about 10 years old. I watched her eyes light up as she sang along with the hymns. She was participating because she knew the tune and the words to hymns the congregation was singing
3. Enjoy children’s songs. We also want to fill our homes with songs that are fun and appropriate to their age. Music can be fun. And we love having fun with our children. This is an easy way for dad to be the CFO, the Chief Fun Officer, as he sings along with silly sounding Christian songs.
4. Generously employ Scripture songs. Songs that help us memorize the Bible are especially beneficial. There are many resources for both adults and children to help us easily memorize Scripture. Use them to put God’s word in your heart.
By God’s grace and with Sharon’s leadership, we filled our home, cars, and lives with music that honored the Lord. Today our children love music and several are accomplished musicians.
Music is a powerful instrument for encouragement, teaching, and praise. I pray, as a Christian parent, you will make filling your home with beautiful music a goal in the parenting, discipleship, and in the culture of your home.
You can do this! What’s stopping you?