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Are You Listening?

“Because a thankful heart is a happy heart…that’s why I say ‘thanks’ every day!” Thanks to Jr. Asparagus and Veggie Tales, many of our kids grew up singing silly songs with beautiful meanings. As a child, I grew up learning so many of these types of songs that my kids often joke that I have a song tucked into my brain about every subject.  In fact, they have made a game by choosing any word and asking me to come up with a song about that word…most of the time, I can. Growing up, my parents were very intentional about the music that they allowed me to listen to, and today my mind is filled with songs and lyrics that are good for my soul and spirit. However, as my children have grown into teens, the music they enjoy is much more difficult to navigate, and I find myself concerned for them. 

Music plays an important role in every generation. The effects can be both positive and negative. The reason it is so influential is because music is one of few activities in life that involves using the entire brain. Since both sides of the brain are used, music has been touted with the ability to help our bodies physically, our minds emotionally and our souls spiritually. God created music for His pleasure and for our good. Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Psalm 105:2  See also: Psalm 104:33Psalm 95:1Ephesians 5:19Colossians 3:16,James 5:13  

However, as positive as music can be, it also has the ability to cause or encourage very negative behaviors. Satan often uses the very things that God intended for good and offers an attractive counterfeit of God’s design. This seems to be especially true in the area of music. Every generation has a style or genre of music that attracts them. Today’s generation is no different. However, the technology behind music today is very different than in most previous generations.

The following things were invented during the lifetime of today’s teens.

  • Computer young girls 300x199 Ask.fm Knows What the Fox Says! Do You?Dial up Internet access in 1995
  • 1st generation iPod in 2001
  • Wikipedia in 2003
  • Facebook in 2004
  • Twitter in 2006
  • Tumblr in 2007
  • 1st Generation iPhone in 2007
  • App Store in 2008
  • ask.fm in 2010
  • Instagram in 2010
  • Vine in 2013

Considering the above list, I find it difficult to remember life before some of these inventions, but for our teens, they have never known anything different. If you are not familiar with some of the above technologies, please research them. Our kids’ world is moving faster each day and what goes into their minds is being shaped more and more by outside influences. Most teens listen to hours of music each day. What are the messages your teens are memorizing? What are the themes that play in their heads?

“You never realize how bad your music is until your parents are in the car.” 

                                                                               – Teen Facebook Post October 2013

The older your teen gets, the more freedom you have to give them to make their own choices.  As a parent, you must help guide them through the available options. So, how do we help our kids choose wisely?

1. BE INVOLVED!

  • Ask who their favorite artists are.
  • Download some of their music and listen to it. It is not all bad. Sometimes it is just plain stupid! i.e. What Does the Fox Say? If you don’t already know, find out here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofNR_WkoCE

2. TALK ABOUT IT

  • Discuss the lyrics from some of their favorite songs. (Often lyrics are beautifully deceptive.)
  • Help your children see how music can undermine or underscore their beliefs. 

3. SET BOUNDARIES

  • Be intentional about establishing times when music and other electronics are “unplugged.”
  • Establish music limitations that are appropriate for your family. 

 

The best boundary is found in God’s Word: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8   

 

 

 

Comments (1)

  1. Kathleen Evenhouse:
    Jan 27, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    I watch "The Voice" with a few of my granddaughters. We listen, talk, evaluate, and enjoy. Just as I used to read as many of the books my children were reading, I like to listen to the music they're listening to. Sometimes they tell me, "Listen to this, but I don't think you'll like the words, just the music." I listen, and I get to ask them what words they thought I wouldn't like and why. They keep asking. I keep listening.


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