This post is long. If you are offended after you read this, that’s not my intent. Know that it could be conviction from the Holy Spirit
Two things to know about me as you read this:
1) I LOVE MUSIC… country, pop, rap, oldies, contemporary Christian, gospel, alternative, even the very rare Southern Gospel… just about everything but techno & screaming rock and it’s not all Christian. Over the years, I have quit listening to most country b/c I get tired of hearing about drinking on a beach, adultery, drinking at the bar, wife leaving, marrying someone whose name you don’t know, etc… I’ve quit listening to secular rap because they pretty much rap about the same garbage country artists sing about, but they use more profanity & are a lot more direct…
2) I consider myself to be very observant. I notice what kids (and parents) are singing, posting on their statuses, using for ringtones/calltones, etc. If I don’t know the song, I make a mental note and google the lyrics &/or the video. Some of them I like, others appall me.
Before I continue, I must define a few words for the sake of clarity as it pertains to this post:
Kid: a son/daughter of any age (unless age is specified). A kid becomes an adult when they are out of the house & completely financially independent. While a 22 year old going to college on their parent’s bill is in the transition, they are not yet an adult… sorry.
Parent: you have a kid, grandkid, or you plan on having a kid one day.
Now that all of that is cleared up, the post can begin…
Parents, you are responsible before the Sovereign God for the raising of your kid. You are not responsible for how well they are liked, how they are accepted socially, how involved they are in extra-curricular activities, if they have the latest fashion, or if they up to date on the latest technology. Nor are you to be concerned about how well YOU are liked as a parent. Part of our responsibility as parents is to monitor & restrict our kids’ media intake… movies, video games, magazines, music, etc. I could blog for weeks about each one of these sources, but I want to focus a little on music.
Pop Culture changes daily. I believe that music is one of the catalyst of that change. Your kids’ vocabulary, clothing, and attitude changes according to what Pop Culture says is cool. If you as a parent aren’t aware of the trash that is being fed to your kid’s brain through their iPod’s earbuds, are you not just perpetuating Satan’s grasp on their walk? If you as a parent are putting the money on their iTunes account to buy that trash, are you not equipping Satan to have a grasp on their walk? I’m NOT saying you should start listening to the garbage with them & have Bible Study afterwards. I’m saying you need to be proof-listening to the music before they download it. Proof-view the game/TV show/movie before they buy it. Read reviews… do your homework. It does require more work, but I promise it’s worth it.
As pop culture changes, I have a hard time keeping up. I hear words & lines in music & from the mouths of kids that I don’t fully understand. Or I hear things that seem like they could have a double meaning. When this happens there are two resources I go to. One is Plugged In, it is a Wonderful Christian resource by Focus on the Family that reviews movies, TV shows, music, video games, etc. I recommend every parent go to their site & sign up for the weekly e-newsletter to stay up to date on popular media. The other is Urban Dictionary, it is a raw, uncensored online dictionary of today’s abbreviations & slang words. I first found this site when I heard Lady Gaga’s Discostick, and Pokerface and went looking for some clarity. When you hear lyrics in music that you aren’t 100% sure of the definition, look it up!
The sad truth is, I heard a young kid (grade school aged) singing a song with similar innuendos while walking down the halls of the church. Their parents are great… very involved in their life, but likely naive to the truth behind the trash their kid is singing. Just because they are listening to the clean version, doesn’t justify it. When you let your kid listen to the edited/clean version of a song (or when you do the same) you’re compromising your beliefs and your teaching them to compromise theirs for what is appealing. When I hear a kid singing a song that I know has foul language or a sexual overtone, I don’t pray to God hoping that they’re singing the clean version. I pray that God convicts the student & the parent & that their heart & mind is transformed into that of God. I pray Romans 12:2. That they would “not be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Don’t disregard Christ & justify sin… yours or the artist you’re listening to!
I say all this to say this: PARENTS!! You should be equipping your kids to live their faith out in their life!!!… However, you should also be guarding your kid (of ALL ages). Don’t give Satan a foothold in their life because you’re too naive, too busy, or too LAZY to do your homework!! KNOW what your kids are listening to!! KNOW what’s on their iPod!! If you don’t think the Lord will approve of what your kid is listening to, DELETE IT!! If you have a question about the lyrics, delete it & RESEARCH IT!! You also need to be aware of the music videos of the songs they listen to. Who cares if you’re no longer their friend? Your calling from the Lord is to “raise them up in the ways of the Lord”, not “give them what they want so you’re their favorite grown-up”!!
There’s my latest Rambling… PLEASE comment and let me know what you think. I PROMISE you won’t offend me or upset me if you disagree!