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Answers to Family Questions - Entries tagged "Music"
Is Secular Music Okay for Children?
Is it okay to expose our kids to secular music? They’re going to hear it anyway.
Dear Rock On,
While it is true that you will hear every type of music even at the grocery store these days, it may not be what you would choose for your own home. Taste in music is extremely subjective, but we want to be discerning – especially about the lyrics. All secular music is not necessarily negative but that to which your children are repeatedly exposed will naturally influence their taste in music and their appetite for it.
As parents, we must be aware of the power music can have to elicit emotion in our children -- both positive and negative. Steady diets of anything which produces negative emotions such as anger, violence, or illicit sexual desire should of course be avoided. But other emotional influences can be more subtle, such as music and lyrics which involve longing for the love of a boyfriend/ girlfriend or the sadness over losing one. Over time, this can begin to stir up a longing or feeling in our children that they NEED something they don’t have (and shouldn’t have for a long time).
So be watchful and aware of what you are allowing, knowing that as
their parent, you are the moderator. There are many great tools
available online, like this one,
to help you know more about popular music. Especially as your children
get older and want to select music for their iPods, etc., be aware of
what they are listening to and teach them to make wise choices.
Parents set the boundaries, and need to put their foot down when their children cross their line. In other words, don’t allow your kids to succumb to any influence that you deem negative for them. Also, be aware of the fact that the type of music tweens and teens gravitate toward can be an indicator of a deeper need, or the condition of their heart. In those cases, the music is secondary to the root cause, which needs to be addressed.
It is a good idea for parents to talk about these things and develop personal convictions while their children are young. For example how much time will children be allowed to listen to their iPod? Will they be allowed to listen to them in the car? How will you go about monitoring your children’s choices? These are a few of the many considerations you need to make as parents.
Also, consider the purpose of your music choices. Teach your children true worship; every other music choice has a different purpose. Is the purpose fun, or for worship? Can you listen to your music with a clear conscience? The one thing we likely all agree on is that the highest purpose of music is to worship God. So be intentional in exposing your children to worshipful music at a young age, and remember to major on the majors and minor on the minors.
Music has a tremendous influence on people. You may be thinking, “It’s only music,” but in fact, research shows that it is the number one influence in the life of a teen. What kind of influence do you want that music to be?
“For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.” Romans 16:19
For more information on this topic, see Entrusted with a Child’s Heart, page 400.
Please Note: This counsel is given from a distinctively biblical
worldview, and therefore, is being offered with the assumption that the
reader has placed him or herself under the authority of Scripture. Also,
please remember that these answers are designed to give general
parenting advice and are not intended to give specific counsel to
specific situations. If you have extenuating circumstances, please seek
the professional advice of your pastor, physician, or counselor.
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