You may have noticed from my previous blogs, that I frequently refer to Christian song lyrics. I enjoy listening to Christian music, and feel that it is a beautiful way to spread God’s message. But it hasn’t always been that way for me. In the past, I thought of Christian music as fuddy-duddy and boring, like the Lawrence Welk show (if any of you are old enough to remember who he was). It wasn’t cool, it didn’t have a good beat, it wasn’t exciting.
Once I had children, and they were old enough to start understanding the lyrics to the songs that played on the radio, a lot changed for me. I started to become uncomfortable listening/singing along to songs that talked about sex while they were in the car with me. And let’s face it, a lot of songs talk about sex. Wow! How can I talk to my kids about proper behavior when I’m singing a song that promotes just the opposite? People may say, “It’s just a song!”, but to me, if I am listening to it or singing along, it means I am accepting and endorsing the singer’s perspective. It sends an unspoken message that I believe in the words of the song. And if I purchase the song/CD, then I am financially supporting that singer and the words that he/she chooses to sing which encourages them to record more of the same.
And I know I can’t control the songs played at football games, at Mardi gras parades, at restaurants/bars, but I can control the songs I listen to in my home and car. So I would change stations whenever an inappropriate song came on, and then I heard a song by Brandon Heath: “Give me your eyes.” This song changed the way I thought of Christian music, so I started to listen to Christian radio. At that time, there was only one station. And they were sponsoring a challenge: listen only to Christian radio for 30 days. I’ve read that anything done for 30 consecutive days has a greater chance of becoming a habit, so I knew the station’s ulterior motive, but that was OK. And what I discovered is that I liked Christian music! It wasn’t fuddy-duddy, many of the songs have awesome music, and many of the lyrics come straight out of the bible! Wow!
And what happened after 30 days? Well, when I went back to the secular radio stations, I was often appalled at what was playing. I became sensitized to the lyrics and the messages that the secular songs were sending, and it made me rethink what I listened to. What did I want to promote to my kids? What messages was I sending them through the songs that I chose to listen to? Yes, there are good and appropriate songs on secular radio. And yes, there are annoying songs and DJs on Christian radio. It just comes down to being more mindful of what I was choosing.
That has been several years ago, and now there are several Christian music stations available in my area. While I don’t listen exclusively to Christian music, I do enjoy it. During their annual pledge drives, the Christian radio stations often ask people to let them know what Christian music means to them. It is inspiring to know the power of a song, and of a radio station that sends out positive messages of hope and love. I love listening to these testimonies. Many people speak of these songs and this music helping them make better choices, turning their lives around, remaining hopeful in spite of the difficulties of life. In Philippians 4:8 it says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” I find that it is much easier to think about these things when I am listening to Christian music. It helps me remember that while I live in this world, and am surrounded by the messages coming from the secular media, I don’t have to live like that. I can choose a different way.
Psalm 40:3 “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.”