Devotion for the Week...
We listen to mostly Christian music in our house. We love Third Day, Casting Crowns, Francesca Batistelli, Christy Knockels, Mercy Me and more. Looking back, the switch to mostly Christian music wasn't a conscious decision. It was simply a matter of finding more and more Christian music that we genuinely enjoyed, that expressed what we believe and is honestly just good music. I know very little about current music outside of the Christian genre, which sometimes makes me feel like I'm weird, like somehow I'm missing an important part of the culture, but mostly it doesn't bother me.
Now, before I go any farther, let me say that I'm not trying to say that Christian music is the only music any Christian should be listening to. Nor am I passing judgement on those who listen to other music. This is just our choice right now. I'm finding there are some benefits to it, and I wanted to share those today, but, please, if you listen to other music, don't feel like I'm trying to tell you you're wrong! Okay, we now return to our regularly scheduled devotion... :)
Nathan seems to pay more attention to the lyrics of the music than anyone else in the house. Lots of times he's playing with his Lego, or drawing at the table and suddenly he'll say, "What does he mean, 'He that is living in me is greater than he that is living in the world?" We've had some interesting conversations about God in the last year as he has tried to understand the lyrics. It's been especially fun when he's confused because he's mishearing the words!
In Deuteronomy, Moses tells the people of Israel, "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress
them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when
you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates" (Deuteronomy 6: 6-9). Now, to be honest, I've always thought that people who followed these directions would be trying to force every conversation to come around to God, trying to relate everything to God's commands. I thought it wouldn't feel like natural conversation. But really, this just means that these things are to be part of our everyday conversations, not limited to when we're inside the church building. Listening to Christian music helps to naturally start those conversations with Nathan because he's interested in what the lyrics say and he wants me to explain it to him.
As for me, I find that a lot of the time the music is just in the background and I'm
reading, or making supper, or playing games or whatever and not consciously paying attention to what I'm hearing. It sticks in my head though, even if I'm not paying attention. I'll play Bart Millard's CD Hymned Again while
I make supper one evening and then the next morning in the shower I find "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" running through my head.
Sometimes, too, when I haven't been paying attention to the music, I'll catch a line like "Even what the enemy means for evil, you turn it for our good, you turn it for our good, and for your glory" from Aaron Keyes' "Sovereign Over Us". What a great line! And what a great thought to have catch my attention. Philippians 4:8 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." Listening to music that focuses on God is one way to keep those things front and center in my
mind, and the minds of the whole family.
There are a lot of influences in the world, trying to take our attention away from God. I love using Christian music to keep my attention where it should be.
Do you listen to Christian music? If you do, who are your favourite artists? I'm always up for listening to someone new!