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Oh, Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear!

     As a child, I remember singing that little tune because it was cute and catchy. Through my turbulent teen years when I faced what seemed at times to be overwhelming temptations, those words once again rang in my spirit . . . and saved me from what could have been devastating decisions, altering God’s plan for my life. There is such power in music!

     “You Remember What You Sing!” is the slogan on my son’s multiplication CD jacket. It’s true. Do you find yourself still singing your ABC’s when teaching your child how to put words in alphabetical order? (Okay, it’s confession time . . . I do it, too!) Do you find yourself tearing up while singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” because a flood of memories flow through your spirit, recounting God’s unwavering faithfulness in your life? From catchy children’s songs learning the ABC’s and multiplication tables to the great hymns of the faith, we remember what we learn through song!

     Research has shown that you remember about only 30% of what you hear, 60% of what you hear and write down, and 90% of what you hear, write, and speak aloud! I would like to add that you may remember 100% of what you sing!

     The significance of what flies in front of our eyes (that’s another article!) and what our ears take in daily can either have positive, life-giving effects on our lives and on the little ones we are given to train each day or negative, devastating effects.

     Music is everywhere . . . in our homes, in our cars, in our workplaces, in the places we shop, and in our places of worship. Music has been called the “universal language,” and New World Dictionary defines music as, “the art and science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds or tones in varying melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre so as to form structurally complete and emotionally expressive compositions.”

     Music is so powerful that even criminals incarcerated for heinous crimes identify the influence of particular bands playing and singing (usually screaming) vocals with death messages. Now, you may be thinking, “I would never allow my son or daughter to listen to that kind of music.” Yet, in my own observations not only as a mother but in worship leadership and a follower of the Christian Music industry for the past 28 years, I have seen other, less blatant, negative effects.

     My own personal example as a mom began a few years ago when my son showed great interest and talent for the guitar. His intrinsic nature and talent was obvious from an early age, so we went with his “bent.” He was naturally drawn to the rock beats and head-banging sounds of Christian rock musicians. It seemed cute and innocent, but over time we realized that the lyrics of these “Christian songs” were not penetrating his heart. On the contrary, the Christian message was lost to him in the midst of the driving beat. We had to backpedal and find guitar-based music where the Christian message was clear and the instrumentals were simply an accompaniment to the message.

     I would highly recommend an artist named Nathan Clark George (www.nathanclarkgeorge.com). He is a classical guitarist with beautifully written songs glorifying the Lord Jesus. Now after four years of “re-tuning,” our son’s ears love classical guitar music and worship music that isn’t overpowered by rock beats and screaming vocals that cannot be understood.

     I’ve seen many changes in the Christian music/worship industry as a musician and worship leader. I love many styles of music, but my experience has convinced me that the music must be biblically and theologically sound, with the lyrics and melody line (the part everyone sings . . . called “the hook”) helping to draw people to Jesus, to His character, and to a time of intimacy with the Lord as your Father.

     It is not my intent in this article to influence your thought toward any one style. I simply know the power music has over our lives. It has divided churches, friendships, and even parents against children. Remember, the archangel who rebelled against God and fell from heaven was Lucifer, the archangel who led worship (see Ezekiel 28:11-15 for a description of the King of Tyre, but many agree this is clearly a reference to Lucifer as well). Don’t be deceived for a minute that he isn’t the mastermind behind the effects of music on our lives.

     May I suggest that if you want your children to memorize scripture, find music CD’s that will help them. Here are a few examples:

      Classical music has been proven over and over again to stimulate neurological pathways in your child’s brain toward the development of spatial and logical reasoning skills, particularly the music of Mozart and Bach. You can find hundreds of classical music CD’s in stores and on the Internet.

      Try playing scripture memory songs, worship music, or classical music throughout your day. Play it when the babies are napping, while in the car, and in the workplace. You will be richer spiritually and intellectually.

      Remember, “You Remember What You Sing!,” and music feeds your spirit! Be encouraged . . . it’s never too late to change your musical diet!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

Reader Comments...
2011-04-12 23:01:25
"thank you so much for these words- i have been spouting this for years to the "deaf ears" of many churches and worship leaders -not to mention the "deafening " affect it is having on those who need to have ears to hear. I have hearing issues myself now from being on the stage with dangerous decibles...... I have even prayed for a power failure at the church where we attend------ bless you for putting your wisdom into words that I pray many parents and kids will see and heed. "
        - Trish

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