The Core Message of Music
Music is a wonderful thing. In fact, God can speak magnificently through the melodic whispers of a singer’s voice, the quiet strum of a guitar, and the rolling beat of a djembe drum. Music soothes and comforts; it speaks and inspires. There is something quite special when you experience God’s quiet whisper through song.
On the flip side, it is also safe to say that not all music glorifies God. Lyrics can also spew hatred and lies. Emotions can be evoked that are contrary to the truth laid out in God’s word. When the layers are peeled back in any song, however, something greater is exposed: a story of redemption or one of destruction.
I believe music, at it’s root, points to a need for God.
I think as Christians we try to compartmentalize things so much that we become judgmental towards the other side of the coin. I was that way growing up: the driving thought behind my snobbery was, “Why listen to secular music when there is always a Christian alternative?”
While that was where I was at in high school, I failed to see that, regardless of the type, music expresses the condition of the heart. No matter the artist, lyric, or beat there is a person on the other side pointing toward a need–a need to experience something greater.
In the end, that is how I want my children to understand music. As a parent, I’m in a place of authority right now to filter what my toddlers listen to (no matter how hard they beg, they are not listening to Young Jeezy). It won’t, however, always be like that. Ultimately, I want to teach them the value of words and ideas, and give them the freedom to discover the joys of both the Christian and Secular genres.
Disclaimer: at the moment my girls’ favorite song is “You Belong To Me” by none other than Taylor Swift. I know what you thinking, “You have two girls and a wife. I could have guessed that in less than two seconds.” True. They also like Chris Tomlin and Phil Wickham. Oh yeah, and J-Biebs. Lord, help me with that one!
Photo credit: Inderjit Singh