I bet we could get into a contest over who had a more bizarre childhood. Sadly for you, there’s no way I can lose this game. Sadly for me, I always seem to win this one.
I grew up in the ghetto. Not just a regular ghetto. A multicultural ghetto in Vegas with a basketball hoop and a commercial water fountain in my backyard. A basketball hoop in my backyard and a recording studio where my garage used to stand. Legit. Recording studio.
I have memories of splicing reels to edit recordings I made of myself. I remember turning on the strobe light and setting the record player to spin Bonnie Tyler on repeat. Most days there was a strobe light to accompany the fully mirrored wall.
We each took an instrument, my brothers and me. Sometimes we would jam, and usually we are unplugged, but it didn’t matter. Music was deep in us.
Any sort of music walked through our recording studio. Our friends, the Demmans, owned a recording studio, so when we weren’t in our little garage, we were there. Even more music walked through their doors. Mama Demman taught me to sing, and it’s a gift I’ve cherished forever.
It’s a passion most of my children have picked up.
More than that, it’s a skill they’ve worked hard at. Elijah currently is learning the acoustic, bass, piano, and cajon. Layla Grace gets a tune in her head and can’t stop until she’s mastered it on the piano. Sam and Addison are the next Sonny and Cher with their singing. Izzys the master of voice, music playlists, and lyrics, and she’s always good to jump into whatever kitchen musical I throw out there. Its not that they are amazing musicians. Not one of us is.
It’s that music is a major part of who we are as a family. We can’t do dishes without it. I won’t be shocked if ever The Squirrel tells us she needs an exit beat before she agrees to do her chores. And I’ll be even less surprised when one of my kids just gives her one. No hesitation. No questions. Just a beat to move on to.
It’s things like this that keep our music selection broad. I love worship music. So much it feeds my soul more than any other part of a church service. I could steep in a worship service like a sweaty tea bag, except it’s the music diffusing in me. Not the other way around. The words. The intimacy. The talented musicians. Steeped.
There’s this funny question that comes up with many parents I talk to. “Do you let your kid listen to secular music?” I understand what these parents are getting at. And I can even guess as to why they are scared for their kids to journey outside of what some guy somewhere calls Christian music, but I have to tel you, friends. This is off base.
What IS Christian music? If you mean worship music, then, no. Emphatically I don’t only listen to or insist my kids listen to worship music. Nor do I make them take “secular” music and change the lyrics to talk about God.
We do have some boundaries in what we listen to, because I fully believe the Bible when it tells me what I put in is what will come out. But I don’t throw a blanket negatory good buddy over any genre.
My iPod holds country, worship, rap, folk, hip hop, EDM, classic rock, and even Christmas. (Of course there’s Christmas). My thoughts are this.
I am a Christian. I am a teacher. I work in public school because it’s the lost to whom I am called. God has used my faith and prayer and allowed me to share more encouragement than I ever did in a private Christian school.
Does this mean I am a secular teacher? If I don’t talk about God when I am loving my students or counseling their families is my work worldly? Do I HAVE to say I am here to love you because of Jesus’s love for me for it to count. Nope. No way.
That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. I am called to be a teacher. God has gifted me in this skill just as he has gifted countless musicians, accountants, doctors, writers, and trampoline makers.
We have music in our pores. All music. I will always encourage my kids to be mindful of lyrics and wise about what they allow to contribute to their minds. But we will honor God through using our gift of music and celebrating everyone else he has gifted as well.