Opening the Eyes of the Innocent - Why It Is Wrong and Should Only Be Done When Necessary
" But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:6 K.J.V.
Children and Music
Most modern music is offensive to the ears.
That is my opinion.
If it is not laced with expletives then it is littered with suggestive lyrics that leave little to the imagination. I can't help but hear and understand what is said in these songs and sometimes the words are so offensive that even the melody (for the few songs that have a melody) cannot win me over.
It wasn't always like this. I remember as a child hearing a song being played on the radio by a friend and getting to like it, sing along to it without having a clue as to what it was about. All I knew was I liked the song but admittedly then, the songs I was exposed to were not quite as explicit as the ones today. When I was exposed to the explict ones I certainly knew that they were not repeatable lyrics.
Children today seem to know every song that is on the charts. I can't keep up with the music but they certainly can. While there are some whose eyes have been opened to the lyrical content and listen with relish all the more, there are still some who genuinely have no idea what the song is about, enthusiastically learn all of the lyrics, and sing it at the top of their lungs when they have a chance.
This comes from their innocence and it can be easily taken away from them. It is actually one of the better examples, I think, about knowing when to enlighten a child and when to stay silent.
Enlightenment is a great thing if it is done at the right time and in the right circumstances. If it is done the wrong way then it can lead one astray. According to the Bible, and the words of Jesus, Himself, leading children into sin is one of the worst things someone can do.
So what do you do when you come across a child singing a song filled with offensive words that could cause the fires in hell to dance?
Do you tell them not to sing the song because it is not a good song?
Do you ask them what they think the song is about?
Do you sit them down and tell them why the song is not for their ears and they should never listen to it again?
These were some of the questions I asked myself when I was recently faced with a situation like this. The children really did not know what they were singing and they just wanted me to hear their favourite song.
What would you do ?
I stood for some time, listening to them sing and gathered my thoughts. Firstly, they weren't my children and I believe that the person who knows the best course of explanation to a child is its parent. Secondly, I remembered a time in my childhood when a similar thing happened to me and my friend's mother asked me if I knew what the song meant. I told her with assurity what I believed it meant (I was dead wrong) but she gave me a funny look and after that, I knew that something was off about it and could not listen to it again without feeling there was something wrong with it.
In the end I simply told them that the song was not my type of music and left it at that.
Yet I am still bothered by it. This is something parents have to deal with every day.
When it comes to children and keeping them innocent it is like walking on eggshells. One false move and the eggs can break causing a big mess. At the same time, if you do not take the initiative, then someone else will and their opinions about whatever issue can colour your child's point of view in a way that is contrary to the way of Christ. By the time you get around to it, your stance on the matter which comes from the Bible is up against worldly opinions and the innocence that you tried to preserve is not only lost but traded in for sin.
It is clear that the more innocence you have the less temptation you are exposed to. The less temptation you are exposed to the less sin is committed. However, some things have to be explained to children before outside influences get to them. As to the how and the when, I believe that asking God for guidance will reveal the perfect time for certain things. It should be done so that when understanding begins to dawn in their eyes, it does not push out innocence but clings to it and the space is shared in the eyes by the two of them. If innocence is completely pushed out, then understanding can become pompous or bitter and harden the heart.
Of all the jobs we are given on earth, the one I think we are most accountable for is how we raised our children. It is a sobering thought.
© 2017 North Wind