Music — a constant variable of human culture — directly effects our youth, and more so than you might realize.
It is always entertaining to throw in a pun that relates to a popular song while I’m speaking a message to students. At that point I can accuse the young crowd of knowing the song after they have chuckled a little. And, inevitably, one anonymous youth answers, “Well, youth pastor, why do YOU know the song?” I normally tell them it is because I know everything.
The truth is, I know these songs simply because they are everywhere.
People may say that there a lot of the popular secular songs that are not necessarily bad to listen to, so it is okay. Though this may be true, someone may also tell you that it is not bad to drink one beer. But one beer leads to another, and another, if that person isn’t responsible. Or maybe it’s OK to go a little over the speed limit, just not too fast.
Though we as parents or leaders have boundaries and limitations, our kids have not established any of these in their life.
And they need help.
The most infectious secular music catches on much faster than we can imagine, simply because music carries emotions into people. Music is used for one to look cool, feel cool and be cool. Music is also used as an escape from reality. Dreams and aspirations come to life when someone listens to music. Music is one of our strongest influences.
The dangerous part is that most parents have no clue how much and what kind of music their kids are absorbing from day to day. When confronted on the issue, parents are in firm denial. Trust me, I know.
Some students feel as if they have truly found themselves as a result of being exposed to various types of music. Some have forgotten that their original character did not involve these traits.
Fortunately, God gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57)! Therefore, God can tackle strongholds like this, but we need to ask God for wisdom on how to deal with these issues.
The first thing we need to understand is that no child is exempt from being dragged into such entrapments.
Secondly, if we find that our children are being impacted in a negative way by the music they are listening to, we need to seek God’s guidance on how to address it. This is tricky and sensitive. Music is their life. We need to explain why this music is unhealthy and that God tells us to glorify Him with all things that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Thirdly, we need a safe alternative for them. For sure, our youth will have at least a slightly different taste of music than we do, and that’s okay. That is the constant variable I referred to earlier.
So we need to support the new Christian music that God uses to speak to our youth. Likewise, our youth needs to be taught to respect the traditional music. All the while, we need to respect the music that our youth listen to, if indeed they have found their taste of music that is encouraging and ultimately glorifies God.
We are all exposed to so much of the world that it tends to be difficult to tune out the distractions that aim to yank us off track. However, the natural growth of a believer in Jesus Christ brings on conviction and direction so that we are equipped to fight these battles.
Pray for your children and our youth to open up to godly music that can change their every-day living from a blurred image to a confident transformed mind in Christ.
Stay encouraged, and God bless,
Isaac Redman is a 22-year-old youth pastor at Pleasant Grove Church. He is a servant of Christ and loves music and the outdoors