I was (and still am) raised in a fairly strict Christian household. In living the sheltered life I did (and do), I thought that all Christian households lived that way. Slowly I came to the realization that not everyone does. Even most of my Christian friends don’t dress as conservatively as I do or listen to only Christian music, etc. Even my own cousin doesn’t (she’s my only bad influence).
I began to see how different I was ‑ my parents never let me go to friends’ houses, I couldn’t buy most of the cute clothes I wanted because they were too short/too low/sleeveless. I didn’t recognize a lot of the music my friends were listening to and I wasn’t allowed to date or wear makeup. I realized I had two options: I could either mope and wish I was like “everyone else” or I could “strut” (in a sense) my beliefs, taking them on as my own. I chose the second.
Of course, like every other teenager, I do wish I had this or that, wish that I was popular, had a boyfriend and could wear makeup to hide my outward blemishes, etc. But I made an independent lifestyle for myself because I knew that if I wasn’t an example to my friends (Christian or non- Christian) then no one else would be.
That’s a little background about me. Now what I want to talk about in this essay is music.
As I said, I only listen to Christian music. Sure, I recognize secular songs from TV or school or the stuff that my cousin I was talking about listens to. I even tried listening to it for a while but eventually stopped because I was always afraid my mom would come in and hear a cuss word. Finally, I asked myself, “Why should I live with that fear? Is that how a child of God should live?”
In II Corinthians 7:1, it says”
“…Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
God created music to be holy and pleasing unto Him. He created it to be worship and praise unto Him. That includes what we put in our ears.
Christian music is no longer just boring old gospel or worship music. There is a lot of good contemporary, rock, pop, even hip-hop Christian music. I’ll admit, I’ve often wondered about Colossians 3:16, where it says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your heart to God.”
I don’t know how many of us would be able to listen to just hymns. I mean, bo-ring, right? Now let’s focus in on the last part of the verse: “spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” I think as long as we are a) listening to music that glorifies God, b) remembering the sole purpose for why God created music, and c) keep God in our hearts and remember to praise Him, then what does the genre matter?
I’ve had people — my own parents and pastor included — say that Christian rap and rock is ungodly. I don’t think so. If you listen to the lyrics it’s clear that they glorify God.
So what about secular music that is clean and inspiring? I’ve often wondered myself. There are secular songs that I’ll find myself singing. Well, if they’re good, why can’t we listen to them? I’ve prayed about this. I think a few songs that have good, inspiring messages and uplifting lyrics are okay. However, God warns us, “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” So be careful. Avoid anything that would take your mind off God’s will for you and stray you from His path.
“Sing unto Him, sing psalms to Him, talk of all His wondrous works!” – I Chronicles 16:9
“It is good to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praised to Your name, O Most High.” – Psalms 92:1
I know that this isn’t for everyone. What I really want you to do is pray and see what God tells you to do. However, I do encourage EVERYONE to take up a 30-day challenge. That’s right, go 30 days listening to ONLY Christian music. I know this will be harder for some, and easier for others, but I encourage everyone to at least try it. Pray for God’s guidance, and He will help you.
Thanks for taking the time to read my article. May God bless you and your wonderful ministry.
Who are some of your favorite Christian artists? I want to download some new music! 🙂 –Nicole