The church auditorium buzzed with dozens of conversations during the after-church fellowship. Zoning out the background clamour, Bill’s attention focused on Dan’s wrinkled brow and troubled words.
“Some people here in our church think we are becoming too liberal in our music. We’ve started using some of the newer hymns by the Gettys and Sovereign Grace Music in addition to the stuff we’ve always sung from our hymnal. What do you guys do in your church?”
“Well, in our church we actually use music from a lot of different sources with varying styles,” Bill replied. “Some of the newer songs have great theological content, and our congregation enjoys singing them. The young people especially relate to the more contemporary styles.”
“Yeah? Well, I’ve been having some disagreement with my own kids about music,” Dan confessed. “My fifteen-year-old son Jared especially is rebelling against the rules that I’ve put in place in our home. He hardly talks to me any more. I want him to keep the music standards that we have always followed, but he wants to listen to CCM. Do you let your kids listen to CCM?”
“As a matter of fact, we do. We give them liberty to choose music that they find edifying and that encourages them in their walk with God. As a family, we keep the discussion open about what nourishes our souls and clearly reflects God’s truth, and let our teens make their own decisions about music. We ask lots of questions and so do they as we sort through how to honour God with our music choices. I’m sure that we aren’t always right, but at least our teenagers are talking to us as we all grow in grace together.”
“Really? I’ll have to think about that.”
“Bill, you wouldn’t believe what happened!” Dan’s face glowed with excitement. “After thinking through what you said, I decided to risk changing the music rules at home. I gathered my family together for a little talk and told my children that I had been wrong in my attitude towards them by being demanding and judgmental. On the grounds that they are preparing to leave home and make their own choices anyway, I gave my children permission to listen to whatever music they like. I asked them to choose songs with edifying lyrics and to be respectful in the way they play the music around others who may not share their musical taste. To prove my sincerity, I handed Jared a CD. ‘Son, I want to give you your first Casting Crowns album,’ I said. Unbelievably his eyes welled up with tears as he took the CD in his hand. The change in my heart was big to him. Going into his room together, we listened to some tracks on the new CD. As I laid aside my prejudices, God even used that music to speak to me. Communication between Jared and me has relaxed so much, and his rebellious spirit is melting into openness.”