Sing With Your Family

Sing With Your Family

Pastor Don Carpenter

The Children of Israel were undergoing a huge religious and cultural change. They had been brought out of the slavery of Egypt (which is a picture of the world from which we have been saved) and taught to walk in the wilderness with God. Deuteronomy was written as a spiritual recap of Israel’s spiritual journey. Our passage is the foundation of that change. Love God with everything you have, meditate on His words, and teach your children to do so every chance you get.

Deuteronomy 6:5–7 KJV

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

We have already discovered that besides reading the Bible, and teaching its principles, singing communicates truth that finds its way deep into our souls. My dad was not good about having a regular family altar time. Oh he tried from time to time to gather the family after supper, read the Bible talk about it and pray, but these times were very rare. My dad felt that he had failed in raising us under the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I have been thinking about that lately. He took us to church 4+ times a week. We prayed before every meal. And what I remember most is the music. Most of my childhood mornings were spent with WCRF Moody Bible Institute Radio playing in the background as we had breakfast and got ready for school. I remember “Uncle Bob” Divine telling us it was time to march around the breakfast table as he played songs like “I have Christ in My Heart” by the Hawaiians. I remember mom and dad sing “Got Any Rivers” in sweet harmony every once and a while. I remember hearing “Onward Christian Soldiers” on the radio and then requesting it the next Sunday evening as a 6 year old. When we got older, Saturday nights was gospel sing night in rural northern Ohio. We would look in the Rural Urban, a weekly paper, and see which churches were having a sing. Once and a while dad would take us to hear folks sing music that had more twang than the large GARBC church in which I was raised. I remember hearing my mom whistle or sing “In the Garden” when it would come on the radio in the afternoon as she prepared supper. I remember as a small child, before our evening prayers, mom or dad would sing whatever hymn we would request. I remember “Into my Heart was one of my favorites, even before I knew what it meant. I remember the night I got saved as a 6 year old boy dad shared this verse:

Revelation 3:20 KJV

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When I made the decision to quit trusting my efforts and trust in what Jesus did on the cross, I repeated a prayer after dad where I asked Jesus into my heart… and it clicked! OHHH  that’s what that means. The Wednesday night I got saved after Supper, then went to prayer meeting, I requested that song before bed and sang it with dad. Come into my heart Lord Jesus.

No, dad did not have the regular family altar time he thought that he should have. But we still heard about the truth from morning until bed time. Today I am going to specifically address families with children or grandchildren, but I believe everyone would benefit when we learn to sing with family.

Singing With Your Family Gets The Right Questions Asked and Answered. 

Exodus 12:26–27 KJV

And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 

That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Deuteronomy 32:7 KJV

Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations: Ask thy father, and he will shew thee; Thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Joshua 4:6–7 KJV

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 

Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

 • Songs help train children in the language of the faith.

 • Your faith must be evident in order to get children to ask the right questions.

 • You need to be prepared with answers.

 • You can prime the pump by explaining certain phrases… “ransomed in Glory” Why would you need a thousand tongues to sing? What in the world in an Ebeneezer?

Singing the gospel changes hearts, and singing the gospel prepares hearts. Singing is of course not a magical formula that will guarantee deep faith in a child, but it is a way to sow and water the Word of God in their heart. If a child does walk through a rebellious season, what do you want them to remember about the Christian faith, calling and inviting them back? Fill their memories up now with the gospel, through songs that will keep singing to them through the years to come.

While our faith must be taught, it is also “caught” in our homes, through what our kids see and hear from us. And singing is catchy. So sing with your kids. You don’t need to be able to sing well. Our singing always remains more important than the sound it makes. -Getty

Singing Trains a Child’s Appetite.

Psalm 78:2–4 KJV

I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 

Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. 

We will not hide them from their children, Shewing to the generation to come The praises of the LORD, and his strength, And his wonderful works that he hath done.

 • Have a heart for singing. If something has taken the song from your heart, get on your knees and search out why, then confess it before God.

Psalm 51:12 KJV

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with thy free spirit.

In an essay on writing for children, Lewis also suggested that children don’t learn like a train going from station to station but rather as a tree grows by adding rings. Kids add and build on what they already know, and so do adults; so we must take care to try and make those first key rings of growth healthy and strong, providing a solid foundation a child can build on. We consider the balance of the content they sing and what vision of God those songs are growing in their minds. 

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

 • Do not patronize or underestimate what your children can sing or understand.

 • Take time to explain the “thees and thous”

 • Give them a little more than they can grasp and help them grow into it, like you would buy sneakers for a child one size too big, knowing they will grow into it.

Singing Can Still Reach Teens, Even if You Just Start Now.

Ephesians 6:4 KJV

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 • Show and tell them why it is important.

 • Make it fun and attractive.

 • Play good songs at home. There are many options to stream good stuff during routine chores and activities.

 • Don’t be scared of your kids, parent them.

Singing Should Bring the Sound of Church Home So Your Children Will Be At Home In Church.

 • Home should be the foundational space preparing for the singing we do on Sunday.

 • This Links our personal home with our church home

 • This links our homes to our future kid’s homes, training the next generation.

 • Singing is transformative.

 • Singing can restore and revive a family.

 • Singing at home can train us to be comfortable and confident when sharing our faith.

 • We influence the music of our church tomorrow by the appetites we develop and train in our homes today.

Ten Practical Ideas To Sing With Your Family

Use All The Help and Opportunities You Can Get

 • Sing to yourself

 • Stream good stations or personal play lists though out the day.

 • Ask your children what songs they enjoy in church and sing them at home.

 • Aim to have truth sung in the spaces where life takes place.

Teach Your Kids Songs You Want Them To Grow Old With

Actively make a list of the songs you would like your kids to know throughout their lives, that clearly and richly teach the faith. Then play them in the car and around the house; sing them yourself as you go about your day, and draw attention to them when they are sung on a Sunday. 

  Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church

Talk About What You Are Doing And What The Songs Mean

 Use a lyric as a conversation starter about faith. We teach our girls a hymn of the month. When we learned “Holy, Holy, Holy,” we had some fun with cherubims and seraphims! We recommend Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth’s series Hymns for a Kid’s Heart for helping with this.

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

Prepare For Sunday Services

 • Check on by Thursday evenings we will try to have the order of Sunday’s service posted. You can look at the songs and sing them with your children before Sunday so that they are ready and familiar with the tunes and words.

 • Talk about or sing the songs you sang on Sunday after church, especially on the drive home.

Model Passionate Participation in the Services.

 • When at church remember other members and your children are watching.

 • Stand beside your children and sing with them.

 • Children need to see other parents and kids older than them singing, to that they see it is not a childish thing to do.

 • Sit somewhere in church where your children are surrounded with strong singing. That way your kids can see that this is something that folks outside your family does.

Grow the love for hearing and joining the voice of the congregation, so much so that church would be strange to them if they didn’t hear that sound. They should come to church expecting to sing.

  Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

Be Aware of All The Music Your Kids Are Into

There are ultimately no neutral lyrics. All songs share a message about how we should view the world. So we should be listening, discussing, and understanding what our kids are into. It’s not that we ban everything that does not explicitly teach the gospel! We love and play all sorts of music with our kids. But we want to equip our kids to listen with discernment and thoughtfulness. 

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

If Your Kids Are Into Music, Encourage Them

Ephesians 4:7–8 KJV

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

When We Have A Children’s Choir, Support It

Psalm 8:2 KJV

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength Because of thine enemies, That thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

 • It is an encouragement to the children

 • It is an encouragement to the congregation.

Cultivate High Opinions of All Types of Art

Some of the issues in church music today are not that a certain style isn’t quite right but rather that we are too narrow and maybe even too boring in our expression. Inspire your kids with different instruments, sounds, and languages, and by speaking positively about all these things yourself. Teach them to be lifelong students of discovery in this amazing creation God has built all around us and in us. 

  Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

Sing Today!

There may never be a perfect day to start singing truths with your kids. But there is today. They are not too old. They are not too young—we have been surprised that even our two-year-old knows several songs well. (Remember the ancient motto—“Give me a child until they are seven and I will show you the man.”) Don’t wait. We were kick-started into this by a hilarious experience at Wilberforce School (New Jersey) when the kids wanted to perform one of our songs (they began by explaining how they used different hymns to help teach the kids the faith), and our daughter Eliza (four at the time) jumped up to join the choir and of course, was the only child who didn’t know all the words—an embarrassing parenting moment!

  Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church  

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 11:20 AM February 26, 2021.

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