In his excellent book, Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting, Paul David Tripp says, “Don’t let the fear of the great ‘what ifs’ cause you to try to produce with human control what only God can produce by His grace.” I constantly need to be reminded of this grace because, let’s face it, parenting is often daunting. One might think that a mother of six would have a little confidence. I do. I am confident that I have a lot more to learn! Encouragement is priceless, and in our house we find a lot of encouragement (and grace) in music.
Last year I wrote about how my youngest daughter spent the morning talking in Classic Rock refrains. (See Classics from a Kid, February 17, 2009.) It’s one thing for your music preferences to rub off on your seven-year-old; it’s another thing when your teen and adult kids connect with you through music. I don’t mean they simply enjoy music you like (though I love it when that happens), I mean they find in the music some of the truths you’ve spent your life trying to teach them. This happened to me when my 14-year-old got hooked on the song Bus Driver by Caedmon’s Call. I’ve had that CD for about 12 years, and for most of those years my kids didn’t pay much attention to it. But last spring my daughter “got” Bus Driver. She got that this song is about the differences people make in their own little worlds, their own communities – no matter what their occupations. She got that it’s important to truly be interested in others, to know that some like “to be early” and others are “happy all alone.” She got excited about these insights and that excited me. At least for the first thousand times we listened to the song.
Something similar happened last fall. As we were out in the car running errands one day, my son (age 21) popped in a CD and said, “Mom, you have to listen to this song.” It was Small by J.J. Heller. The song is about how we can’t make God fit into our molds for Him, we can’t make Him small. Again, my son got it. Not only did he know I’d like the song, he connected a truth we’ve tried to teach him his whole life with the message of the song. He may be sorry, though – I haven’t let him have his CD back yet.