Get Over It

I take great pride and pleasure in the fact that my children are growing up with an awareness of good music.  Now, what you define as good music may be a matter of debate, but I’m doing my best to provide them with some cultural perspective.  I want them to be able to identify the Beatles and other major musical groups.  I like that they appreciate various types of music.

I don’t appear to be alone in this.  I have noticed for years that my Facebook friends often post pictures of themselves with their kids at concerts.  They take pride in introducing their children to what they consider to be good music.  They are proud that their children (at least for the moment) appreciate the same music that has been meaningful and beautiful in their own lives.  It is a matter not just of parental pride, but a sign of good parenting, it would seem, to inculcate in your children an appreciation of not just music in general, but particularly music that is meaningful to you as the parent.

So, for those people who claim that they don’t want to pressure their children into church or Jesus or religion, who claim that they want their children to decide for themselves what they believe, cut it out.  Get over it.  Quit dressing up your own apathy or your own residual issues as some sort of enlightened parenting technique.

Would you let your children grow up thinking that Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga or Nickelback were the pinnacles of musical accomplishment?  Would you let them grow up without never having heard the Beatles?  The Rolling Stones?  Simon and Garfunkel?  Depeche Mode?  Chuck Berry?  Substitute the musical act/genre of your choosing here, but don’t pretend that you don’t have strong feelings on the matter!  Or substitute books and literature if music isn’t your thing.  The point is that as parents, we are excited to introduce our children to things that we consider beautiful and worthy and true and good.

Is Jesus beautiful and worthy and true and good?  Is He good enough for you as a parent?  Then why in the world wouldn’t you share him with your child?  Might your child one day reject Jesus, decide that He isn’t for them?  Might your child one day decide that Pink Floyd really was overrated and that Kanye really is the most amazing musician ever?  Perhaps.  You can’t control that.  But what you can do is introduce your child to what you believe to be good and true and right and beautiful.

Would you rather sleep in on Sundays?  Frankly, I’d like to sleep in as well.  But don’t pretend that your own desire to sleep in is somehow an enlightened way of providing your child with a truly objective experience of the world.  Don’t presume that your failure to take them to Church, to read the Bible, to talk about the meaning of faith in day to day life is somehow going to result in a child who is more spiritually centered and mature.  Don’t presume that your private, undiscussed, unlived faith is somehow going to be communicated mystically to your child about the same time in their life as they discover the opposite sex, get their driver’s license, and begin heading out into the Big World on their own.

Take responsibility.  If you believe in God then you should want your child to as well.  Do the work.  Talk the talk and walk the walk.  But don’t pretend to be virtuous when you’re really being lazy.  If you’d spend the money and time to wait in line for tickets so your kids could go see the music group that was most influential in your life, take the time (and – gasp! -maybe even spend the money) and take your kids to Church every Sunday so they can hear about the man you believe has saved your life for all eternity.  Talk about that man through the week so they see that it’s not just an hour on Sundays but rather a way of thinking and being and living and loving that is the essence of the Christian faith.  Just like you blast your favorite tunes at home.

And if it troubles you that you aren’t equally excited to live and share your faith, maybe some time in prayer and conversation is in order for you.  Maybe that’s something your kids can be part of, too.  If it really is a matter of life and death instead of just aesthetic preference, it’s worth taking the time and effort to sort through.  Both for you and for them.



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