Last week we talked about how
“…it is not a waste to pursue artistic or scientific pursuits in creativitiy, because this is what man was made to be able to do. He was made in the image of a Creator, and given the capacity to create” (Edith Schaeffer).
One of the first things God created was music, and since it’s a special love of mine, I thought I’d talk about this one first.
“Where were you when… the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7)
What did those morning stars sing about, in the first few days of our world, when God was laying the foundations of the earth and wrapping clouds around it as a garment?
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world (Psalm 19:1-4).
In the same way, I think the music we create in our home should declare the glory of God. The styles and sounds and abilities will vary from home to home, from culture to culture, but our attempts at beauty should “display knowledge” about God.
Does that mean all our music should be “sacred” and never “secular”? I don’t believe there is such a thing! God invented music, and it should all be used for His glory. We can study “secular” Classical music or 1990’s pop music, as long as it does these things:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
Same thing for “sacred” music. The Bible tells us:
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 hearts to God (Colossians 3:16).
Our “secular” songs should be saturated with goodness and creativity, and our “sacred” songs should be saturated with the word of Christ and with praise and gratitude to God. That’s the standard, but again, how we express that in our own homes and cultures will vary widely.
Just as we can write the words of God on the walls of our homes, we should fill the air of our homes with music. Here are some tips:
- Have several CD and MP3 players handy. I like having one in my kitchen (for when I wake up groggy and might not be feeling too thankful about having to make breakfast). I like having some in our bedrooms (so nice for drifting off to sleep). I like having one in the dining room, to give it a great “restaurant” feel when we eat (how romantic by candlelight!). I like having one in the garage, to give us some energy when we’re working on summer projects. I like having one in my basement, so my kids can use it to practice their musical instruments with or for me to exercise with. I keep an MP3 player in my apron pocket for when I’m baking bread or folding laundry. I’d love to get one installed in my shower, but that’s still on my wish list. 🙂
- When attitudes start to head south, turn up the music! It’s amazing how it helps.
- When cabin fever hits or the silliness gets on your nerves, change the atmosphere of your home with music. Either make it peppy (to get the wiggles out) or peaceful (to calm them down).
- Play a large variety of music. Doesn’t our Creator God love variety? Think of the kinds of bugs He made… or leaves… or planets… or dogs…. No matter where you look, variety is the spice of life… and it’s the spice of music, too. Stretch yourself and listen to something new!
- I enjoy Pandora radio when I’m online, either at the table with my laptop during homeschool time or in my office with headphones early in the morning. I can customize it to play whatever I’m in the mood for that day… and it’s free!
- We enjoy making music together as a family on our sabbaths. From karaoke-style sing-a-longs with old Broadway classics found at garage sales or hymn sings or song books from our favorite Christian artists, to each person playing their own instrument (give the little ones empty oatmeal containers or pots and wooden spoons), this is one of the most fun things we can do. This school year, we’re working on learning to sing soprano-alto-tenor-bass, but sometimes we just let one person sing a solo while the rest of us sing “back up.” Whatever… it’s fun!
- When we hear a song we love, we’ll often download sheet music for it and add it to a notebook. We keep this music handy and sometimes just play through the bunch.
- If I can’t afford music lessons for my children, I just teach them at home. I’ve got an article on my computer somewhere about how I do that, and I’ll try to post it here soon! 🙂
Do you have more ideas? I’d love to hear them! Whether we have the skills of Bach or just make a lot of joyful noise, music is a wonderful way to give glory to our Creator God in our homes.