When our children were born, I somehow realized how powerful music could be since it was so meaningful to me. It was my desire to hide the Word of God in their hearts from the youngest years, so I went on a quest to find excellent sources. It was very difficult to find what I envisioned. I wanted it to be memorable and to stick with them. It had to be wholesome, encouraging, scripturally-based, and melodic (not raucous or clamorous) to lend a sense of peace and calm to our time.
We often played a combination of the great and ancient hymns, bluegrass (fiddle), folk ballads, Irish and Scottish pieces, the classics (from Bach and Mozart to Handel to Tchaikovsky and Respighi), and the great overtures. Mostly, though, I wanted the children’s lullaby music to have words from scripture, and I wanted to sing it to them – for years – so they would never forget it.
The perfect times to do that were bedtime in the rocker and on car trips. Here is a partial list of lullaby and other children’s music resulting from that search.
Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em In Your Heart I and Hide ‘Em In Your Heart II CDs, which we still love, was all Scripture but they also loved Judy Rogers. Her Go To the Ant: Proverbs For the Family CD is one that our children still remember. So, yes! We can hide the Word of God in their hearts from the young years and music is an excellent vehicle!
I just played from the Go To the Ant CD for our 20-somethings after many years of not hearing it, and they crowded around and started to sing along. It brought back such happy memories of those long rides for groceries and music lessons. Music engages the hearts of young and older alike. We can use the time we have with our young ones wisely and give them the very best, the very words of Scripture.
Be choosy and choose the best! There is a lot of stuff out there from mediocre to horrible. The music we raise our children with will influence their tastes for life. We (the parents) listened to devaluing music in the 60s and 70s, and it took us places we would not want our children to go. We learned the hard way.
Added: I just found out from a reader about Songs For Saplings. Delightful! ‘Questions With Answers’ contains a plethora of Scriptural truths about God and His creation. The songs teach who God is, what He did in creation, and why He did it. They also teach us who we are and how we should respond to Him. I wish we had these when ours were little, but am getting them for our grandchildren. You can listen to them ALL here. There is also Songs For Saplings ABC and 123. (4.5 and 5 star reviews)
Tanya Goodman: A Child’s Gift of Lullabies (4.9 stars out of 5, 340 reviews)
Jay Stocker: Hidden In My Heart: A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture (4.9 stars out of 5, 811 reviews) Hidden In My Heart, Volume II (4.9 star, 280 reviews) Hidden in My Heart, Volume III, A Lullaby Journey Through The Life Of Jesus
Twila Paris: Bedtime Prayers: Lullabies & Peaceful Worship…exquisite music for young ones and Mama!
We also wanted our children to learn the wonderful old praise choruses that they would have in their heads and hearts for a lifetime.
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.”Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,'”From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?” ~Matthew 21:15-16
“Oh, Mothers of young children, I bow before you in reverence. Your work is most holy. You are fashioning the destinies of immortal souls. The powers folded up in the little ones that you hushed to sleep in your bosoms last night, are powers that shall exist forever. You are preparing them for their immortal destiny and influence. Be faithful. Take up your sacred burden reverently. Be sure that your life is sweet and clean.” ~ J.R. Miller
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