I come from a family who loves to sing, praise, and worship God. Some of our fondest family memories include worshiping God individually in the privacy of our home, lifting our voices up to God with one another and with our church family and, at times, leading others in worship. During times of trouble, we’ve discovered that the joy of the Lord is our strength. One of the fastest ways to shift our focus from our circumstances to God is by expressing our thankfulness to Him for all He is and has done for us through song.
The Bible affirms that praise, singing and worship should be an integral part of our lives. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we are consistently taught to:
Sing the praises of the Lord, you His faithful people; praise His holy name. – Psalm 30:4
Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things. – Psalm 98:1
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – Colossians 3:16
Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:18-20
As parents, one of our great privileges and responsibilities is to:
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Educating our children includes teaching them foundational spiritual songs that will help them to know God more fully, love Him more dearly, and draw closer to Him!
Many of us bring our children to church while they’re quite young so that they can begin to socialize and worship with others, but learning to sing and praise God can also begin at home, and the process can start earlier than most of us realize. Did you know that recent studies show that babies in the womb start responding to music as early as 16 weeks?
The implications of this study are enormous! Potentially, we can pre-dispose our kids towards God and the things of God by singing and playing spiritual music for them even before they are born! Scripture confirms that in-utero babies are quite aware of and sensitive to what’s happening in the outside world. For instance, John the Baptist recognized the voice of Mary, the mother of Jesus, while he was still in his mother’s womb!
Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” – Luke 1:39-45
The impact of music in a child’s life is powerful. Time and time again, I’ve heard people share how the simple songs of faith that they learned while growing up had profoundly impacted them later in life. Some have shared how they came to Christ at an early age and their faith continued to grow as a result of the seeds planted by their favorite worship songs. Others have shared how they’ve wandered away from the faith, ended up in dark places, and then found their way back to Jesus by clinging to the simply stated yet theologically pure truths found in childhood songs like Jesus Loves Me This I Know (For the Bible Tells Me So!)
Never underestimate the power of a children’s worship song that contains deep spiritual truth, even if it’s stated in simple language. To this day, the songs that I learned in my youth – songs I have not heard in years – still resonate and hold a special place in my heart! Do you find that this is true for you as well?
Sometimes, profound spiritual truth that is hard for adults to understand or convey to kids is best explained through song. For instance, it’s challenging to wrap our minds around the sovereignty of God, but the beloved American spiritual, He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands expresses the concept perfectly!
That’s why I’m delighted to learn that Rose Clayton has illustrated a new board book for us to share with our kids! He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands – A Sing-Along Book helps us teach the lyrics of this wonderful song to the new generation of kids while Clayton’s colorful illustrations bring the song to life.
Whenever our kids are worried – whenever they’re having trouble falling asleep – we can pull out this book and remind them, through praise, song, and worship, that God has everything under control.
In the timeless words of the lyricist Obie Philpot:
He’s got the whole world in His hands.
He’s got the sun and the moon in His hands.
He’s got the earth and the sky in His hands.
He’s got the whole world in His hands.
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What praise and worship songs do you and your children love to sing? Do you notice a change in their behavior and attitude after they have sung songs of praise to God? Please share your thoughts with us and have a wonderful day!