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Mama, You Forgot

Mama, You Forgot

“Mama, you forgot to sing to me,” my son called from his bedroom.

Actually, I hadn’t forgotten. I was just tired and ready for the kids to be in bed, eager to go “off duty” for the night. So I had prayed for him, kissed him goodnight and shut the door.

But he remembered. And inwardly, my heart rejoiced despite my weariness. I reentered his room, sang a verse of “The Old Rugged Cross” and kissed him goodnight one more time.

We used to sing to our babies as part of their nighttime routine, but as they’ve grown older, the bedtime songs gradually fell by the wayside. Recently, however, a dear friend told me about an interview she’d read with singers/songwriters Keith and Kristyn Getty, in which they encouraged parents to sing songs of faith to their kids each night.

What a simple, yet profound, way to pass on our faith and teach foundational truth to our children.

I took up the challenge and picked “The Old Rugged Cross,” my favorite hymn, as our bedtime song for the month. After just a few nights of singing to my kids, they began to join in and sing along.

One night, my four-year-old daughter asked, “What does ‘cherish’ mean?” With great joy, I explained the precious value of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and the treasure we have in Him – something we honor and hold dear. Something we cherish.

Right there, snuggled in her top bunk, our “hymn of the month” opened the door to the gospel and those were the words to which she fell asleep that night.

I love the old hymns – rich, deep and full of timeless truth. I’m also a huge fan of modern praise and worship music. Both have ushered me into the presence of God. No matter our style preferences, songs of the faith are effective tools in pointing our kids toward Christ.

Here are some thoughts on incorporating music into your family’s routine:

  • Pick a “song of the month” to sing at bedtime. You may want to introduce a new verse each week. Invite conversation by asking questions about the song after you sing it.
  • Read the life story of the man or woman who wrote your “song of the month.” The songs take on new meaning when we understand why the songwriter penned those words. You can find these stories in books like Then Sings my Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories and I Could Sing of Your Love Forever: Stories Behind 100 of the World’s Most Popular Worship Songs.

Music has a way of making things “stick,” of helping us remember whatever we sing about. Let’s fill our kids’ hearts with the truth to which we want them to cling. Let’s use music to cherish the God who cherishes us.

By: Meredith Mills is a wife and mother to three inquisitive, adventurous, fun-loving kids. She loves finding Jesus in the everyday and is passionate about helping others experience Him, too. She blogs at www.DazzledByTheSon.wordpress.com. Connect with her on Facebook at Dazzled By The Son and on Instagram and Twitter @DazzledByTheSon.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

7 Comments

  1. How precious Meredith! What sweet and dear memories you are creating for your children.

  2. WOW. What an inspiration you are! I don’t sing but wish I could. I will pray about this. Maybe we can use a CD to listen to since I can’t carry a tune. I love the idea!

  3. I love singing hymns to my kids at bedtime, but as they’ve become teenagers, it feels awkward. Maybe we can think of another time of day to sing and learn the stories behind the hymns. There’s so much Truth in those old hymns! I’d love it if my children had them stored in their memories for difficult times ahead.

    • Yes, Carole, the hymns are so rich! Thanks for commenting!

  4. I love these ideas, Meredith! I’m going to try these w/ our kiddos. 🙂

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