Sunday, April 15, 2018

Including Hymns Into a Child's Daily Life

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:18-20 NKJV

One of the things that the Lord has impressed upon my heart with my children is including hymns into their daily life. Since they were babies, I sought to incorporate hymns into our daily routine and to instill in them an appreciation for the old beloved hymns of the faith. 

I love hymns. I grew up in churches where hymns were sung with power and joy and conviction, not woodenly and lifelessly. 

I love the theology contained in them, the joy expressed within their beautiful metered stanzas, and the deep rich heritage that they hold for us in the faith. 

I love the stories behind them, the lessons held and buried deep and true in their author's lives and in the Lord's dealings with them. There is a vast treasure-house of beauty found in reading about the lives of the hymnwriters--George Matheson, Fanny Crosby, John Robinson, Charles Wesley, Issac Watts and the list literally goes on and on. 

I want to pass that joy onto my children. 

Am I recommending only hymns, exclusively hymns, nothing else? Absolutely not! :-) I appreciate and enjoy praise choruses and songs steeped in the Scripture; I love the Psalms sung out as songs in modern language. I think that these can also be useful and beneficial in our lives, in our children's lives, and in the life of the church. 

But hymns, sung from the physical hymnal or from memory can enrich our lives and our children's lives greatly, and I believe can strongly enrich the church in terms of the deep theology that they hold for every generation. 

So how do I incorporate hymns into our daily lives? 

We attend a church that sings hymns. This is very important to me. It was a blessing for me to find a church in the Midwest that sings exclusively from the physical hymnal. I want that experience to be a strong part of our children's lives. 

We sing hymns at home. We have collected a number of hymnals and sing from them regularly. We sing a hymn in the morning together when we have our daily devotional time and we sing a hymn at night together after supper after a brief time of Bible reading. We sing hymns at night before bed. I rock my children and sing them hymns or very softly play a CD of hymns as they fall asleep (or do both). In this way, hymns are included into our daily life. 

We listen to hymns on CD--in the house, in the car, wherever! We love hymns! :-) I believe, and this is my personal conviction--take it or leave it--that young children are better off listening to slower-paced music that is simple and edifying and fun, rather than the fast-paced "fluff" that is usually offered to them.  Hymns fit this principle wonderfully. Some examples of what I mean by this are below in the CD's that I recommend--

Sometimes hymns are thought of as dreary and droll and boring--but the very opposite is true! It is so much fun to gather together with other believers and sing the great hymns of the faith with a tambourine, a guitar, a piano, or other instruments! It creates and builds a deep bond of fellowship. It strengthens us as believers spiritually and encourages unity and togetherness through our Lord and Savior. It encourages and edifies our children through the powerful reinforcement of the principles in God's Word through the songs of His people. 

So sing hymns! :-) Include them in your daily life with your children, in your family, as part of your home life. I promise you that it will be a blessing. 

Suggestions and Resources that have blessed us greatly as a family (these are clickable affiliate links to Amazon): 

Hymns For a Kid's Heart Volume One (Book and CD)

Hymns For a Kid's Heart Volume Two (Book and CD)

Passion Hymns for a  Kid's Heart (Book and CD)

Christmas Carols for a Kid's Heart (Book and CD)

Scripture-based songwriters and CD's :

The Shadow of Your Wings~Fernando Ortega

Hymns of Worship~ Fernando Ortega

Hymns and Meditations~Fernando Ortega

Peace Like a River: The Hymn Project~ Chris Rice

Helpful Books/Resources: 

The Shaping of the Christian Family, by Elisabeth Elliot

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  1. Hi Rebekah, I am so happy to have found your sweet blog today. I also grew up in a church that sang hymns and in a family that sang and played instruments together. It has been very important to me to impart a love of the old, cherished hymns to my children as well. Now that my children are older and playing instruments, I have been thinking how nice it would be to incorporate a family hymn sing into our weekly schedule. (If it doesn't go on Mom's planner, it usually doesn't happen!) Your post has inspired me to pursue this! Thank you.

  2. Music really sticks with us. I know I can remember every word to songs that I haven't heard in years, and hymns are a great opportunity to fill our minds with truth that will stick with us. I love that you're being intentional about giving your kids that opportunity! Visiting from #HeartEncouragementThursday!

  3. Love, love, love this post! I couldn't agree more!

    I am so thankful that we too found a church that sings from the hymnal. I find myself drawn into the words as they minister greatly to me.

    Your ideas for instilling hymns into children's are perfect. I love the idea of having them playing softly as they fall asleep. And for my active granddaughter, I think that would be a great way to start out. :-)

    Thanks for sharing the great resources too!

    I miss you sweet friend. I think about you often.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you, make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.

  4. I love hymns too, Rebekah. I like your suggestions about how to be intentional about exposing our kids to them ... the lyrics and theology are so much more meaningful than a lot of what's popular today. Glad to be your neighbor today at Faith on Fire. :-)