I know I can’t be the “perfect parent,” but I’d like to be. I want to teach my kids a million things — everything from how to read, ride a bike, take care for their bodies, and balance their finances.
I’d like to say all the right things, discipline just the right amount that my kids learn valuable lessons, but also shower them in love, grace, and kindness. I mostly want to teach them about Jesus and His incredible love.
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But I fall short. All the time.
Gratefully, 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Whew. Thank goodness.
But in the midst of a meltdown or misunderstanding how do we stand strong in this truth? What if instead of panicking, shouting, or crying we recited, silently sang in our minds, or even sang out loud hymns packed with Biblical truths — to infuse these truths in our hearts and heads, to help us remember that Christ’s grace is all we need.
That where we fall short, He’ll step in with His perfect power. How or why does reciting hymns work?
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Hymns Remind Us Who Jesus Is
When we sing lyrics like, “How great thou art!” or “Filled with His goodness, lost in His love,” (“Blessed Assurance”), our hearts are flooded with the greatness, goodness and love of our Savior. Our worries shrink. Our hope increases.
And we can take a deep breath, knowing that we don’t have to be perfect parents, because we have a perfect Savior. Where we fall short, He fills all the gaps. When our kiddos have problems, or we struggle to parent them, He is the very best man for the job.
Hymns Are Powerful
A temperamental toddler or a tight-lipped teen can stop us in our tracks. A diagnosis or accident or heartache for one our children can make us feel powerless. But our God is a mighty God.
In the Bible, God uses music to knock down the walls of Jericho, confuse and defeat the enormous army Gideon and his gang were up against and shake open the prison doors that confined Paul and Silas.
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Singing spiritual songs out loud can work as a weapon against the enemy and anything he throws our way. Declaring that we want Jesus to, “Be thou my wisdom and Thou my true word,” (from the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision”), and stating, “He’ll not let my soul be lost; His promises shall last" (from “He Will Hold Me Fast”), can knock down closed doors of communication, overpower our fears and doubts and set us free from pain and uncertainty.
Hymns Point Us to What Is True and Just and Right
No one ever told me there would be so many decisions when it came to parenting. Should our kids try out for that team, should they take that medication, what kind of parameters should we set on social media?
It’s easy to find a plethora of opinions on parenting, many of which conflict with each other. How do we know what’s best for our child? Singing lyrics like, “On Christ the solid rock I stand,” (from the hymn, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”) or “Give me Jesus” (by the hymn of the same name), reminds us to pray, to talk to Jesus about all the big and small decisions in our parenting.
We don’t need Five Easy Fixes to Get Smart, Sweet Children. We need Jesus. He is who we stand on.
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Our children are a gift from God. Singing the truths from hymns about Jesus and how He loves us and our kiddos, how we can count on Him, how He is our source, supply, Savior, strength, wisdom, friend, and shepherd, can help us be better parents. Because when we’re filled with reminders of who Jesus is, we can better shine His light to our kids.
Best-selling author and speaker Laura L. Smith grew up singing old hymns in her traditional church, then rushing home to count down the rest of the Top 40 on Billboard’s music charts with Casey Kasem. Smith loves all kinds of music, and although she can’t carry a tune, she’s often seen singing or dancing around her house. Smith speaks around the country sharing the love of Christ at conferences and events. She lives in the college town of Oxford, Ohio with her husband and four kids. Her newest title, How Sweet the Sound, releases in August. Connect with her on Instagram @laurasmithauthor and at www.laurasmithauthor.com.