The Songs We Teach Our Children :: by Nathele Graham

People like to sing. We sing songs of joy, songs of love, folk songs, gospel songs, protest songs, and much more. There are also some very dark and evil songs that Christians shouldn’t listen to at all. Music can calm anxiety and has the power to soothe a troubled soul.

“And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him” ( 1 Samuel 16:23).

Some people believe that when plants are exposed to classical music they thrive, but when exposed to Rock and Roll they don’t do so good! If you want to remember something, put it to music and you just might remember what you don’t want to forget.

Can you sing the alphabet? Many Bible teachers believe that Lucifer was the song leader in heaven before his pride got in the way and caused him to rebel against God. Moses sang, Miriam sang, David sang, Paul encouraged singing, and so did James.

“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms” (James 5:13).

In our modern day worship services we sing majestic hymns and inspiring songs of worship. Somewhere along the way some very simple and basic songs filled with God’s truth seem to be forgotten when we reach adulthood. Sunday school songs that we teach our children.

The first song many Christian parents teach their children is “Jesus Loves Me.”Oh, our hearts swell with joy as our little ones warble, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong.”

We want our children to know beyond any doubt that they are loved by Jesus, yet adults need to remember this too.

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13).

“Jesus loves me! He who died, heaven’s gate to open wide; He will wash away my sin, let His little child come in.”

Jesus died so you can live; only His blood can wash away your sin. “Jesus loves me! He will stay, close beside me all the way; Thou has bled and died for me, I will henceforth live for Thee.”

We want our children to live for Jesus, but teaching them a song is only part of what they need. They need you to be an example of Christian living so they can follow in your footsteps. Whether you’re a newborn baby or a senior citizen, Jesus loves you. Jesus is God and He stepped into His creation to purchase our redemption by the shedding of His own blood.

“Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.”

The Bible tells me so? Yes it does. “The B-I-B-L-E. Yes that’s the book for me! I stand upon the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.”

That’s another Sunday school song we teach our children. Libraries and bookstores are full of science books filled with evolutionary lies, history books, biographies of famous people, classic literature, books that teach meditation, and even some about satanic worship. There’s only one book that holds the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That is the Bible. B (Basic) I (Instructions ) B (Before) L (Leaving) E (Earth).

It tells where all things began, where sickness and death came from and how sin separates us from God. There are true stories of wars, intrigue, and love as well as psalms of praise and prayers for God’s help. Prophecy gives us clues about these last days we live in and the whole Bible reveals God’s love. When Adam sinned mankind was separated from God, and only God could heal that separation.

Because of His great love for us, God entered His creation and shed His pure blood for our redemption. Jesus paid the entire price for our salvation and all we have to do is accept it. The Bible also tells what will happen if you reject the free gift of salvation.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

God’s love and truth is found within the pages of the Bible. Yes, the B-I-B-L-E is the book for me, and for you.

“O be careful little eyes what you see. O be careful little eyes what you see. The Father up above is looking down in tender love, so be careful little eyes what you see.”

We want our children to grow up to please God. They need to learn to be careful about the things they see so that sin won’t take over their life. Adults need to be careful, too. Do you look at pornography? Do you watch television shows that are filled with violence, hate, and lifestyles that dishonor God? The Sunday school song goes on to warn our children to be careful what their ears hear, what their hands do, where their feet go, and what their mouth says.

Are you careful that your ears don’t listen to satanic lies? Secular music is filled with things a Christian should not hear and false teachers abound. What do you do with your hands? Do you fold them in prayer or reach out in love to comfort a friend? Or do you use your hands for making a fist or for obscene hand gestures? (Be careful. God’s watching and so are your children.)

Your feet can take you on a missionary trip right in your own neighborhood, or they can take you to a movie theater to watch an R rated movie. Which of those activities do you think pleases God? You need to be careful about the words your mouth speaks. You can use your mouth to praise God, speak encouraging words to others, and sing songs of praise. It can also be used to spew foul language, shout angry words, or gossip.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

If you honor God in all you do, as he looks down upon you in tender love He will be well pleased.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

The words are simple but true.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14).

Jesus said that so pay attention. God lives in you and His light needs to shine through you. The world is filled with Satan’s darkness, but God’s light within us will shine bright if we let it. The next verse of the song says, “All around the neighborhood, I’m gonna let it shine.”

It’s nice to go to some foreign land to do mission work, but you have a mission field in your own neighborhood. Christians represent Christ and we need to let His light shine in all we do. Non-Christians watch to see how we behave and they like to bring our failures out in the open. If you aren’t careful, His light in you will dim. “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine.”

Do you try to hide the fact that you’re a Christian from your family, friends, and co-workers? Don’t be ashamed of Christ. He gave His life so you can live eternally with Him.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

Don’t just read that Scripture, but live it. Don’t be ashamed of Him. Don’t hide your light under a bushel or under a load of sin. Let it shine! If you continue to hide your light you give Satan a foothold. He will try to take away your joy in the Lord.

“Don’t let Satan blow it out! I’m gonna let it shine.”

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Let the light of God shine bright in you! It will if you are careful what you see, hear, and do.

Do you have the joy of the Lord within you? Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, so if you don’t have joy, maybe your way of doing things is out of order. This children’s song is sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells” and holds a clue to having joy.

“J-O-Y, J-O-Y, this must surely mean, J-esus first, Y-ourself last, and O-thers in between.”

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).

Jesus spoke those words, and as always He spoke only truth. If He is first in your life, then you will keep His commandments and true joy will live in you. J-esus, O-thers, Y-ourself. Joy.

As children we learn these simple songs that tell of God’s truth. Why do adults stop singing them? On Sunday mornings we sing majestic hymns, such as “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “How Great Thou Art.”

We sing songs that urge us to serve Christ better, such as, “Have Thine Own Way Lord,” songs that encourage us in revival such as, “Are You Washed In the Blood?” And ones that talk of God’s grace, such as, “Just As I Am” and “Amazing Grace.”

These songs inspire, encourage, and comfort us. While we sing these inspiring hymns, let’s not forget to go back to the Sunday school songs we learned as children and pay attention to the simple truth they teach.

Yes, Jesus loves me, the B-I-B-L-E tells me so!

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham