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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My dirty little secret: I listen to Eminem

I’m just gonna say it…

Please don't judge me too harshly.

My children listen to secular music.
I think Eminem is an artist.
There I said it!  

When I grew up, there wasn't children’s music, and no kid’s station on the radio.  I listened to whatever my Papa put on the turntable.  ("turntable"  You youngins are just gonna have to look that one up.)  Often we'd sit on the back porch as my papa and my uncle played the guitar, and we'd all belt out, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”  Yes, I now know the connotations.  I didn't then.  These memories of a family together wrapped in music are among my favorites.   Later I would come to appreciate these musicians as incredible artists and wonderful lyricists that were more storytellers to me when I was young.
Loggins and Messina.  
Cat Stevens.  
Joni Mitchell.  
Simon and Garfunkel.  
Peter, Paul and Mary.  
The Who.
John Stewart.
And so many more.  
And I came to realize that these artists had a lot to say about the times they lived in.  Some things were fun and some things they said were difficult to hear.  But the music told about our society, and character, and our lives and the times we lived in.   These were often the first tunes that my littles heard in my home.  Leaping and huffing on a moon shadow, moon shadow, moon shadow.  Sing along if you know this one!  It's still one of Livy's favorites.  At the age of 2, Sunny sang, Oh Cecelia! You're breaking my heart.  You're shaking my coffee up, Baby.  It's the only way we sing it now.

So my children listen to secular music on the radio too.  As much as I'd sometimes I'd LOVE to, I don’t ever really want to take them out of a secular world, (even though I have the deepest admiration for families that have chose to live counter-culture lives in accordance to His plan.)  We try to train our children to stand apart in our world.  To look different in action and spirit.  To be a magnet to others that may not know the unconditional love that He offers.  Papa and I have made a very conscience decision to raise our family in the middle of a secular world.  And it is our greatest desire that when someone meets us, they’ll go away thinking, That crazy family is different for some reason.  I wanna learn more about them and see why it seems to work for them.  We want to live within it and stand apart in it all at the same time.

I think music is an integral part of our world.

So a couple years ago I learned what a G-6 is although I'm pretty sure I called it a “cheese stick” for a very long while before an older child corrected me.  I'd like to think that they like having a mom who is actually a dork.   I've come to appreciate much about what Eminem writes about and have used it as a jumping off point for many discussions about relationships and what God intends for us to look like.   And sometimes I turn the station and that’s ok too.  I want my children to grow with the understanding that in this secular world, they too can make the decision to change the station, or take a stand in the midst of it.

If you could, would you choose to live in a community where everyone thought like you?  Where everyone listened to the same music and had the same beliefs?  Is that even possible?  Despite the fact the we want to protect our children from everything out there that's less then desirable at best and horrific at worst, do we need to let our children see it and feel it and be a part of it?  It's a delicate parental balancing act I know.  How do you find the balance in your family? 


  1. We started really trying to "be a part of the culture" when my hubs was a student pastor. Gotta stay relevant! Now with our boys we want to teach them to be in the culture, but be "set apart" like you said. Love this post!

  2. I'm no Michelle Duggar! And I wouldn't say that's necessarily a bad thing. Michelle is an amazing mother, and I adore her parenting style and disciplinary actions. Just having my kids listen to hymns and classical music, though, is not something I believe best for my kids.

  3. "So won't the real Slim Shady please stand up,
    Please stand up, please stand up?" :D

    Ha! I like Eminem too. ;)

    Speaking of music, I miss the 90's music. Good times.


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