15 August 2005

Country Music State of Mind

I have always liked country music. I have enjoyed the ballads of homegrown lifestyle, hometown values, and patriotic pride that would unfortunately be intermingled with songs about honky-tonkin’, alcohol guzzlin’, and spouse cheatin’. Ten years ago, as a new believer, I would hear my four year old sing the lyrics to some of the songs, and I knew that I needed to make a change. I swore off country music for good – or at least I thought so.

I also love worship music. There is something pure, and beautiful about using the very breath that the Lord gave you to sing praises back to Him. I have heard the criticism about worship songs being 7-11s – where you sing 7 words 11 times. But something happens when you sing these songs – the tangible, physical world melts away and your spirit is free to worship in the presence of the Lord without reservation or hesitation.

A few years ago, Randy Travis brought these two loves together for me when he moved into the gospel/country music genre. He sang songs about faith and family, being baptized in the river, and lots of other things I could relate to. It was so cool.

More recently, as our hearts have been turned to Texas, I got on a country music kick. My kids are a little older now, and I have learned that when a song that is objectionable comes on the radio, I am not a captive audience – I can change the station! (I have also noticed every single time I am in the car with my friend Tina – a country song about TEXAS comes on the radio! Do you think that is a sign that she should move to Texas too??!)

Travis came home the other day and shared a song he’d heard in the car on his way to work – on the country station I had left it on – and it reminded him about his childhood, climbing trees, and running outside all day long getting into whatever he could. Travis is not very sentimental most of the time, but I think I saw his eyes watering as he was remembering. In Sunday school yesterday they played a song in our marriage class called “Little Moments” about those times in a marriage when you realize again that you still love that person! Kendra has found she really likes the love-songs. Those of us that are deeply committed to family, country and God can find a lot of country songs that hit us right where we are – and these are things the Lord values. So I have shed my legalism in favor of discernment, and started enjoying country music again – and use the good sense the Lord gave me to turn the dial when there’s something that opposes those beliefs!!

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