Spiritual Music for Children

I’ve been thinking alot about church music, again.  But tonight, while putting my babies to bed, I was fishing around for some new repertoire to my nightly super-slow-lull-them-to-sleep-singing, and my thoughts turned to my children’s spiritual musical heritage.

My friend Janeen once told me that she wants her kids to have a song for every situation they might find themselves in.  A song that has a message they can turn to.

I, myself, learned most of my memory verses through songs, thanks to a musical Bible teacher in high school.

Stroke patients with aphasia can often sing, even though they are unable to speak.

So I thought that maybe it would be useful to give a little intentional thought into what songs we are forming their childhood with.

Off the top of my head, here are a few of the songs I consider necessary for my children, as we shape their God-consciousness:

He is Good (Steve Green)

How Great is Our God (Chris Tomlin)

Amazing Grace

I’m thinking that as I expand this list, I’d like to include songs from the ages…ageless hymns, 40s campmeeting songs, 70s campfire songs, (let’s skip the 90s ‘feel good’ songs, ewwww), and some of the current music that will take its rightful place in history.

I’m also wishing that, as Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw talk about in their awesome book Jesus for President, that I could find songs that talk about “some of God’s most creative and exciting ideas”–debt cancellation, land reforms, food redistribution, slave amnesty.  But, as they point out (and made me snort), maybe it’s “just hard to come up with words that rhyme with ‘debt cancellation'”.  (p. 58, if you’re interested)  I haven’t found any of those songs yet, have you?

What songs would you put on your list?  Your own personal list and/or the list you’d like for your children?


5 thoughts on “Spiritual Music for Children

  1. Jesus loves me! I actually sang this sang over and over (in my head, of course) while having my radiation treatments. My boys like Awesome God.

  2. My old standard when I don’t feel like thinking is, “My Jesus I Love Thee.” After 3 full verses and 1 hummed, most of my kiddies will sleep. 🙂

  3. Peter’s favorites are “Wretch Like Me” (Amazing Grace), “Holy, Holy , Holy” (Day is Dying in the West), “In Your Ear” (I Love You Lord). It’s funny what phrases he globs onto as the title, I’m convinced it’s the phrase that’s most fun to say.

  4. “The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal ” has some wonderful hymns with words that can catch children’s attention and have a lot of meaning. A couple of examples: “For God So Loved Us” Gotte ist die Liebe,, and another that I discovered doing children’s choir at our elementary school: “I am Going to Calvary” Tune: See Saw Saccara Down, words by Brian Wren. You may want to be selective with the verses, but it is a really catchy tune with a message.

  5. Thank you for the songs! I look forward to checking them out. And it’s so funny that you would talk about the hymnal – just last night I was playing through the hymnal while the kids were going to sleep, and as I was paging through, I was noticing how many of them are at least familiar to my oldest and made a point to play them for her. So many gems out there…

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