My Daughter’s Playlist

When my daughter turned two, she began crafting stages for herself. Any rectangular surface worked—the fireplace hearth, an overturned toy container, even shelf liner pulled from a kitchen drawer. She would grab a makeshift microphone (a flashlight, a princess wand, or a marker), center herself upon the stage, and take a deep breath before belting out the lyrics to her favorite songs.

At first, her concerts included basic childhood melodies, such as “You Are My Sunshine” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” After watching Frozen a dozen times, she incorporated “Let it Go” and “In Summer” into her set list. Deep into our pandemic quarantine, though, her tunes changed. She began singing worship songs, such as “For God so Loved” and “Waymaker.” My husband and I would laugh and pull out our phones to records videos of her misspoken lyrics and off-key melodies. Her performances could go on all evening until she sung herself to sleep.

My husband and I were surprised at how many praise songs she knew. These weren’t choruses we had intentionally taught her. Yet after months of virtual church and our Spotify playlist broadcasting through our quarantined home, these songs had implanted themselves into her memory and her heart. They were discipling her without us even acknowledging it.

During those early days of the pandemic—where long mornings stretched into even longer days—I obsessed over morning discipleship tools. I bought new Bible storybooks to read to her at the breakfast table. We began practicing Scripture memory with gummy vitamins as rewards. I let her oatmeal-coated hands hold our missionary prayer cards. However, somehow music was the one thing I never thought to include in our routine.

I didn’t have to, though, because it was so pervasive in our household. My Spotify playlist taught my daughter about the God who loves her, who is always with her, who protects her, and who desires good for her. She memorized Scripture verses set to music long before we began practicing them at the breakfast table. The soundtrack to our daily life was a constant reminder of gospel truths for my children—and for me.

As parents, we often feel the burden of family discipleship (as we rightly should), but we forget that discipleship occurs not just in the significant events and pre-planned conversations but in the mundane moments of our day. It happens when simple melodies played on repeat ingrain biblical truth into our children’s hearts in ways we never could.

We don’t only listen to Christian music in our household. We still enjoy our fair share of silly Disney songs like “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” (from Aristocats) and “Shiny (from Moana). We have indeed talked (and sung) about Encanto’s infamous Bruno one too many times. My kids’ favorite part of movie nights is dancing around the living room to the end credits’ music.

Yet when we get into the car, my daughter asks for her current favorite song—the goodness song (“Goodness of God” by Shane & Shane). She commands our Google Nest to “play Lord, rock, redeemer” (“O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer” by Sovereign Grace Music). When my son wakes up in the middle of the night, the doxology helps him drift back to sleep. When my daughter is afraid of the dark, it’s a song based on the Psalm 56:3 that soothes her fearful heart.

I praise God that these are the songs my children love—these are the lyrics that have already touched their tiny hearts. And I pray for the day when they not only sing these songs because they are fun but because they believe these truths for themselves.

While I’m a proponent of enjoying “adult” worship music with your children, it’s also fun to mix it up with some more child-friendly melodies. If you’re looking for good kid’s worship music, here are a few of my favorites:

“Worship in the Word” by Shane & Shane

“The Ology” by Sovereign Grace Music

Any album by Seeds Family Worship

We’ve also enjoyed incorporating hymns into our evening routine and use Timeless Hymns for Family Worship: Bringing Gospel-Centered Moments into Your Home by Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbi Wolgemuth.

This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Lyrical”. 

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