By Allison Hull
My kids love junk food. I give it to them all the time.
Every meal they get soda with as much caffeine as it can have, candy with either chocolate or chewy gummies, cookies, cake, chips, and anything slathered in sugar. They love it. They beg for it. And when I see their eyes light up and get wide, their mouth dripping with chocolate and their body humming with energy I feel happy that they’re happy. Sure, there are the sugar lows, but that just means they need a little pick-me-up from a chocolate chip cookie. Yes, some people say you need vegetables and things for growing children but how can I say no to them and make them eat something they don’t enjoy as much as the candy? I’ll think later about what it can do to them, when they’ve grown and can make a decision for themselves whether to drink soda or water.
Obviously this is an absurd statement.
I DO NOT give my children candy all the time, so please no one contact CPS. What they do get at every meal is vegetables and fruit, because those things are nutritious and needed for their growth and development. As children their brains and bodies need the vitamins and essential things that only good, nourishing food can give. Every parent knows this, because we are adults and need to raise our children with a love for healthy food so that when they are older it’s ingrained in them. Proper nutrition is important.
So why then do we feed our kids junk food in worship? Why do we give them theologically incorrect or misleading songs? Why do we fill their heads with empty calories in the form of songs they can dance to instead of hymns rich with the vitamins that can fight the devil?
Because we see how happy they can be bopping around to such songs as this.
For anyone not able to see or not interested in having the song stuck in your head, the chorus is, “I’ll do my best, I’ll do my best, Oh, I’ll do my best for you.” This is sung at Lutheran chapels. So kids are not only told that they must do something that is IMPOSSIBLE, but that the Lord requires it.
The problem is these children are getting all sorts of songs like these in Lutheran schools and gatherings. Vapid songs that leave the children excited, giddy, eager to try and please their parents and teachers, and gung-ho about spreading the Gospel. But that sugar high from the songs and worship tend to leave children slower and sluggish about the Gospel later. Those songs that we see working on them because they’ve memorized them and are enthusiastic about them tend to leave them either needing more or feeling apathetic to the Gospel.
Why? Let’s take it this way.
What happens when that child hits teenage years and starts to be depressed for some reason or another? What can he lean on from his childhood that will give him comfort in the darkness? This?
What if all his heart isn’t into worshipping Him? What happens when a friend or family member gets cancer or a parent dies?
And will this song help the girl who is chasing boys and drugs instead of “the treasure” she is supposed to be seeking? Well, at least that one mentions taking my sin and the name Jesus. BUT it is sorely lacking HOW He takes that sin and WHAT He does to pick us up.
Christ’s death and resurrection are seldom even mentioned in the songs that we spoon feed our children. Our Lutheran schools have really done a disservice to them. They are indoctrinating them into this easy lifestyle of whatever feels good and makes you happy must be a great worship. What happens when these children can’t get as excited as they were at the last chapel? Why can’t they feel the same way they felt before? Well, they must not have prayed hard enough or really sung the words with fervor. These worship services leave the child emptier than when they came, because Christ and his death and resurrection are only an afterthought to kid’s actions.
I’m extremely saddened that we can’t do better for our kids. This is junk food. It will only leave them fat and lazy without giving them anything of value. And it’s being fed to them ALL THE TIME. I can’t stop my kids from singing these songs because they hear them so often. These songs give no hope, very little Christ, and leave them thinking they can help in their own salvation by praising Him as hard as they can. We are killing our children’s faith by giving them candy and soda simply because they like it and it makes them feel good.
So what’s the solution? How do we change our behaviors so our children do not pick up the bad habits?
Simple. Give them hymns. Give them the catechism. Don’t fill their heads with songs that talk nothing of suffering or leave it as an afterthought. This life — including our kids’ lives — will have suffering and pain, but Christ is there to take it on Himself, to help us out of whatever dark pit we’re in.
We should be singing songs like this or this, and so many others that talk of Christ crucified. So that when our kids’ road gets dark, when they see no escape, they remember what Christ does and continues to do for us. Not that they can do their best. Let’s take a stand for our children’s sake. No more junk food songs, only meaty, beneficial songs that leave them with the Peace that surpasses all understanding.
That’s my promise to my children. That should be your promise as well.
Gretchen A Willis
Mmmm…. Well I definitely see your point but we do give our kids junk food every once in a while. We even indulge in it ourselves. But we have a nutritional foundation and we know not to overdo it. As it is with “junk food songs”. Young kids don’t truly comprehend word like justification, or how we can eat flesh and blood. Having a firm foundation is essential. But an occasional that (along with discussion led by mom and dad) isn’t too bad. If anything it can spark a talk about why that song is “junk food”.
AMEN! and again I say AMEN! Allison, thank you! How I wish that every Lutheran mother of little children could read this and take it to heart.