My Five Students

My Five Students

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What We Are Letting Go

 I'm sure almost everyone has heard the song "Let It Go" from the new Disney movie Frozen. If you haven't seen the movie, chances are you've heard it somewhere. Even I posted a video of my littlest girls singing the song on Facebook (because they were just so stinkin' cute). On the off chance that you haven't heard it, look it up on Youtube. You can watch the original along with a never-ending supply of covers. It's become the anthem of a generation. The music is beautifully written to extract an emotional response, like every good theater number. In the movie it is the pinnacle of the story, where it really gets rolling. It makes absolute sense why it has become so popular. But as I listen to my 11 year old daughter singing it so passionately I see a major problem. Do you see it too?
 In the context of the movie it makes sense. It is the lowest point of the movie. The character is filled with angst and believes that she has finally found some freedom, but at a cost. She decides to embrace the "swirling storm inside" and the price tag is a "kingdom of isolation." Without ruining the movie for those who haven't seen it, the story resolves and she discovers that this is not the solution to her problem. But out of context, we have millions of children singing the lyrics, "no right, no wrong, no rules for me, I'm free."
My husband and I are trying to raise thinkers. I often feel like we are going against the flow of culture. We instruct our children to ask themselves questions. Questions like, Why do I like this? What is it trying to say? What does it mean? What does it say about me? These are good questions for everything that entertains us. Music is a particularly slippery slope because it has two parts. It's the tune, the musical content, that draws us and is most often our favorite part. But the words we say (or sing) have the biggest impact. When I say this I hear myself sounding like the generations of old who shunned popular music but, instead, handed us a good old Sandy Patty or Gaithers cassette tape. Let me put my words in context for you. Again, we instruct our children to ask themselves those questions. This means, as a christian family, we sometimes listen to secular music and disregard popular christian music. We take all music, christian and secular alike, and hold it up for examination of its content. I believe God is glorified when both the music and the lyrics are a well-crafted result of the talents that He has gifted the musician with. So He can be glorified in a beautiful song about loving your husband well just as much as a catchy song about His never-ending love for us. We can disregard songs about chasing after money just as much as songs about God making us powerful.
So what's the point? The point is that we have here the perfect storm. We have a cute movie with a really addicting song that speaks the cry of a generation. The theme of our generation and the one coming up says that rules and boundaries stifle our freedom.
      "No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I'm free."
As long as I am true to myself the world can be damned.
      "Let it go... that perfect girl is gone." "I don't care what they're going to say, let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway."
Here's my challenge to you and to me: let's sit down with our kids and ask them some questions. Let's teach them to think. The subject at hand may be music but this concept carries over into every aspect of life. I believe whole-heartedly that what we are letting go, as a society, is the ability to critically think.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."  -Psalm 19:14
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."   -Philippians 4:8

1 comment:

  1. Very well said. You may be raising them against popular culture, but you guys rock!!! Maybe Ann can use scripture to find if her favorite songs meet God's expectstions for us.