What is 17-year-old music sensation GAYLE teaching to our kids? What is 17-year-old music sensation GAYLE teaching us about our kids?
Those are two very important questions that we’ve always been passionate about answering here at CPYU regarding any pop music or media that’s gained traction in contemporary youth culture. As we always say, music is both a map and a mirror. As a map, popular music serves as a nurturing influence in the lives of vulnerable children and teens who are seeking to form an identity and to find their place in the world. It tells them who to be, what to believe, and how to live out their lives day by day. It is nothing less than life-shaping. As a mirror, popular music give us a clear look into the lives of our kids by helping us to understand their choices, challenges, problems, struggles, fears, and expectations. As one young 8th-grader once said to me as we were chatting about his favorite song, “This guy’s singing what I feel.” Wow.
Because music plays these powerful roles in the lives of our kids, their listening should become our listening. In other words, listening to their music tells us what they’re learning. And once we know the lessons, we can respond to those lessons from a perspective of biblical truth by affirming those things that it gets right, and challenging/correcting those things it gets wrong. Listening helps us to see what it is that matters to the children and teens we know, love, and are called to nurture in Gospel truth. Music can help to expose the error of sinful ways so that we might respond with the truth-filled and life-giving Gospel message, addressing those sinful ways where it counts with pinpoint accuracy.
All of this is true as it relates to today’s #7 song on the Billboard Hot 100. That’s why we want to encourage you to listen to GAYLE’s “abcdefu”, to process it through our How To Use Your Head To Guard Your Heart: A 3(D) Guide To Making Wise Music Choices with your kids, and to respond with biblically-sound guidance as a way to disciple your students into faithfully following Jesus Christ.
I’ve written a 3(D) review of “abcdefu” that you can download for free here. In it, I walk through the 3(D) steps that you can teach your kids as you disciple them into God-honoring skills in media discernment. Here are the steps. . .
- Discover – What is the message/worldview?
- Discern – How does it stand in light of the biblical message/worldview?
- Decide – What do I do with it?
While we don’t recommend showing the video to kids, we’re not stupid. They’ve watched. They’ve listened. They’ve learned. That’s why we need to speak truth to it. . . recognizing the hurt and pain of breakups, but also as a prompt to discuss what God’s Word has to say about authority, relationships, revenge, identity, the Fruit of the Spirit, love, and relational breakdown.
Let us know how it goes!