I know, it sounds like a contradiction, right?
Theology, simple? But stick with me.
We get the word “theology” from two Greek words that mean God and a subject of study. So, in its simplest definition is the study of God, and to teach your kids theology is to teach them what we believe about God.
You probably actually do this all the time without thinking about it.
Last month, if you read a nativity story to your children, they might have asked, “did that really happen?” By answering “yes,” you were laying a foundation for your kids to believe in the virgin birth, and that God became human in the person of Jesus Christ.
Not so complicated, right?
But there are so many things we want to teach our kids about God. How do we instill those things in their hearts in a way that makes sense to them and sticks with them through the years?
I think the best way to do this is through music. We can shape our children’s understanding of God if we surround them with music that speaks the truth about Him. Here’s how we do it:
Find a good song
Songs that teach solid theology aren’t limited to a single generation. There are many wonderful hymns and great contemporary worship songs too. The most important thing is that a song’s lyrics line up with Scripture teaches.
Sing the song every day
Every morning, we sing a couple songs together – whatever song we are currently learning and at least one that we already know. We don’t work hard at learning the words, we just let it happen naturally as we sing them over and over.
Talk About the Words
Both modern worship songs and hymns often contain a lot of big words and obscure imagery that our kids may not understand. Whatever song you’ve decided to learn as a family, go through the lyrics line by line, and explain what they mean. If it’s a long song, start with just learning the first verse.
For example, during Christmastime, we learned “Joy to the World” together. We added one verse a week throughout December, and by the end of the month, we had learned the whole song.
You probably know this already, but this is the first verse of Joy to the World:
Joy to the World! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her king.
Let every heart prepare him room.
And heaven and nature sing.
Practically speaking, when we talked about these lyrics, I asked my kids questions like this:
- Who is king of the earth?
- When did he come to earth?
- What does it mean to make room in your heart for Jesus?
- Who sings to God in heaven?
- How does nature sing to God?
That’s all there is to it. It literally only takes about five minutes of my day, but it has been a very fruitful habit in our home.
And if you’re not feeling too confident in your own understanding of theology, I’d love for you to join us in our 2018 Bible reading plan. You’ll get the week’s reading every Monday in your inbox, along with some background information and encouragement. Just sign up below: