Valuable Hymns

I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with praise songs - but I do think they cheat Christians of the rich words of hope, encouragement, and biblical truth found in traditional hymns. That's one reason I purchased the Hymns for a Kid's Heart books and CDs long before my daughter was old enough to enjoy them. Now that she's four years old, I decided it was time to use these beautiful books. We began a few weeks ago.

Each morning, after we read the children's Bible together, I pull out one of the two volumes of this book and read her a story. Each one is short - only two or three pages, with illustrations - but explains in an interesting, novel-like style a bit of the history behind a particular hymn.

Then we pop the CD that comes with each book into a player and listen to the hymn together. Most hymns are sung by children, which means it's sometimes difficult to understand every lyric, but for the most part, we don't have much trouble. I encourage my daughter to listen closely to the words, then sing along with the last stanza, if she desires. I also let her look at the sheet music included for each song, even though she's not a strong enough reader to follow the lyrics yet. (She's fascinated by music notation, and this encourages that interest.)

She loves this musical devotional, and it's giving her not just a more mature concept of faith, but a strong foundation of songs she can turn to during the ups and downs of life. Too, since so many hymns were written out of adversity, it helps her understand that loving and following God doesn't mean our lives will be easy.

Music is such an excellent way to teach children. They are naturally drawn to song, and it makes memorization of key concepts easier. Consider adding hymns to your daily life, whether by doing a hymn devotional as we do, or by listening to hymns during quiet times during the day, or adding hymns to your family worship time. I assure you, your whole family will be enriched.

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