I was having a debate with another Christian over whether I should forbid my kids from hearing music by people like Lady Gaga. The other person was adamant that because she is lewd and vile, I should ban it from them in any form (including watching the new Chipmunk movie because they do a take on Bad Romance - you know, the whole Rah Rah Ah Ah Ah sequence).
But I disagree. Not that Lady Gaga isn’t lewd and what not. She totally is. That’s her whole image. It’s why people pay attention to her. I’ve seen her before she became the character of Lady Gaga. She was normal. And nobody cared about her. All the hyper sexualization and the crazy hair and clothes styles? Just a sales technique. One that has worked great for her.
Same with Katy Perry. She was a gospel/inspirational singer. Then she did ‘I kissed a girl’, started wearing different clothes (specifically, less of it), and suddenly she’s popular and trending.
I think they just do whatever will get them what they really want: fame and fortune. Selling their soul to gain the world seems like a great deal to them.
But I digress.
The reason I don’t really worry about my kids hearing/liking the music of such “poor role models” is this: If my message is better than Lady Gaga’s, then why should I worry if my kids hear what she is saying?
If my kids see/hear what she’s putting out there, are they going to latch onto it? maybe temporarily. We all try out images and styles from time to time. But we end up going with what proves to be genuine and true for us.
If I give my kids a genuine, true message of love, compassion, joy, etc through my words and my actions, what am I afraid of? That a woman who uses shock tactics to get attention is going to lead them astray? My kids are going to encounter such messages sooner or later. By delaying it until they’re out of my house, I don’t think I’m doing them any favors.
Now, I’m not saying that I have started letting my 7 year old watch MTV. I do believe that there are responsible restrictions to have in place. But letting my kids hear so much as a riff off a song adapted to a kid’s movie? Not one of them, in my book.
We serve the God who made the whole universe, intervened on our behalf by becoming a man, dying for us and preparing a place in heaven for us, yet we’ve made that message so boring that people are looking for something more interesting. How the heck did we get here?
Should we get mad when people at church spend most of the time on their phone playing a game? Or should we figure out why what we’re saying/doing doesn’t interest them? The idea of ‘show some respect and pay attention’ has given way to the attitude of ‘earn my respect and do something to deserve my attention’.
Our sales pitch of ‘come be bored for 2 hours each Sunday because you better be grateful for God’ isn’t working. Nor should it.
Lady Gaga has a terrible message, but she markets it well. So people listen. We have a great message, but we market it horribly.
So in my house, I’m trying to give the message of the true Gospel. Because if my kids see the real deal, I don’t need to worry about a cheap knock off keeping their attention for long.
It’s like if I give my kids hearty, healthy meals every day. Am I going to worry if somebody shows up trying to feed them dog food? Of course not. Shoot, I probably want them to try the dog food at least once so they better appreciate what they’re getting!
People hear lots of messages. I try to ask myself a question regularly: “Is mine worth hearing?” Because if it isn’t, they should probably just go back to playing Words with Friends so I don’t waste any more of their time.