I read a blog post this morning with the headline “The Power of Profanity”. The writer, Ryan Wasoba, talks about the restrictions his parents placed on his music growing up, and how it helped him develop an appreciation for music and pushing boundaries. Or, as he put it:
I see how a well placed f-bomb can strengthen a song. I know now that musical rules are made to be broken, but only if you do it right.
Obviously I’m not condoning profanity in music. But the post got me thinking (again) about how crucial it is that students are challenged to THINK about the words of the music they listen to all day every day. Mr. Wasoba felt restricted by his parents’ limitations (as any teen would). But at the same time he says:
Today, I believe I developed a better relationship with music due to this frustrating and dictatorial limitation.
I may not necessarily agree with where Mr. Wasoba ended up in his musical tastes and perceptions, but I do agree that the questions his parents asked about his music as a teenager impacted how he now listens to music.
Parents, youth leaders, mentors, teachers, coaches — we all need to be encouraging students to think about the lyrics of the music they listen to. Every kid will have their own path, but hopefully … prayerfully … we can teach (and model) how to discern, question, and ultimately choose music that encourages them in their pursuit of Jesus.