May 26, 2015

What Are You Listening To?

Please excuse this interruption in our regularly scheduled programming, but I have a question for you that can't wait. Plus, I have something I want to give away!

In His Love Letter to End All Love Letters, God tells us to guard our hearts. I like these translations of Proverbs 4:23:
  • "Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life." (CSB)
  • "Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it." (GW)
  • "Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts." (MSG)
  • "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (NIV)
  • "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (TNIV)
Keeping your heart safe is so important because what's in your heart comes out your mouth, your hands, and your feet. What's in your heart affects what you say. What's in your heart affects what you do. What's in your heart affects where you go.

How do you guard your heart? Some translations of Proverbs 4:23 trade "guard your heart" for "be careful what you think." What you put in your mind makes its way to your heart. What you know (in your mind) translates to what you believe and feel (in your heart). So you need to guard your mind as well as your heart. And one way to do that is to be careful about what you're listening to.

I know music is a big part of most tween and teen lives...the minute we get in the van, my 11-year-old is putting in her earbuds. (This is also how she and her sister survive the bus every day.) And that's why what you listen to--I'm talking song lyrics here--matters so much to the state of your heart. 

Whatever is coming out of those earbuds and going into your head is changing your mind, heart, and soul--for better or worse. 

Is this the point where you're thinking, "I don't even pay attention to the lyrics!" or "I just like the way the song sounds!"? I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to write the truth in love here and tell you that what a song says works its way into your brain, and that trickles down to your heart, and that trickles out your mouth and hands and feet.

Have you heard the expression "garbage in, garbage out"? You probably know it means a computer can only give as good as it gets. If bad code or programming or whatever it is (I'm a mom, not an IT guy!) goes in, junk comes out. Now take a look at Isaiah 43:1. And also at Jeremiah 31:3. You are a valuable, priceless, cherished, irreplaceable creation of a God Who made you just because He wanted you! Anything you put into your mind and heart that puts distance between you and this God is garbage.

I love Christian music. My girls love Christian music. I love my girls, and I love that they love Christian music. One of our new all-time favorites is the Hawk Nelson album Diamonds. I love this CD so much, in fact, that I want to give one away. Leave a comment on this page, or head over to the Sweet For Your Soul Facebook page, like the post about this give-way or message the page, and you'll be entered into a drawing for Diamonds. You don't have to like the page or share the post. You don't have to buy anything or or sign up for email updates. You won't even have to give me your address; I can send this CD via digital download with just an email address. I'll announce the winner in a new blog post and on the Facebook page on June 5th at 9 a.m. EST. You'll need to check these spots to find out if you've won. I can tag you in the Facebook post if you leave a comment or respond to you if you message the page, but I can't contact you on your page. Of course, if you're under 18, don't do any of this without checking with your parents.

So I'll ask it again: what are you listening to? I'd love to hear your answer! (Be honest.) And if God is talking to you about what you've been letting into your heart, I'd really like to know that, too. God made your heart. He wants the best for it. 

We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming. Part 2 of our series on the fruit of the Spirit will be up soon, I promise. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this post. Guarding our hearts is an important reality to our spiritual health. Stopping by today from the Reflect Link up.

  2. Thank you so much for dropping by, Jann--and for your encouragement! May God continue to guard and bless your heart!

  3. I've had to be cautious with what I listen to. I'm so drawn to something with a strong beat...but oftentimes the lyrics are just awful! I was a 2 sport athlete in college, and I can still sing almost all of the pump up songs we listened to for pre-game. Lyrics stick...even after 15 years! So now I listen to the lyrics in all songs, Christian and otherwise. Discernment is sooo important! Thanks for covering this topic!

    1. Thank you so much, castyourworries. (I just visited your site, and you had me at "battling worry as a Christian"!) This subject is dear to my heart. A friend of my teen's recently stuck an earbud in her ear (appropriately enough) and said, "You have to listen to this." The song essentially had one word. Which I cannot post. My daughter was so horrified, she pulled the earbud out and said, "I'm sorry, but I have to study my biology." I told her I am so thankful she was repulsed. It shows the contrast between what she heard in those few seconds and what she normally listens to. I love her sweet heart and want it protected! Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hey Elizabeth,

    I'm visiting from the Grace and Truth Link up.

    I like your site, and I really like your post today.

    Funny thing about music... my daughter loves country music, and I listen to primarily Christian music. The other day, we had her music on, and I just found myself getting agitated. Once I switched over to a Christian channel, there was peace.

    I believe you are so right -- we have to be careful what we are playing through those earbuds and speakers!

    Thanks for the great reminders~

    1. Thank you so much, Melanie! I'm encouraged to know this made sense to someone other than me! Loved your story. :) My husband was a big country-music fan when we met, but 20 years of marriage to me have pulled him over to the contemporary Christian side of things. Which he has thanked me for many times. I call that a wife score! Blessings--and peace--on your day.

  5. Hi Elizabeth,
    I came to find you after you found me on TheCheerioTrail. Looks like you are doing your own version of challenging the "comfortable" over here and I love it. For me personally, I am I can't listen to anything else but life-giving music.

    But I know so many Christians who think there is nothing wrong with the secular garbage out there. Thankful you are standing up and speaking truth. Your selection of verses are some of my favorites and so appropriate. I once covered an entire children's wing wall with verses about what the Bible says about the heart for a worldview series titled "It matters."

    I'm looking forward to more of what you share.

    Embracing the Journey,

    Christi (@ChristiLGee on Twitter if you want to connect there also)

    1. Hello and thank you, Chrisit! I so appreciate you taking time to comment. Thank you for your encouragement! I'm looking forward to more of what YOU share. :) Blessings on your journey in the meantime!

  6. Hi, Elizabeth! Thank you for sharing this with us at Grace and Truth last week. I agree with you wholeheartedly. :) We listen to a lot of Contemporary Christian here in our house, but one of the kids' favorites is a Veggietales CD with sunday school songs on it. I personally am really enjoying Selah's hymns. (I always enjoy Selah, but lately the hymns have been a comfort to me).
    Jen @ Being Confident of This

    1. Thank you so much, Jen! I love Selah...and Veggie Tales! :) If you're not already a fan, I also highly recommend anything by the Go Fish guys (motto: "music for kids that doesn't drive parents crazy"). My tween daughter also recently put me onto Lauren Daigle. And truly, I praise God that I could just type that last sentence. Music to my mother's ears and heart! Blessings to you on your mothering and your ministry.


I'd love to hear from you. What do you think? What's on your mind? Did you learn anything from this study that you didn't know to begin with? Did it make any sense? Tell me...I really want to know.