My husband, Jason, and I are in a season of life where we are trying to make some important decisions that impact our entire family. This has been a particularly painful season because we can’t seem to agree on which direction to take. Some days the weight of these disagreements seems so heavy I can barely breathe. (This is a good time to point out that I’m a little melodramatic.) One night, while already in a melancholy mood, the song Broken by Lifehouse came on the radio. I related to these words, “I’m falling apart, I’m barely breathing, with a broken heart, that’s still beating.” Those few words so eloquently described how I was feeling so I immediately downloaded the song.
At the time, I viewed the song as a catharsis of sorts. I could relate to the lyrics, felt understood as I sang along, and appreciated the emotional release it seemed to provide. However, it didn’t take long before I became more depressed in our marriage. I dwelt on the heart ache that our difference of opinions caused and I communicated that pain to my husband. For several days in a row, I listened to that song (and few other equally depressing tunes) throughout the day. I was blinded to the fact that my mellow playlist was actually aiding in my sadness.
I discovered that was the case when I replaced the gloomy songs for worship music. As I sang along with the uplifting lyrics, I felt the dark cloud over my head give way to sunshine. I was ministered to as I sang about God’s power to change circumstances and His unconditional love. In response, I desired to express my unconditional love to Jason. Wanting to capitalize on the momentum, I decided it would be best for my marriage if I no longer listened to the songs that brought tears. Instantly I experienced a positive change.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a legalistic post on whether or not Christians should listen to secular music because, honestly, I don’t believe there is a hard, fast rule found in Scripture regarding that topic. I do, however, want to point out that Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. I chose to listen to music that was discouraging and my heart and marriage suffered because of it. There is nothing wrong with the songs in and of themselves, but the thoughts they put into my head were self-centered and hopeless – that is a far cry from excellent or praiseworthy!
Perhaps for you it is something other than a depressing playlist. It could be a song that reminds you of an ex, a movie that puts lustful thoughts into your head, the facebook friend that shouldn’t be there, or the novel that bids you to compare your spouse to some fictional character. For me, changing my music from gloomy to glorifying had a positive ripple effect in my relationship with the Lord and with my husband. I challenge you to examine yourself to see if your entertainment choices are benefiting your marriage.
Have you ever noticed what kind of impact your choice of media and entertainment is having on your marriage? I’d love to hear your stories!
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