To prepare for our concert with Keith and Kristyn Getty, Jenni and I have been reading through their book SING! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church. We have found it to be a great encourager for Christians to sing…because we are commanded to and created to.
Think back to your high school biology or anatomy class. Your body, knit together and fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14), has a voice box designed to resonate the vibrations of your vocal cords (two little rubber bands that rub against each other as air passes between them.) Those tiny little bands have the flexibility to produce a wide range of sounds with different pitches, volumes, tones, and colors as shaped by your articulators (tongue, lips and teeth.) Their capacity isn’t meant to be limited to monotone speaking. And, this ability is fully developed in you at 12 weeks in utero! Isn’t that amazing?
Who cares about all of this…besides us music nerds? Well, it's important to recognize because our singing is not "merely a happy by-product of God’s real intent of making us creatures who can speak. It is something we were designed to do." - Quote from the book SING
Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that our God, the one whose image we bare, is a singing God: “He will rejoice over you with singing!” We were created to sing.
Rightfully, Keith and Kristyn recognize that not everyone sounds like Pavarotti, Bono, or even your local worship leader, but that God is focused more on our hearts than our intonation. Ephesians 5:19 explains that we are to 'make melody to the Lord with your heart…' Our singing is a command. He asks us to sing for His glory and for the edification of the body; "Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints" (Ps. 149:1). We are to sing and we are to sing together!
Biblical understanding of singing leaves no room for our preferences or insecurities. Singing is the overflow of the melody in our hearts.
I’ll wrap up with my favorite imagery from chapters 1 and 2 of the book. I love how Keith and Kristyn care so deeply for the disciplining of children through music. It is near and dear to my heart as well. Children are used often in scripture to show us how our faith should be strong and undeterred. They point to how we use singing to teach children nursery rhythms, the alphabet, a list of 50 states (which I am not singing in my head.) We use Bible songs to help our children memorize scripture. We see God’s intent for singing in children, but are all too quick to ignore it once it makes us uncomfortable. Christian, you are hardwired to sing! We are hardwired to connect with melodies that point us to our father and they root truths deeply in our hearts.
- Sarah Hunt