Multigenerational Singing

It is clear from Scripture that we are to have a multigenerational mindset. As Asaph says in the instruction-oriented Psalm 78, “we will… tell to the generations to come the praises of Yahweh.” (v.4) As Proverbs 13:22 instructs us, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” And yet, as theologian Doug Wilson says, “Christians almost never think about their great-grandchildren.”

In this limited space, it would be difficult to do a comprehensive study of the relationship between older and younger generations. Nevertheless, it is clear throughout Scripture that older generations are to instruct the younger generation, realizing that the heritage they leave has an impact on the generations to come (their children’s children, their children’s children’s children, and so on). Parents, particularly fathers, have a responsibility to instruct their children (Deut. 6:6-25). In the church, those that are older are to instruct the younger (Titus 2:2-15). Scripture provides plentiful examples of this reality, both of godly generational impact (2 Tim. 1:5, for example) and of ungodly generational impact (Psalm 78:56-59). As we have been learning from the book of Judges during our Life Link study, even after the generation of Joshua who served Yahweh there arose another generation “who did not know Yahweh, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:7-10).

Though this instruction can take many forms, one clear way that Scripture gives us is to teach through song. We have seen this from the book of Ephesians chapter 5, and it likewise is found in the parallel passage in Colossians 3. Colossians 3:16 makes it abundantly clear that singing has an instructive purpose: “teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”

What we sing is theologically instructive. This can work both ways - if we sing things that are untrue about God, our worldview will be shaped to include things that are not biblically consistent. This is why the command to sing is coupled with the admonition to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” We are to sing a rich feast of deep, biblically-accurate truth.
And though we are commanded to joyfully engage in singing in corporate worship, this singing should not be limited to a Sunday service. One of the powerful, and far too often neglected, ways to leave an inheritance to your children’s children is through family worship. (In fact, in our church covenant we have agreed “to conduct family worship unless providentially hindered”.) Fathers can have a profound impact upon the spiritual state of their family by regularly leading their family in prayer, a simple Scripture reading or study, and a song or two. Even if you believe yourself to be musically challenged, remember that through your singing, you are laying a theological foundation and heritage for generations to come (Psalm 89:1). Through singing, your worldview and the worldview of your children will be formed and given songs to express theological truth.

The Bible instructs us to take time and consider how our actions today are impacting our children’s children. We are to ask - What is the legacy that we are leaving? Though the examples of this multigenerational mindset are many, one specific way to pursue this mindset is through our singing. Through corporate, family, and personal worship, we are to sing theologically rich, biblically-consistent songs that shape our worldview and impact generations to come.
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Kathy Gray - July 4th, 2022 at 3:23pm

This was like music to my ears!!!!

Judy Driscoll - July 5th, 2022 at 7:57am

This was so true and challenging

Chris Amico - August 5th, 2022 at 2:50pm

Great reminder of this great

biblical truth Corey, thank you!

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