Surprised by My Reaction to Worship Songs

I managed to surprise, even scare, myself this week when my wife played some worship songs at home.

Before I get onto that, first some background and context.

Its been about 5 months since I last went to Church, some of it is because of legitimate reasons like being away, but also, some of it is simply because I don’t want to. There have been times when I have been prepared to go, as in not actively revolting against going, but its not happened. The result of this is that I have not heard a worship song for that entire time. The last time I went to church I was quite happy benignly singing the songs, just not engaging with the content.

Last week my wife quite her job, this was planned as in a couple of months we relocate to a town 100 miles away so keeping her job would have been impossible. This is all part of the bigger picture of the limey family changing its lifestyle and removing the necessity of my wife having to work is part of that.

This past week, I was working at home for a few days and my wife was at home doing some of the chasing that is required to keep our move on track. We’ve not had the two of us at home alone during the working day for a very long time. It was a bit of a novelty to be honest.

About mid-morning I came downstairs to make a coffee to take back to my office, the wife was in the conservatory and as I approached I could hear a well known worship song playing from the iPod dock in the kitchen.

My instant reaction was to think, “urg, turn that awful stuff off”. It come so naturally and so quickly that the only conclusion is that I really don’t like this kind of music anymore. If I’m honest, my reaction was almost anger at having to hear it.

A second later, as I realised my response, I was shocked by what had happened. I am still processing my thoughts and I am still a little unsettled by the event. Though I can’t explain why.

Historically I have always been the kind of person who cares about the lyrics of the songs he buys. I have spent a lot of time in record shops reading the lyrics of songs before making the choice of whether or not to buy a particular album. Just liking the music was not enough, I had to like the lyrics too, or at least not object to them. Part of me is wondering if this is the reason for my response.

Worship songs represent a belief system I no longer accept and so I can’t engage with the intent and therefore its hardly a surprise that no longer wish to hear them. But why so vehemently? Or am I just overreacting to what was really a mild reaction and its only my being taken by surprise that has made to seem such a big deal? Either way, this is a very new feeling for me, its surprising and unsettling, but work through it I must.

Thoughts, opinions, suggestions and insights most gratefully received.

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6 thoughts on “Surprised by My Reaction to Worship Songs

  1. I think you’re on to something about the lyrics. Some of them are rather disturbing. You’ve said that the lyrics are important to you. So it’s only rational to assume if you don’t like the lyrics= you don’t like the music.

    I’ve never been a huge christian music fan. I could deal with it in church and even enjoyed singing it, but never really liked listening to it outside of church.

    • Thanks for the comment AW, and my apologies for taking so long to knowledge it.

      I am interested in your comment about never having liked Christian music outside of Church. Do you mean worship songs specifically or are you talking about contemporary Christian music too? I ask because I know I have at least one friend who holds the same view and suspect that there are others. I typically always loved to listen to Christian music so am interested in the reasons why a Christian would not be the same. Do you think you could expand on that for me please?

      • Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you! Hmm… I’m really having to think about this question because to be honest off the top of my head I don’t know why I never liked it.

        After further thought I would say that maybe I didn’t relate to the lyrics as much as I did other music. Music has the power to move me, so maybe it made me uncomfortable to feel moved by Christian music. I’ve always kept my spiritual side mostly to myself so if I were to listen to Christian music I would have to share that part of myself and that was not something I was comfortable with.

        We didn’t really listen to it outside of church at our house, but I spent a lot of time with my cousin when I was younger and they listened to it all the time. I did enjoy some of it and I used to really like Amy Grant but then she up and disappointed me(at the time) by supposedly having an affair. If I didn’t listen to that kind of music I didn’t have to feel uncomfortable for liking something or someone and then feeling like I had to change my views or opinion about them when they messed up.

        As a youngster I listened to a lot of country(I know, I know) and pop music. Now I listen to a bit of everything and enjoy most of it. A few years ago I tried to listen to contemporary christian music again and once again, I just couldn’t get into it.

        I just couldn’t jam to the Jesus music. 🙂

        • Fair enough and thanks for the reply.

          I used to typically be of the opinion that as its possible to find contemporary Christian music meets every music style, how could you not find some that you’d like?

          So given that mindset, you can understand my interest in your stance because historically I’d have found it difficult to comprehend that someone would be like that.

          I’ve not tried going back to some of the Christian music I used to listen to lots to see what my reaction will be, maybe I will one day, but I doubt it’ll be this year.

  2. I can relate to your feelings. It was about 67 years ago that I was thrown out of singing lessons as being the person singing on the same note all the time. Some three years later I took part in a Scout Gang Show. I had a speaking part but mimed all the songs. Subsequently in small congregations I just kept quiet.

    When the church I was attending in 1995 changed their theology we started using different hymns including some of the traditional hymns from youth. I soon started noticing how the words didn’t always reflect the theology we were being taught. When I mentioned this to the pastor his reaction was one of “it’s better to let people sing the hymns of their choosing”.

    That’s just one of the many reasons that eventually led me to walk away completely.

    • I’m a single note singer too! In fact I am the only non-musical person in my family. All the others can either play an instrument or sing reasonably well.

      Yeah, some of the songs that get sung in church shouldn’t have their lyrics too closely scrutinised, or maybe they should!

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