One of the most significant tools God has given us for discipleship is singing! Colossians 3:16 commands us to teach and admonish one another with singing, and this is an important but often overlooked means of discipleship in our homes and churches. In this session, Scott Aniol will explain how singing disciples us in unique ways, offering practical suggestions for how your family and church can grow in discipleship through singing. 

I'd like to ask you to turn with me in your Bibles to Colossians chapter 3 this morning. Colossians chapter 3. It is truly an honor and a delight to be here again this year. This is one of our family's favorite conferences and so appreciate Scott Brown and his many many years of strengthening God's two institutions of family and church. So very very important.

I do hope you will stop by the G3 booth sometime today and look at the new resources we have there, a new Psalter hymnal that you'll want to check out, a new book on the Holy Spirit that I've written, a new homeschool curriculum, a lot of resources there, so I do hope that you'll stop by the booth sometime today. Can we stand together out of respect for the reading of God's word as I read Colossians chapter 3 and we'll read the first 17 verses. Colossians chapter 3 and verse 1, let us now give attention to the reading of God's holy word. If, then, you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these, the wrath of God is coming. In these, you too once walked when you were living in them, but now you must put them all away, anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free, but Christ is all and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another, and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony and let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were called in one body and be thankful Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. This is the word of the Lord.

Amen. You may be seated. One of the most well-known verses in all of scripture about singing, of course, is found here in Colossians chapter 3 verse 16. And yet we often quote that verse in isolation and don't recognize the broader context in which Paul gives this command to sing Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. But as I would like us to see from this text this morning, there is an essential connection between singing and discipleship that ought to compel us to place a very high emphasis upon singing in our homes and in our churches.

As we have seen several times this week in Matthew 28, Christ commissioned his Apostles to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded. And in many ways, the New Testament epistles in particular were written to do just that. They teach believers to observe everything that Christ has commanded, many times in very practical ways that apply Christ's teaching to everyday issues of life. And the book of Colossians is no different. The end of the book in particular, beginning in verse 18 of chapter 3, deals with how to be a good wife and husband and parent and child and servant and master and even how to relate to unbelievers around you.

But before getting to that very practical application of how to observe everything that Christ has commanded, In the first half of Colossians 3, Paul tells us what kind of disciples we need to be in order to live Christ glorifying lives. He begins by describing the nature of who we are as Christians. If then you have been raised with Christ. All of us who are believers have been united to Jesus Christ and are seated with him in heaven. Verse three alludes to this reality where he says, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Our identity as disciples of Jesus Christ is that we are hidden with Christ in God. The first step to being a disciple is to be in Christ, to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ by faith. But then on the basis of that gospel reality, Paul here gives one overarching command that he then fleshes out through the rest of the text. He says, seek the things that are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

We are to direct the center of our spiritual desires upon heavenly things where Christ is, not earthly things. As disciples of Christ, as those who follow Christ, we must set our spiritual focus upon him, not on the things of this earth. And then in the rest of this passage Paul gives us four key ways in which disciples of Christ should set their affections on things above and not on the things of this earth. We're not gonna have time to explore these four things at depth, but I just wanna briefly survey them as we move toward verse 16. First, beginning in verse five, Paul commands disciples to put earthly passions to death.

We are to kill immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and covetousness. We are to put away anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk and lies. But what is important to recognize here is that each of the sins that Paul is listing are actually abuses of natural God-given passions. They're not bad in themselves, but our passions have to be controlled lest they lead us into sin. For example, God has given us sexual desire, but if we don't control that appropriately, it leads to immorality.

God has given us physical emotions. They are good, but uncontrolled they lead to evil desires and wrath and so forth. And so altogether these, what Paul lists here, are what theologians through most of church history called earthly passions. In Philippians chapter 3 verse 19, Paul uses similar language that he uses here in Colossians. He says of enemies of Christ, their minds are set on earthly things, and then Paul uses a very common Greek metaphor of his day to describe enemies of Christ.

He says, their God is their belly. In ancient Greek, the belly was often used of a metaphor for physical passions, good things, but things that if left uncontrolled, if they become our God, they lead to immoral behavior. And so Paul is saying here in Colossians 3 that a disciple of Christ must kill uncontrolled earthly passions that lead us to sin. Instead, second, disciples of Christ must put on spiritual affections. Verse 12 literally reads that we are to put on hearts of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

The Greek word translated hearts there is a word that literally refers to the upper chest. The King James translates this bowels of mercy. And again this was a common Greek metaphor while belly referred to physical passions that had to be controlled the chest referred to noble spiritual affections that we ought to foster and grow. And so Paul is saying here, disciples of Christ must kill their belly and put on the chest, kill earthly passions and put on spiritual affections, kill anger, wrath, and malice, and put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Third, as this moves toward practical application, Paul gives a command for disciples to live in loving harmony with the body of Christ.

He says in verse 13 to bear with one another, to forgive each other, and then verse 14, and above all these put on love, notice this, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. We are called in one body, Paul says in verse 15, but that one body as we know is made up of many members with a diversity of backgrounds and ethnicities and experiences and gifts. Paul describes those things in verse 11. Greeks, Jews, circumcised, uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, and free. That kind of diversity left to itself would create chaos.

But Paul says that rightly ordered love will bind God's diverse people together in perfect harmony in such a way that when disorder threatens the body of Christ, the peace of Christ will rule in our hearts. That kind of loving, peaceful harmony is what we are called to in the body of Christ. This kind of loving harmony is why we must kill self-centered earthly passions and put on God-centered and other-centered spiritual affections. And then finally, the fourth command that Paul gives to disciples in verse 16 is to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Discipleship is impossible without the word of Christ, since Jesus said that making disciples fundamentally involves teaching them to observe everything that Christ has commanded.

In order to observe Christ's teaching, Christ's teaching must dwell in us richly. And of course, it is inspired scripture. Paul says in 2nd Timothy chapter 3 that it's profitable for discipleship, for teaching, reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. That's a succinct definition of a disciple, and that can't happen without the Word of Christ richly dwelling within us. Now, we could, of course, spend a whole lot more time expanding those verses.

I wish we had the time. But for our purposes it's instructive to summarize with these commands that Paul gives about what it means for a disciple to set our affections on things above. Number one, put to death earthly passions. Number two, put on spiritual affections. Number three, live in loving harmony with the body.

And number four, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. This is what it means to seek things that are above. Which then brings us to the real focus of this message in the rest of verse 16. After all of those commands for disciples, Paul adds the following, and I'm gonna read from the legacy standard Bible here because it retains the Greek word order. Verse 16 says, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with gratefulness in your heart to God.

Now the question is this, how does this focus on singing fit within the context of all of these commands for disciples? How does singing fit with discipleship? Well notice first the actions that are connected with singing. Teaching and admonishing. That is discipleship language.

Teaching here is the same word that Jesus uses in the Great Commission when he says, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Admonishment is a kind of correction that is necessary for discipleship and so Paul is explicitly connecting singing with everything that has come before. Singing with discipleship. This is not somehow disconnected. In other words, this is not a separate command.

No, singing, Paul is saying, is an essential part of discipleship. This is very important for us to recognize. In our day and age, music has largely been relegated to an extracurricular. It's unimportant. It's non-essential.

It's just entertainment. Singing is just for people who have a quote-unquote musical affinity. But the command given here in Colossians 3.16 is not directed only to Christians who have a musical affinity. This command is given to the whole church. And so here is the central point of our message this morning that I want to develop.

God commands us to sing because singing is an essential part of discipleship. We cannot be discipled fully as God intends without singing. In fact, singing is an essential part of discipleship because it helps disciples of Christ accomplish all of the other commands that are given in Colossians 3. And singing does that in a unique way that nothing else can. And so let's work our way back through the commands that we've seen in this passage and consider how singing functions uniquely in each of these.

First, singing helps the word of Christ richly dwell within us. It's one thing to read the word of Christ, we should. It's one thing to listen to the word of Christ, we ought to, but it is an entirely different thing to let the word of Christ richly dwell within us. How do we do that? Well, the word of Christ is able to richly dwell within us by means of what the Bible calls meditation.

Psalm one verse two says that the blessed man meditates on the law of the Lord day and night. That Hebrew word meditates literally means to vocalize. It has the idea of murmuring about something. Sometimes it's translated to muse on something. Well, what do we do when we muse on something?

It's more than just something that we just do with our mind. It's something that we do with our hearts. To muse on something, to meditate on something is to allow it to to shape our affections to shape our hearts Meditation is slow formation. It doesn't happen quickly Letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly takes time. You have to take time to really taste and savor the truths of God's Word.

Children, it's like when you get your favorite piece of candy, like a Jolly Rancher or a Sweet Tart. That's my favorite candy. And you could just put it in your mouth and crunch it and swallow it and be done. But you don't want to do that, right? You want to let it roll around in your tongue, savoring every sweet morsel until it melts in your mouth.

That is what meditating on the Word of God is like. You must muse on God's Word so that it dwells in you richly. And one of the best ways that God has given us to slowly savor the Word of Christ is when we sing the Word of Christ. Singing slows us down. You can't just rush through the words when you sing.

Singing forces you to take time with each word, savoring its rich truth. We muse on the word of Christ when the word of Christ takes on the form of music. Martin Luther said it best when he said, next to the word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that we might proclaim the word of God through music. However, the word of Christ will not dwell in us richly if what we sing is not faithful expression of sound doctrine.

We need to carefully evaluate what we are singing to make sure that the lyrics are faithful to the teaching of God's word. This is why it is also so important that we actually sing God's words. There of course is some debate in Colossians 3.16 about what the terms hymns and spiritual songs exactly mean, but there is no debate about what the word Psalms means. We need to sing the Psalms. We need to sing the actual words of Christ.

God has inspired songs for us to sing so that the word of Christ can richly dwell within us as we muse on those words. And if we actually sing inspired scripture, we won't have to worry about whether or not what we're singing is an expression of sound doctrine. Of course it is, it's God's word. This is why I wrote a whole book to help people understand the Psalms and why we published Psalms and Hymns to the Living God which contains all 150 Psalms plus 350 more hymns. We need to sing the words of Christ.

Disciple making music must express sound doctrine. Number two, singing harmonizes God's people. The beauty of singing is that it embodies the kind of harmony that we are supposed to be cultivating as disciples of the body of Christ. Singing together is at its essence bringing into unity a diversity of voices. Even if we all sing just the melody with no instrumentation, just the melody, we still have an amazing amount of diverse voices that are unified into one.

In fact, it is the very harmony of diverse sounds that creates an even greater beauty than even just a single voice alone. There is perhaps a no more beautiful expression of harmony in diversity than when the people of God sing together. Singing harmonizes us. And even more than that, singing good music makes you long for unity, harmony, and resolution. If you know anything about music, you know that music contains consonance, that's where two or more pitches sound in harmony together, and dissonance, That's where two or more pitches sound out of harmony.

And all music has dissonance, even a simple hymn. But good music never leaves the dissonance unresolved. Good music uses dissonance to make us long for the consonance. And then it resolves that dissonance into beautiful harmony. Let me just give you an example here to briefly show you what I mean.

I want us to sing together the last phrase of it is well with my soul. Let me sing it first and then we'll sing it together. It is well, it is well with my soul. Okay, I want us to sing that, but I want you to do one thing. When we get to the word with, I want you to hold that word and stop.

Don't keep going. Okay, you wanna try it? Here we go. It, it is well, it is well with. What's that make you want to do?

Let's do it. My soul. Right, so that word with is on the seventh note of an eight note scale. It is inherently a dissonance. You can't leave it unresolved.

It's sometimes called the leading tone. It makes you want to go to that tonic pitch, that pitch of rest, that home pitch. It makes you long for the resolution. This is something that God has has inherently rooted in his natural created order and all good music does that and you don't even have to know how it works for it to work. All good music leads us to long for delight and rest and harmony and resolution.

The very act of singing together cultivates harmony in our homes and in our churches. Number three, singing forms mature affections. Paul said in verse 16 that singing teaches and admonishes us. I don't doubt that the teaching he is referring to involves teaching truth to our minds. That certainly happens through singing, but the primary part of man that is being taught through music is our affections, our hearts.

That's clear by the phrase, with thankfulness in your hearts, which is emphasizing the internal aspect. We tend to think of discipleship often only in terms of teaching truth to our minds. And of course, that is essentially important. But the intellectual acquisition of knowledge alone is not discipleship. We will not observe all that Christ commanded with only knowledge of his teaching.

In order to make disciples we must form spiritual affections And good singing does that. Good singing teaches not just our minds, but it also teaches our affections. Just like we need good teaching to correct wrong thinking, and we need good teaching to correct wrong living, in the same way, we need teaching to correct wrong feeling. And music is just that teacher. That's the unique power of music.

Words alone are often not quite enough to express the nuance of various kinds of affections that we are supposed to put on, but music can do that. Let me just take one of the affections in our texts for example love Paul says put on love but what does Paul mean by that word love we use that word love to describe all sorts of things that the kind of love quote-unquote expressed in pop culture is hardly the same as true biblical love between a husband and wife. And marital love is different than love between brothers and sisters in Christ. And that love is different than love for God. Same word, but completely different things.

And the difference between those kinds of love is often difficult to put into words. It's difficult to articulate. And so the question is, how do you disciple someone to have a reverent biblical love for God or an appropriate love for other believers rather than an unbiblical sensual love that is embodied in pop culture. How do you do that? Well, this is really the power of art, even in scripture.

The Bible doesn't define reverent love with some long drawn out dictionary definition. How does the Bible help us to understand reverent love for God? Here's how it does it. I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised and I am saved from my enemies." This is reverent love embodied in the very poetry of scripture. This is poetry that both artistically defines love and it forms that love within our hearts. And so scripture commands us to love God and then it artistically embodies appropriate love. Scripture commands us to put on spiritual affections and then the various artistic elements of Scripture show us what those spiritual affections are like. And music is simply an extension of that.

All of the rich complexities of music, melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, timbre, all of the aspects of music work together to musically embody nuanced affections. And singing that music then helps to form those affections within us. When we might have difficulty putting into words the difference, for example, between immature self-centered love and mature reverent love, music can embody the latter and help to form that within us. My book, Worship and Song, explains how music does this in far more detail than we can do this morning, but it's important to recognize, because of the nature of that, That not just any singing will make disciples who are expressing mature spiritual affections. We have to be discerning.

We have to be discerning with what we sing, not only with the lyrics, but also with the music. If our goal is discipleship, then our music must be disciplined. If our goal is maturity, then our music must be mature. You don't form disciplined, mature, sanctified Christians by singing undisciplined, immature, or unsanctified music. You don't form serious-minded, sober, courageous Christians by singing sappy, sentimental, or trite music.

In those cases, the form of instruction, music, is working against our goal, discipleship. If we want singing to form mature disciples of Jesus Christ, then what we sing must embody mature affections like those that we read here in Colossians chapter 3. If we want to form disciples who are compassionate, kind, humble, meek, and patient, then we need to sing music that musically embodies compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. This is what spiritual maturity look like. Of course we have many passages in Scripture that describe Christian maturity with qualities like reverence, sober-mindedness, dignity, and self-control.

If we want to form disciples who are characterized by those virtues, then the music we sing must be reverent, sober, dignified, and controlled. Musical forms aid in the disciplined formation of disciples by being disciplined forms themselves. This is why Paul commands us to sing spiritual songs and hymns and psalms, not fleshly ones. And that leads to our next point, number four. Singing kills earthly passions.

As we saw earlier, scripture teaches that even our natural passions need to be controlled and calmed, lest they control us and become our God. Theologians through most of church history until very recent times warned against unrestrained fleshly passion. And they found that singing good music would help to tame those earthly passions, particularly because of commands in scripture like we see here in Colossians 3 and many other places in scripture, commands that disciples are to be humble, meek, dignified, self-controlled. Again, theologians, pastors throughout church history all the way up to the Reformation argued that we need to give care to avoid music that would cause us to have unrestrained passions, music that is ostentatious, immodest, undignified, or uncontrolled. This is why theologians warned about music that simply arouses passion instead of spiritual affections.

Martin Luther warned against what he called profaned music, which is unspiritual, frivolous, proud, and irreverent. Instead, he said we should use music that is sacred, glowing with love, humble, and dignified. John Calvin insisted that music should have weight and majesty rather than being light or frivolous. They understood the power of music. Again, we cannot form disciples who kill earthly passions if our music is sensual.

If we want to make disciples we need to avoid music that arouses earthly passions. And then all of this then leads to our goal. If we fill our lives with the kind of singing that lets the Word of Christ richly dwell within us, that harmonizes us with the body, that restrains earthly passions and cultivates spiritual affections, that kind of singing will ultimately help us to seek those things that are above. That kind of singing fits with our purpose of making mature disciples of Jesus Christ who observe everything that Christ has commanded. God commands us to teach and admonish one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, not as something optional, not extra, not somehow disconnected from our mission of making disciples.

No, As we've seen from the broader context of Colossians 3 here, God commands us to sing because singing is essential to discipleship. Now let me just make a few direct applications as we close for your home and for your church. Number one, sing as much as you can. Again, singing is not optional. You can't just say, well, you know, singing is just not my thing.

No, God commanded us to sing because it is essential to discipleship. So sing as much as you can. In your home, sing before meals and after meals. Make singing an emphasis in your times of family worship. Sing before bed, sing in the car, sing, sing everywhere.

And our churches should be filled with congregational singing. Let the people sing. As I've mentioned, be discerning with what you sing. Make sure that What you are singing accomplishes the goals of forming the kind of mature disciples mentioned here in Colossians 3 and throughout the rest of scripture, but once you have discerned what will best help the discipleship of your family and church, then just sing. Singing ought to be the normal, regular occurrence in our homes and in our churches.

But you might say, you know, I just don't know how to sing. I didn't grow up singing and I just don't know how to do it. Well, that leads to my second application. Number two, learn to sing and teach your children to sing. Singing is a skill, but it's a skill that anyone can learn if you just put effort into it.

Listen, what would you say if you were encouraging another Christian to faithfully read the Bible and that Christian said, you know what, my parents didn't teach me to read, I didn't grow up reading, so there's really nothing I can do about it. What would you say? You'd say, oh okay it's not your thing, right? No. You would say, brother boy man I'm sorry that you didn't learn how to read.

Okay so go learn how to read. God commands you to read. Go learn the skills. Do whatever it takes to learn the skills necessary to obey God's command. And the same is true for singing.

Not having grown up singing is no excuse to disobey this clear command of the Lord. If you don't know how to sing, then do whatever it takes to learn the skills necessary to obey God's command and disciple your soul. Find another Christian who sings well and get help. There are all sorts of resources today that can help you sing. Contrary to popular opinion, anyone can learn how to sing if you just put the effort into it.

And then don't make the same mistake for your own children. If you didn't grow up singing, don't make that mistake with your kids. Can you imagine a parent who said, you know, I'll just teach my children to read if they show an affinity for it. Why do we do that with singing? Oh, we'll get the music lessons if they show an affinity for it.

No. God commanded his disciples to read his word and God commanded his disciples to sing his word. Parents, make sure your children learn music. Get them into piano lessons and roll them in a good children's choir. Excuse me.

Raise up your children to be singers. Number three, get a good hymnal. I cannot stress this enough. There are certainly benefits to singing lyrics off a screen. I would never say that it's wrong to do that.

But singing off a screen can never replace the benefits of a good hymnal. Much of the music illiteracy that plagues our churches today is due to a decline of hymnals where you can see the actual musical score. And you might say, well, I can't read the musical score. Refer to the previous point. But here's the thing, using a hymnal can actually help you learn to read music I never taught any of my kids how to sing harmony But they just picked it up because we sing in our home and in our church out of a hymnal where they followed along and learned what music does.

There's no more simple music than a hymn. You can learn to sing, you can learn to read the musical score and you will be better off for it. Using hymnals in church is a wonderful thing. It also makes singing more corporate because you have to share with the person next to you. It can't just be an individualistic sort of thing.

You can point to the words and notes with your young children. I mean our youngest daughter practically learned how to read by following along with the words in the hymnal. And plus you can't take the screen home. You need a collection of good hymnals at home for your whole family so that you can sing together. Now let me encourage you to get a good hymnal that has songs that meet the requirements that we talked about and get a hymnal that includes Psalms.

We have Psalms and hymns to the living God in the back and by the way we also have recordings of piano accompaniments for every psalm and every hymn in the hymnal in the G3 Plus app to be an aid to families as they sing in their homes. Number four, sing heartily. Psalm 95 verse 1 says, Oh come let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us make a loud shout to the rock of our salvation. In John Wesley's direction for singing written in 1761 he sang, sing lustily and with good courage. But we have unfortunately been so influenced in our churches today by the singing of pop music which is breathy and unsupported.

The very opposite of lustily and with good courage. Christians today have been taught by pop culture that if you really mean it, you'll close your eyes, scrunch up your face, maybe sway a little and just sing really kind of light and breathy. Stop it! That's not how God created us to sing. The way of singing that comes from the sensuality of pop music is not the way that we disciples of Christ ought to be singing.

It's a kind of singing that embodies the passions of the flesh, not a robust love for God's truth. Worldly culture, we know this. Worldly culture is attacking the church and it is attacking our families and worldly culture has weakened congregational singing. Sing aloud to God our strength. Sing heartily.

And let me say a word to those of you who accompany singing and those of you who lead singing. You have to accompany and lead in such a way that actually supports robust, hearty singing. Unfortunately, pop music and music illiteracy has influenced the way many accompany singing as well. But if you play and lead heartily, you will help people sing heartily. By the way, I loved how the singing was led this morning.

It was hearty singing. And finally, number five, men, you have to take the lead on this. Men don't sing in our culture. And one of the reasons is that singing is thought to be a feminine exercise. And actually, it's true that in our culture today, most singing in pop culture is very effeminate.

Most modern male pop singers sing in a very feminine way and that has come to affect even those men who lead singing in churches And so many men just don't know how to sing in a manly way. Boys grow up thinking singing is for girls. It is time to change that. Good singing is masculine. Exhibit A, King David, sweet psalmist of Israel and warrior king.

David didn't get home from slaughtering Philistines and then sing praise to the Lord in a breathy sensual manner. Men, like every other spiritual discipline, we need to lead in singing. Make effort to learn how to read music, make effort to learn how to sing well, be discerning in what songs you choose for your family or church to sing and then just sing. In our own church we are experiencing a sort of revival among the men in our church who are coming to Matt Sykes and coming to me and saying, help us to sing. We've never been taught.

We know we need to lead in singing. Men sing with strength. Sing so that your boys never think that singing is something feminine. Sing robustly. None of this breathy crooning so common in pop culture.

Sing like men, full-throated, resonant from your diaphragm singing. Sing like warriors. Dads, one of the most significant, impactful, and enduring things that you can do is regularly sing with your children. Oh, that we would recover a robust culture of disciple-making singing once again in our homes, in our churches. Singing that fills our children's hearts with the word of Christ.

Singing that builds up their hearts with mature affections for Christ and calms their fleshly passions, singing that sets our affections on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Singing is important because God has commanded it and God has commanded us to sing because singing is essential to discipleship. Let us pray. Oh God our Father, help us to recognize that you commanded us to sing and you commanded us to sing for a purpose. Oh, give us the burden to bring back strong biblically saturated singing in our homes and in our churches.

Convict us this morning and give us the commitment to seek out the tools in order to learn how to do that better. In Christ's name, amen.