God’s Lullaby

We were not one of those let-them-cry-it-out families. You know what I mean: if babies won’t go to sleep quietly then let them do it noisily. There are a lot of baby books that advise this, saying the child will eventually learn to put themselves to sleep. Could be true, but we never bothered to find out.*

Both of our children wanted to be near a parent as they fell asleep. When still babies, I’d carry them and sing hymns and praise songs until they dropped off into slumber. Some nights that took a song or two, some nights it meant several. I remember when my son first started talking, he’d even make requests. “Love you Lord” would come sleepily from his little mouth, and I’d respond by singing:

I love you Lord and I lift my voice

To worship you, Oh my soul rejoice

Take joy, my King, in what you hear

May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear

Both our son and daughter eventually got to where they could fall asleep without us being at their side, of course. But I’m sure that the early assurance that came from our physical presence as they let go of wakefulness and dropped off to sleep stayed with them as they grew older and learned to do things without us.

God’s promised presence is like that too, a constant assurance that he is with us.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20.)

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1 Corinthians 6:19.)

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5.)

And in all of this there is music:

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. (Psalm 40:3.)

I will rest in him with that lullaby on my lips.

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When has God put a song (figuratively or literally) on your lips?

***

*I am not at all criticizing parents who followed that route, because I learned long ago that what works for one family is not an indication of what will work for others.

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15 Responses to God’s Lullaby

  1. michellevl says:

    Beautiful.

    I never thought of it as a lullaby, but that old worship chorus (“I Love You, Lord”) is exactly that. And it may be the lullaby I sing to myself and to the Lord the next time I awaken in the middle of the night with a case of swirling anxiety.

  2. cathyallen says:

    My answer to your question is, “almost constantly.” I’ve been a songleader and choir director for (get ready for it…I can’t believe I’m this OLD!) over 40 years (well, I WAS minus 10 years when I started 🙂 )! I’m hedging a little about the “almost constantly” because I don’t always sing out loud wherever I am, but I DO always seem to have a song running thru my mind, or in my heart, and it’s frequently a song of praise (my favorite — I especially like your son’s choice!) It’s the greatest joy in my life, so thanks for reminding me, Tim!

    • Tim says:

      Song leading has been such a blessing for me too, CA. I’m not doing it now, but there have been times when I’ve filled in for as long as a year at a time as the leader for Sunday morning services. And you’re a choir director too? That was my first up front experience, singing in the choir of the small church I grew up in. I started in my late teens, and was the youngest member of the choir by a couple decades. Great group of people. The small group fellowship in a church choir is like no other.

  3. I’m with you here,Tim. We have not been one of those “let-them-cry-it-out families” either. I’ve co-slept with five babies. All together, that has meant thousands of hours of peace and quiet. It’s certainly not for everyone (and should always be practiced with caution) but for our family it has been the right choice.

    “I’m sure that the early assurance that came from our physical presence as they let go of wakefulness and dropped off to sleep stayed with them as they grew older and learned to do things without us.” — Yes, I believe this is true. My three oldest kids now like to think of themselves as independent, but they still smile whenever I talk about how they each slept with Mom and Dad until they were three.

  4. Nancy Van Wyck says:

    I married at the age of 16 and had my first baby at 17. So because of being young I listened to people telling me not to spoil my baby so let him cry it out. It hurt me and I cried too, I missed out on those special times. I watched my grandaughter taking care of our two great grandchildren and she played with them from the time they were born, she is doing the right thing and the kids are now 7 and 4 and are not spoiled but they are deliteful little children. I love how you sang to them the perfect song.

    • Tim says:

      Nancy, it sounds like your mother’s love has made its way quite nicely to the second and third generations. What a beautiful blessing.

  5. You and your wife would appreciate Megan Tietz’s new book called Spirit-Led Parenting, and might consider recommending it to new mommies. (Megan is of Sorta Crunchy blog fame.) I found our parenting style to be a mixture of a whole bunch of things, but mainly it involved lots of prayer and responding to our child. Sometimes it makes sense to let her cry for 15 minutes to settle in for sleep, other times we know we have to respond immediately to certain types of cries. But in everything, there is prayer — lots and lots of prayer — and hymn singing. And now my daughter is at an age where she asks to pray and sing ALL the time. It’s so wonderful! 🙂

    • Tim says:

      Lots and lots of prayer – one of the biggest tools in the parent toolbox! And what a sweet image you raise of Gwenny asking for prayer and song constantly. I’m going “Awwww” all over the place here in my office!

  6. cath says:

    Hi Tim, God sometimes puts songs on my heart – real or figurative – or ones that I write myself, and they often come in times of struggle or stormy times. The one he keeps speaking to me through at the moment is
    Promise maker, promise keeper,
    You finish what you begin,
    Our provision through the desert,
    You see it through till the end.

    I think God sometimes puts songs on our hearts to remind us of his truths in place of the lies we can sometimes let slip in and start believing. That is my experience this week.

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