“It’s because you were raised in a Christian home…”

My mom and I were talking last night about our latest music preferences in the car. We share an XM satellite account so we often discuss new stations that we find or which stations have turned into 24/7 Christmas music.

My latest fave has been the Siriously (sic) Sinatra channel. Which, I will ironically note, is the kind of music my sister and I used to negatively dub “Momma Music”. Mom has been listening to the Broadway channel.

In fact, she said, she’s been singing Footloose around the house ever since we went to see ASH’s production of it last time I visited. I remember the soundtrack well. Sherri and I loved our Footloose cassette and sang it over and over. In fact, we loved it so much that we got our younger cousin, Summer, a copy for Christmas one year.

I’ve shared this story often over the years, pointing out my embarrassing naivete, and felt foolish as I repeated it to my mom.

We were all at Mema’s house in Kansas when Summer’s parents tell us how much she loved the Footloose cassette. So we decide to put on a performance medley from the soundtrack. All is going well until Summer starts singing “You and me, we should be dancing in the streets…” No, no, no! We stop her. It’s dancing in the SHEETS, Summer. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Uncle Ron and Aunt Connie stop us…..we are going to let Summer sing STREETS instead. Their reaction puzzled us. Sherri and I had a little sidebar and decided that Summer must not be allowed to dance on her bed.

I told my mom I was FIFTEEN when that soundtrack came out. I thought I was so worldly by then but I was still so innocent. I missed all the double entendres. I would be in my 30’s and 40’s before I realized that Little Red Corvette wasn’t a car. And that the score they wanted in Grease 2 wasn’t about bowling. The list was long- and embarrassed me every time I’d make a new connection. I’m fairly educated but these songs made me feel like a quintessential dumb blonde.

As I’m sharing this with my mom, somewhere between gratitude for the innocence and mortified for the idiocracy, my mom offers a simple explanation.

“It’s because you were raised in a Christian home…”

She was right. My parents didn’t curse, we didn’t watch R-rated movies, and our innocence was protected at all costs. There was no reason not to take everything at face value because deception and wickedness had no place in our home. Our family life revolved around a Christian school, church, and church activities.

Even when I strayed into a world of darkness, that foundation was so strong it was almost as if there was a gravitational force pulling back to that core. Over and over I’d be drawn back to Him until the running stopped.

Can you imagine if I hadn’t had that foundation of a Christian home? I’d be like a yo-yo who just unraveled and rolled away, never returning to the axle.

I worry for today’s generation. Church isn’t as important to people anymore. Sports tournaments and week-end rest are prioritized over worship; Covid restrictions shuttered many worship gatherings; and parents let children decide if they want to go to church.

Guess what? You’re the parent! That’s your JOB! Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for raising me in a Christian home.

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