Singing Mercy Over Your Children

Family life is a beautiful blessing, and yet it is often exhausting and frustrating. A house full of sinners—even redeemed sinners—poses daily opportunities for all sorts of unrighteous attitudes, words, and actions to be on full display. As a parent of young children, I was sometimes very quick to point out their sin to them. So for example, if they were fighting, I’d say, “Give me a verse!” in order to prod them to remember memorized Scripture that would serve to rebuke and correct them. However, looking back, I didn’t always use these situations to readily remind them of our desperate need—including my own need—for God’s mercy. 

…you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love… (Nehemiah 9:17b)

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5)

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, (Ephesians 1:7)

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

One way to impress these amazing truths upon your children is to “sing mercy” over them on a regular basis. (Read about the power of singing over your children here (and here .) Whether singing over your young children before putting them to bed at night or incorporating singing during your family devotions, singing songs that point to God’s mercy and the forgiveness that is found in Christ alone can serve as a powerful reminder to the entire family. One song that has been a particular favorite of my grandchildren’s is “His Mercy Is More” (by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. The tune is child-friendly, but it also conveys deep truths. Just consider the words from the second verse:

What patience would wait as we constantly roam;

What Father, so tender, is calling us home.

He welcomes, the weakest, the vilest, the poor;

Our sins, they are many, His mercy is more.

Chorus
Praise the Lord!
His mercy is more.
Stronger than darkness; new every morn;
Our sins, they are many, His mercy is more.

At the end of a difficult day, with parents and children alike feeling frustrated, angry, ashamed, or even belligerent because of the breadth and depth of sin that transpired, these words sung aloud over your children may serve as a kind of fuel for the Holy Spirit to do His supernatural work within the heart. 

Here is a delightfully informal video of the Getty family singing this song with their children, complete with hand motions.

Some other hymn suggestions that focus on God’s mercy:

Jesus, Strong and Kind (CityAlight) 

“Merciful God” (Getty/Getty/Townend)

Not in Me” (Schumacher/Ward)

“Grace Greater Than Our Sin” (Johnston)