“Mom, what does ‘Hallelujah’ mean?”

Can I confess something? Promise you won’t judge me? Okay – you probably will make certain judgments – how about just promise you won’t judge me too harshly?

Here it is…

Since Olivia was born, we have only been to church once… and that was on Christmas Eve!

I know – I am terrible! But please understand – I am NOT a morning person. When Jackson was a baby, we were going to a church just five minutes from our house and they had an evening service. I LOVE evening services. By evening I am ready to learn, worship and fellowship. In the morning – no – all I want to hear from is pastor pillow.

A few years ago, we switched churches. Our new church is 20 minutes away and it starts at 9:30am! Now that may sound just fine to you. But not for me. Olivia has been on a late sleep schedule since she arrived – and I am just not ready to leave the house at 9am on Sunday morning. At 9am on Sunday morning I am ready to hand my children to my husband and crash for a few hours. (During the week, I usually work till about 2am. Add to that a nursing infant, and by the weekend I am just about dying.)

So, to make up for my son missing an entire year of Sunday School, I try to do my best to teach him. (Yes – I know a good way to teach him would be to get my tired body out of bed and get to church. But remember – you promised not to judge me too harshly. I know I am far from the perfect parent!)

One of the ways I try to immerse him in the values and teaching of the Bible is to listen to Christian music in the car. I love that he is hearing positive messages and trying to work out what faith means to the people making the music.

Now, I don’t mean that I don’t let Jackson listen to mainstream music. I love mainstream music and I do listen to some of it with Jackson. But Jackson is a very thoughtful, perceptive child. So listening to a mainstream radio station can be dangerous. He is taking in everything. Not much gets past that kid. And some of the stuff that is said… well it takes some explaining (to put it lightly!)

Today, as we drove home for school with my newest favorite song, Song of Hope by Robbie Seay Band, blasting, Jackson asked me, “Mom, what does ‘Hallelujah’ mean?”

I turned down the music and answered, “That is a very good question Jackson. I think it comes from a Hebrew word which means to praise God – to tell God how much we love him. But you know – I am not exactly sure if it is a Hebrew word or an English translation of a Hebrew word. When we get home we should look it up online.”

When Jackson asks me such questions – and it happens quite often actually – I can tell that he is really listening to the music and to what the words mean. Jackson wants to know what people are singing about and why. Which reaffirms to me that I need to be careful what I am listening to.

His little ears are taking it all in and it is forming his worldview. And personally, I prefer to answer, “Mom, what does ‘Hallelujah’ mean?” over “Mom, what does ‘booty’ mean” any day!

P.S. I purchased the entire Give Yourself Away album and I highly recommend it.

Robbie Seay Band also has a blog and so does Robbie Seay’s wife, Liz Seay. :)


  1. says

    (Apparently, our internet is having “early morning issues”, too. I’ll try re-posting this…sorry if it posts twice!!!)

    I can totally relate to the anti-morning mentality! Just FYI — you were right. Halelujah (spelled many different ways!) is from the Hebrew word “hallel” which means “praise”. Word trivia: “Halelujah” is one of the few words in the world (quite possibly the ONLY word) which is not translated in any language…halelujah means halelujah in English, Spanish, French, German, Malay, Talk-Pidgin, Mayan, Latin, Greek, etc., etc., etc. (Sorry, I’m a bit of a word geek! ;^) )

  2. says

    Do not feel bad about missing so much church. Since my third child was born in November of last year, we hardly went to church, and ours doesn’t begin until 11am! Unfortunately, our kids were so sick this winter (my littlest one has RSV when he was only six weeks old) that I just didn’t want to risk it when they were well. And now our canoe season is starting to get busy, so it will be difficult to go even when it’s warm outside. :(

  3. says

    You’re doing a better job than me! My son asked why the school next to his school had a “plus sign” on the roof. Plus sign in question was the cross! We did’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  4. kelli says

    you know, I think belonging to a church and having fellowship with other believers is important, but it’s much better in my opinion to teach them the kind of faith and beliefs you want them to have all during the week. :) You’re still their best and most important teacher and Sunday school is only one hour out of the week. It wouldn’t really be enough to do just that for me and my kids- I think what you’re doing is great. :)

  5. says

    I’ve finally gotten better about getting my girls to church. But we had a span there of several months not attending during the last few months of my pg and the first few months of Sophia’s life.

    I had a real wake-up call about it at Christmas when we told Julia we were going to church and she replied, “Mom, what does ‘church’ mean?”

    Can you say conviction! I felt soooooo guilty!!!

  6. says

    I think it’s one of the most important aspects of faith. When we go to church we are being fed spiritual food through the preaching of the Word. Not only that, we have fellowship with our fellow belivers – which again strenthens us, knowing that we all belong to the body of Christ. I want to strongly urge you to attend, Janice! You and your children will benefit greatly.

  7. says

    Well, I suppose it’s about priorities. Our family takes the commandment to keep the Lord’s Day holy pretty seriously. I’d strongly encourage you to attend Sunday services. Our faith isn’t always convenient or comfortable, and sacrificing something of ourselves for God (yup, even sleep) is good for our souls. Even when we had tiny ones, we only missed when someone was very sick (and even then we trade off and go to different Masses alone). I admit to not going after an ice storm when they didn’t plow our streets until far into the afternoon one Sunday, but we watched on TV instead.

    I do hope you reconsider. Sunday services (or, as for us, Sunday Mass) isn’t about us or making us feel good. It’s about the worship God deserves.

    I hope you don’t feel like I’m being harsh or mean. I am just always genuinely concerned when people take the Sabbath so lightly.

  8. Mishi says

    I agree with Christine and also have a suggestion. I’m clueless as to your occupation but you could make a decision to focus on getting a day job until it happens. Then you’d not only be rested enough to get up on Sundays but you’d also have more time to influence your family in important ways. Just a thought. . .

    Lastly, it sounds as if you your goal is to live more by a set of values than to have a personal relationship with Christ. Is that correct?

  9. Paul says

    I hope you don’t mind a guy posting here. I found this thread while searching the net for hallelujah references.

    I have always found it much harder to maintain my faith and relationship with God in the absence of fellowship. A book can be laid aside, a radio station can be changed, a cd can be turned off or tuned out. Proverbs 27:17 points out that as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Hebrews 10:25 admonishes us not to give up assembling together in order to support each other. I, for one, need the fellowship and support provided by my church family to correct and aid in my walk with God. Please take the time to meet with other Christians and receive teaching in His word if you are serious about your walk with God and not just a set of morals.

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