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Grenade
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
03/04/2011

The Song: “Grenade” by Bruno Mars

Main Point of Discussion: Jesus was willing to give His life for us even though we are often unwilling to do the same for Him.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: (The following should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.)

  • “Grenade” is the newest single released by Bruno Mars. Since its release it has peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for 7 weeks in a row. It brings up the common emotions of unrequited love, betrayal, and the desperation of heartbreak. Even though the video has become controversial due to the implied suicide shown in its last seconds, there is a strong message embedded in the song’s lyrics that clearly depicts the gospel story.

  • You can look at (and show, if you wish) the music video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR6iYWJxHqs

  • ONE MORE NOTE: Try not to appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.


The Music Video:
The song’s video can be found at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR6iYWJxHqs



Song Lyrics:

Easy come, easy go
That's just how you live, oh
Take, take, take it all,
But you never give
Should of known you was trouble from the first kiss,
Why were they open?
Gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked,
Cause what you don't understand is
I’d catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah, yeah , yeah)
You know I'd do anything for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Oh, oh
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes, I would die for ya baby;
But you won't do the same

No, no, no, no
Black, black, black and blue beat me till I'm numb
Tell the devil I said “hey” when you get back to where you're from
Mad woman, bad woman,
That's just what you are, yeah,
You’ll smile in my face then rip the breaks out my car
Gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, yes you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
Cause what you don't understand is
I’d catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah, yeah , yeah)
You know I'd do anything for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Oh, oh
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes, I would die for ya baby;
But you won't do the same

If my body was on fire, ooh
You’d watch me burn down in flames
You said you loved me you're a liar
Cause you never, ever, ever did baby...
But darling I’ll still catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah, yeah , yeah)
You know I'd do anything for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Oh, oh
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes, I would die for ya baby;
But you won't do the same.
No, you won’t do the same,
You wouldn’t do the same,
Ooh, you’ll never do the same,
No, no, no, no

Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message of this song?

A: Bruno declares unconditional love for a female—but the hard part is that she doesn’t return it. Still he loves her and sings that he’ll even die for her.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this song?
A: While most people view this song as a bitter, hopeless response to a breakup, it actually illustrates a bedrock issue that clearly parallels one of the Bible’s central themes—that Christ was willing to die (and did die) for us.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this song to actually living out those opinions?
A: We need to keep in mind that the end of the video depicts Bruno committing suicide, and that’s not cool—such a response to pain, no matter how great, isn’t what God wants. But besides that, we can let the song remind us of the great gift God gave us through his son, Jesus.


Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

For Deeper Discussion:
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)


Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our "Parenting Help" page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today's Teens.

Transitional Statement:
As you may have noticed, Bruno Mars is more than a little upset at his ex, and one of the primary reasons seems to be that he’s willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for her, even though she’s not willing to return that kind of love to him. Unfortunately, many of us have that same problem in our relationships with Jesus. He’s given all for us, but we’re unwilling to do the same for Him.


More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Before we dive in, everybody take a turn and tell us about a time when you did something at least a little crazy for someone you loved.

  2. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Romans 5:6-9 (New International Version)
      You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What kinds of causes have people died for in history? Are there people or causes that you think you would give your life for?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: This passage points out that rarely is someone willing to die for a righteous person (or a “good” person). So how amazing is it that Jesus died for people that don’t even love Him in return? Why do you think Christ was willing to die so that sinners—including the very people who killed him—could live?

  5. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Romans 6:11-14 (New International Version)
      11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
      12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
      13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
      14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

    You Say: This is what is so amazing about what Christ has done. We need someone to take a grenade for us. We need someone to save us… from ourselves. We have proven that we can never “be good enough.” We always mess up. Our mess ups are called sin. That sin interferes with our relationships with God. It’s like a huge burden (a piano-sized burden) that we are carrying around with us. Jesus freed us from that burden by taking the punishment for us. That’s what the passage above is talking about. We are free from sin now. So we shouldn’t return to it and tie ourselves up in it and enslave ourselves to it again. We are already free from it!

  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Now that we are “dead to sin” and “alive in Christ” how does that change the way we should live out our lives day to day?

  7. ASK ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS: Very specifically, what is one step you will take tonight to accept the free gift of love and grace that Jesus offers?

Transitional Statement:
Every human carries around a deep need for love and acceptance, which is why so many songs are written and videos are produced about good and bad relationships. Isn’t it amazing to think that in many ways we are all like the girl in the video- we all have betrayed and rejected God’s love- yet despite our failure to love Him, Jesus still gave His life for us? This truth can really help us remember that we are extraordinarily cherished by the God who made us. Jesus chose to die rather than live without us for eternity.


(Pass out 3x5 cards and pens to your family members.)

Wrap Up:

Ask your family members to take a few minutes and write down these altered ‘lyrics’ to Grenade…

    Dear (fill in your name)

    My child,

    I came to earth for you
    I lived a perfect life for you
    I died a horrible death for you
    I rose from the dead for you
    I will return for you

After your family members have copied this down, ask them to take a few minutes and reflect on all that Jesus did and accomplished for us.

Close in Prayer

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