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Demons
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
01/31/2014

Dynamic ImageThe Song: Demons by Imagine Dragons

Main Point of Discussion: This song, ”Demons,” is a great reminder that as Christians we still have our sin nature, and we need God’s power and grace to defeat it and serve Jesus.

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

  • IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce teens to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most teens, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos like this one. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away. If you decide to use this, do so by catering it to fit your family’s needs.

  • “Imagine Dragons” is a Las Vegas-based band who is no stranger to the music-loving masses. Their latest tune “Demons” has definitely touched a nerve with young people because of the honesty embedded in the song.

  • The song is essentially about a protagonist who is warning others about his dark side, which obviously ties in well with the biblical view of humanity. (Interestingly, half the band members are from a Mormon background, and the other half is agnostic - which probably plays into the content of this song.)

  • Don’t 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.

Introducing the Song:
We’re going to discuss the theme of the big pop song “Demons” by Imagine Dragons. This song has been a huge hit for the band, which is why we’re hearing the song so much lately. Let’s check out the song’s lyrics while we play the music video.

The video can be found at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWRsgZuwf_8



Song Lyrics: Demons

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

At the curtain’s call
It's the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you've made

Don't wanna let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don't wanna hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it's what you make
I say it's up to fate
It's woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can't escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Three Simple Questions (With Answers You May Be Looking For):

Q: What was the overall message of this song?

A: He’s warning the person in his life that’s close to him that his heart has demons hidden inside. He can’t seem to shake them, and he just wants them to know the sad truth.

Q: What were the religious themes in this song?
A: He said he feels he is bound for hell, and he refers to his “kingdom come.” He also talks about sinners crawling. The song is loaded with religious imagery.

Q: The singer sounds like he’s learned to live with his demons, even though that’s not a good thing. How might his life be different were he to live it for Jesus?
A: For starters, the singer couldn’t have demons hiding in his heart because Jesus’ Spirit would be dwelling there instead. Further, he wouldn’t be walking in darkness but the marvelous light Jesus offers. He wouldn’t be so defeated because he’d have ultimate victory over sin, death, and the grave.

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:
Besides being a well written and catchy tune, “Demons” taps into a truth about humanity that has been present since the beginning of time. Although in recent years people have theorized that people are basically born good, this song exposes a reality about us that is hard to deny. We have a sinful nature and it seeks to wreck our lives. The singer’s way of referring to our sinful nature was to speak of demons. But as Christians, we have been given victory over our sinful nature by the power of Jesus. We need to live in that power every day. Let’s talk about that for a few moments.


Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Do you think most people have things about them that absolutely nobody else knows about? Why or why not?

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think the person in the song is warning his significant other about his “demons”?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think it would be like to have to live with demons?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What would you say to a person who wants to shake his or her demons? How would you tell them to get rid of them?

  5. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Galatians 2:20 (NLT):

      My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is Paul talking about when he refers to his “old self”?

  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What parallels are there between the “demons” that Imagine Dragons refers to and the “old self” that Paul refers to?

  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does it mean to trust in the Son of God as we live in this earthly body?

  9. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If our old self was crucified with Christ on the cross, does that mean that our “demons” no longer have power over us? Why or why not?

  10. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Now that we’ve studied this passage from Galatians, what will you do the next time your sinful nature comes knocking at your door?

Wrap Up:
Have 3X5 cards and pens ready to pass out, then say:

One of the ways we can really get a handle on dealing with our “old self” or “demons” is to realize the spiritual freedom that comes with having the power and presence of Jesus in our lives. When Jesus was crucified, He proclaimed that “it is finished” - which literally means that the debt for our sin was paid in full by Him. When that debt was paid, the power of sin was broken in our lives, which means we never have to give in to the darkness…or fear where the demons hide. Because of that, we can truly focus on HIS Kingdom come!

So, on your card, make two columns - one that is labeled “My Kingdom” and the other “His Kingdom.” Under the “My Kingdom” section, write down some things that you are focused on right now that are really just reflections of your “old self”. Then under the “His Kingdom” column, write down what those areas would look like if you surrendered them to Jesus.
    For example:

    My Kingdom
    Focused on success
    Greed for myself
    Seeking power for myself

    His Kingdom
    Focused on faithfulness
    Generosity for others
    Seeking glory for God

(After the lists have been compiled, spend a few moments praying over them and for one another. Encourage your family to be looking for ways to help one another serve God and His Kingdom over the next few weeks.)


Close in Prayer

Written by Lane Palmer

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