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Can’t Feel My Face
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
11/18/2015

Dynamic ImageThe Song: Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd

Main Point: Addictions can destroy lives, and for that reason alone, should be handled carefully and immediately. Jesus is the absolute best Source for finding freedom from addiction.

Vital Info Before You Start: 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.

  • Abel Tesfaye, globally known as The Weeknd, is the artist behind this top-ranked song. Can’t Feel My Face spent several weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and scored him an invitation to perform at the 2015 VMAs on MTV.

  • This up and coming young artist was heavily influenced by Michael Jackson, and is able to crank out hip hop, pop, and rock tunes in a perfectly falsetto voice. No doubt, he’s got a smooth sound and an infectious beat.

  • This small group discussion will look at the meaning behind this hit single and explore its impact on today’s teenagers. What you’ll discover is that The Weeknd is actually singing about his addiction to cocaine in this song. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss addiction with your family, and offer them hope in Jesus as a substitute.

  • 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:
The song I want us to listen to is a wildly popular one.
Can’t Feel My Face is so popular, in fact, that it spent several weeks at the top of the charts, only to be replaced by another song from the same artist, The Weeknd. But the actual meaning of this song may be a bit surprising to you. Let’s listen to it and watch the music video, and then we’ll discuss its meaning and implications on our family.

The Music Video:
The video can be found at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEI4qSrkPAs



Song’s Lyrics:

And I know she'll be the death of me, at least we'll both be numb
And she'll always get the best of me, the worst is yet to come
But at least we'll both be beautiful and stay forever young
This I know, yeah, this I know

She told me, "Don't worry about it"
She told me, "Don't worry no more"
We both know we can't go without it
She told me you'll never be alone, oh, oh, woo

I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh

And I know she'll be the death of me, at least we'll both be numb
And she'll always get the best of me, the worst is yet to come
All the misery was necessary when we're deep in love
This I know, girl, I know

She told me, "Don't worry about it"
She told me, "Don't worry no more"
We both know we can't go without it
She told me you'll never be alone, oh, oh, woo

I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh

She told me, "Don't worry about it"
She told me, "Don't worry no more"
We both know we can't go without it
She told me you'll never be alone, oh, oh, woo

I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh
I can't feel my face when I'm with you
But I love it, but I love it, oh

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

    Q: Can you tell what The Weeknd was actually singing about in his song?

    A: It may be surprising to you to discover that this song is actually about The Weeknd’s ongoing addiction to cocaine. (Make sure to read this article so you can provide specifics about the song’s lyrics. In fact, you might even want to have a few hard copies available for your family to peruse.)

    Q: How can a person know when he/she is addicted to something?
    A: Some of the best ways to recognize addictions is the time we spend pondering it, what we’re willing to do to have it, and how long we can go without having it. Those are just a few of the simpler ways to recognize addiction.

    Q: What does God think about our addictions?
    A: It saddens Him for at least two reasons. First, He wants to be our center and that which we’re most concerned about. He wants us to want Him more than anything or anyone else in the world. Second, He knows what our addictions cost us.

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:
There is no doubt about it: that song has a sound that completely explains its #1 ranking on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. The Weeknd is wildly popular and definitely knows how to make music. But music is more than just a beat or a sound. Music is also a message. This song is no exception; it has a very “interesting” message embedded in it, and one that we should spend some time discussing.


More Discussion Questions:
  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our favorite song as of right now.

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think this song by The Weeknd is so popular?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What effect does The Weeknd say his use is going to have on him? (Parents – He says he can’t feel his face, but he also says it will be the death of him.)

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some of the things that your friends are most addicted to?

  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Without naming any names, do you know anyone who is currently struggling with an addiction of some sort? How is it affecting them?

  6. Read the following passage:

      James 1:13-17 (NIV)

      When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: James outlines a “process” in this passage. Can someone retrace it for us?

  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think James is exaggerating when he says that sin, like addictions, will lead to our death? Why or why not?

  9. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: According to this passage, what role, if any, does God have in our sinful addictions?

  10. Say something like this:
    James tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from our Heavenly Father. The most perfect Gift our Father ever gave us was His Son, Jesus, who came and died on a cross so we could be forgiven of all of our sin. Let’s take a look at something Jesus said before He gave his life for us.

    Read the following passage:

      John 8:31-36 (NIV)

      To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" 34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

  11. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why does Jesus say that anyone who sins, say, through an addiction, becomes a “slave to sin”?

  12. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does Jesus say of Himself in verse 36? What does that mean?

  13. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Very specifically, how can Jesus help us escape our addictions?

  14. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Will you share an addiction in your life that you need to face? How will you do that?

Wrap Up:
I get it. We tackled a tough subject in our discussion just now. We heard a very popular, very catchy song, and then analyzed it to discover that the artist was actually singing about his addiction to cocaine. I, for one, found that surprising.

But it makes you and I confront the addictions in our own lives. We can be addicted to so many things: food, cell phones, sugar, porn, lying, alcohol, or like The Weeknd, drugs. Of course, there are many, many other options floating around out there trying to ensnare us.

But what we heard from God’s Word was sobering. When we give in to our sinful addictions, James says that we will only find death. Ironically enough, The Weeknd even admits that in his song. Twice he says, “I’ll know she’ll be the death of me….” But he doesn’t know the half of it. The Bible is actually talking about spiritual death and an eternity separated from God in Hell. When we choose our sin over God, we drive a wedge between us and Him. That’s dangerous.

But we also looked at the Good News the Bible offers us in our sinful addictions. Jesus Himself said that He could set us free. He said it emphatically! That’s terrific, right? But that freedom from addiction can only be found in Jesus. It won’t be found in trying hard, or will power, or luck. True freedom, from addiction and death, comes only through Jesus.

Right now, I want to give you an opportunity to respond to the love Jesus offers us.
(At this point, share the salvation Jesus offers through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. If one of your kids responds to Jesus’ love, celebrate that with him/her. Otherwise, just close in prayer, thanking God for His goodness to us and asking Him for continual help to face the struggles of life.)

Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith

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