Music Discussions

Happier

happier

Happier – Marshmello

Main Point: As we learn to embrace the challenges in our lives we will see that through Jesus, the sacrifices made in the hard times help produce better days ahead.

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, Spotify, 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.
  • In 2015, Christopher Comstock started releasing electronic mix songs under the name Marshmello. Comstock was able to keep his identity secret for a couple years before he was unmasked by Forbes magazine in 2017.
  • Using a white bucket with a face as both his logo and then his mask, Marshmello has rose to fame as one of the world’s highest paid DJ’s.
  • Having released two studio albums, Marshmello has collaborated with artists such as Selena Gomez, Khalid, Bastille (who he collaborated with in the song we are discussing here) and many others.
  • 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 – Say Something Like This:  Happier is Marshmello’s highest charting song to date, having reached the three spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is about bringing happiness to another person even if it means making a sacrifice that is difficult. Marshmello said about this song, The amount of emotion that you could feel in the lyrics was crazy. As I listened to the song more and more, it reminded me of so many things I’ve been through in life: toxic relationships, letting go of things I didn’t want to, and just situations where happiness came with a sacrifice. Recently, I lost my best friend, my companion, my life-long friend. I wanted this video to embrace the pain that we feel losing or sacrificing something and the cycle of life that comes with it.

The Music Video: The music video can be viewed for free at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=91&v=COuBopmIYsg

Song Lyrics: Happier

Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been thinking
I want you to be happier, I want you to be happier

When the morning comes
When we see what we’ve become
In the cold light of day, we’re a flame in the wind
Not the fire that we’ve begun
Every argument, every word we can’t take back
‘Cause with all that has happened
I think that we both know the way that this story ends

Then only for a minute
I want to change my mind
‘Cause this just don’t feel right to me
I wanna raise your spirits
I want to see you smile but
Know that means I’ll have to leave

Know that means I’ll have to leave
Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been thinking
I want you to be happier, I want you to be happier

When the evening falls
And I’m left there with my thoughts
And the image of you being with someone else
Well, it’s eating me up inside
But we ran our course, we pretended we’re okay
Now if we jump together, at least we can swim
Far away from the wreck we made

Then only for a minute
I want to change my mind
‘Cause this just don’t feel right to me
I wanna raise your spirits
I want to see you smile
Know that means I’ll have to leave

Know that means I’ll have to leave
Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been thinking
I want you to be happier, I want you to be happier

So I’ll go, I’ll go
I will go, go, go
So I’ll go, I’ll go
I will go, go, go

Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been thinking
I want you to be happier, I want you to be happier
Even though I might not like this
I think that you’ll be happier, I want you to be happier

Then only for a minute (Only for a minute)
I want to change my mind
‘Cause this just don’t feel right to me (Right to me)
I wanna raise your spirits (Wanna raise your spirits)
I want to see you smile but
Know that means I’ll have to leave

Know that means I’ll have to leave
Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been thinking
I want you to be happier, I want you to be happier

So I’ll go, I’ll go
I will go, go, go

Three Questions to Ask in the Car (with thoughts to dive deeper with your kids):

Q: Do you think we should sacrifice things so others can be happy?
A:  The goal is to start a conversation about sacrifice and even dive into what they might be willing to or not be willing to sacrifice.

Q: Why do you think we sometimes pretend to be okay when we aren’t?
A: This points to a specific part of the song in an attempt to push through a wall toward vulnerability with your child as you understand their motivations.

Q: What is something you have had to give up in order to grow in your faith?
A: This could unearth a choice they have made in their pursuit of God or perhaps stimulate their thinking toward this end.

Where to Take It from Here: Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful!  (There is a guide just after that 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.

Transition Statement – Say Something Like This:  This song talks about sacrifice and what a person would be willing to do for another to find happiness. The specific sacrifice in the song appears to be leaving the relationship, believing the person might be better off without them. Is it true that making sacrifices in difficult situations can produce better things ahead? Let’s talk about this and see what God’s Word has to say about this question.

Discussion Questions:

  1. ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS:You have ten seconds each, in that time tell us three things that make you happy.
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If you were going to wear a disguise like Marshmello does, what would it look like for you?
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When the song says; I wanna raise your spirits, I want to see you smile but know that means I’ll have to leave, do you think the motivation is pure for that decision or do you think he wants her to tell him to stay?
  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When is it easy for you to sacrifice something for another?
  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is something your parents have sacrificed so you can have something better?
  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Think of a sacrifice you’ve made during a hard season of your life. What happened in your life because of your sacrifice?
  7. ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS:What comes to mind when you hear someone say “there are better days ahead?”  Do you usually agree with that statement? Why or why not?

Read the following passage:

Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:  Read Romans 5:1-5. What is meant by “not only so” at the start of verse three?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:  According to this passage, why can we glory in our sufferings?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:  Talk about a time when you have seen suffering produce perseverance.
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:  Why do you think it was important to affirm God’s love in verse five?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:  If we believe these verses and embrace the idea that good things can come through the hardest times – how can knowing that help us make the necessary sacrifices during those hard times?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS:  What do we need to do or have to truly believe that the sacrifices we make in the hard times will produce better things ahead?
  1. ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS:  Let’s go around the circle and name different things Jesus sacrificed for us so we can have better days ahead.

Wrap Up – Say Something Like This: The song Happier is a fun upbeat song with a powerful message. The idea behind it is that sometimes we need to make sacrifices when things are difficult and through those hardships we will see greater things ahead. For the follower of Jesus this takes on even more meaning as He has set the example by sacrificing His life for you and I. Let’s take a moment and silently thank Jesus for the sacrifices and the ultimate sacrifices He has made for you and I. 

(Pause and give them a quiet moment to reflect on this.) 

God’s love has been poured out on those who will receive it, and through His love you can be confident that He will produce good things through the worst situations. We might have to give up comfort, preferences, relationships or more – but we can be confident that He is good and that He is working in us to produce something greater than we can imagine. Take a moment with Jesus and ask Him to reveal to you if there is a sacrifice He is asking you to make as you trust Him through this season of your life. 

(Pause and give them a moment to pray silently.) 

God wants more for you and I than for us to just be happier – He wants us to have a joy that never fades. Let’s be people who trust Him and refuse to settle for less than His best for us.  And let’s remember that as we learn to embrace the challenges in our lives we will see that through Jesus, the sacrifices made in the hard times help produce better days ahead.

CLOSE IN PRAYER 

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Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at chagdeswrites@gmail.com

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