Music Discussions

I Hope

i-hope

I Hope – Gabby Barrett

Main Point: When we can forgive others, we allow ourselves to live free from the bitterness and anger that will consume our hearts.

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, Spotify and more, 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.
  • Gabby Barrett was one of eight children in her family. She started singing at age 9 and doing shows when she was 11. At the age of 14, she won a Talent Search contest, leading her father to encourage her to sing in a choir, which prompted her to join the Lamb of God Christian Ministries.
  • In 2018, Gabby auditioned for the sixteenth season of American Idol where she ended up finishing in third place.
  • Barrett has opened for Toby Keith, Keith Urban and Cole Swindell.
  • Gabby married fellow Idol contestant Cade Foehner on October 5, 2019.

Introducing the Song – Say Something Like This: The song I Hope was originally intended to be a song that told a story of a woman who was enduring a breakup, yet she still wished for her ex to be happy. During the songwriting process, Gabby Barrett decided to shift the song to a more revengeful focus, saying “The fact is that sometimes we hope for the worst when it comes to our exes. We would never voice that, but it wreaks [havoc] inside. This song now says the things that maybe you or I never said.”

The Music Video: The music video can be viewed for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcCH6JpcK5w

Song Lyrics: I Hope

I, I hope she makes you smile
The way you made me smile
On the other end of a phone
In the middle of the highway driving alone

Oh, baby, I, I hope you hear a song
That makes you sing along
And gets you thinking about her
Then the last several miles turns into a blur
Yeah

I hope you both feel the sparks by the end of the drive
I hope you know she’s the one by the end of the night
I hope you never ever felt more free
Tell your friends that you’re so happy

I hope she comes along and wrecks every one of your plans
I hope you spend your last dime to put a rock on her hand
I hope she’s wilder than your wildest dreams
She’s everything you’re ever gonna need

And then I hope she cheats
Like you did on me
And then I hope she cheats
Like you did on me

Yeah, babe, I hope she shows up in a 2-AM pic from her friend
Hanging on to a guy, and you just ain’t him
I hope you stay up all night all alone waiting by the phone
And then she calls

And, baby, I, I hope you work it out
Forgive and just about
Forget and take her on a first date again
And when you lean in for a kiss

I hope you both feel the sparks by the end of the drive
I hope you know she’s the one by the end of the night
I hope you never ever felt more free
Tell your friends that you’re so happy

I hope she comes along and wrecks every one of your plans
I hope you spend your last dime to put a rock on her hand
I hope she’s wilder than your wildest dreams
She’s everything you’re ever gonna need

And then I hope she cheats
Like you did on me
And then I hope she cheats
Like you did on me

I hope what goes, comes all the way around
I hope she makes you feel the same way about her that I feel about you right now

I hope you both feel the sparks by the end of the drive
I hope you know she’s the one by the end of the night
I hope you never ever felt more free
Tell your friends that you’re so happy

I hope she comes along and wrecks every one of your plans
I hope you spend your last dime to put a rock on her hand
I hope she’s wilder than your wildest dreams
She’s everything you’re ever gonna need

And then I hope she cheats
Like you did on me
And then I hope she cheats
Like you did on me
Like you did on me

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

Q: What do you think the person singing is feeling during this song?
A: It’s a pretty obvious question, but easy starting point. They are feeling hurt, bitter, vengeful. It can start a conversation about “do you think that’s a good response to being hurt?”

Q: Why do you think it’s so easy to want people who hurt us to get hurt back?
A: Ideally, the conversation will go along the lines of our brokenness, and how we tend to gravitate toward sin far too easily. Either way, it will open a door.

Q: What do you think it might look like if she (songwriter) forgave the guy she’s singing about?
A: Start talking about forgiveness as a response. Acknowledge its challenges, but probe a bit to understand what your teenager is thinking when it comes to forgiveness as a response.

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 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.

Transition Statement – Say Something Like This: The author of this song was vulnerable enough to admit that sometimes we fail to wish for the best for those who hurt us. The assumption is that if bad things happened to the person who hurt us, that we would feel some type of relief or satisfaction, or even healing. It raises the question of whether that is how things really work – does revenge bring satisfaction or is there a better way?

Discussion Questions:

  1. ASK YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY: If you could be on American Idol, what song would you want to sing?
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How would you describe the emotion you think the songwriter is feeling throughout this song? Explain why you think the way you do.
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think happened to the songwriter that caused her to write this song? What lyrics do you think support your viewpoint?
  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If anyone would be super honest, share about a time when you wanted something bad to happen to someone who hurt you. It could be something big that happened, or it could be a small thing.
  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think is the significance of the line that says “I hope she makes you feel the same way about her that I feel about you right now?”
  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think a desire for revenge can sometimes come so naturally to us?
  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What line from this song do you think most captures how hurt the songwriter is by what her ex did to her?

Read the following passage:

Ephesians 4:31-32
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Read Ephesians 4:17-32. What do you think is the main idea that the writer of these words (the Apostle Paul) is trying to get across to people?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice all have in common?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think God wants us to “get rid of” these things?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Which of the things listed would you say you are most likely to struggle with? What does this look like in your life?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think the idea of forgiveness comes after the verse that says to be kind and compassionate? What does kindness and compassion have to do with forgiveness?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: The word forgiveness essentially means “to let go” (yes, you can sing the song if you want). Why is it hard for us to let go of the things people have done against us?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Looking at this verse, why does God say we should forgive others? What do you think Jesus offers to help us actually live this out?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How would you help the songwriter understand why forgiveness is a better option for her than wanting revenge against her ex?

Wrap Up – Say Something Like This: This is such a powerful song, and the motivation behind it is fascinating. They were writing a song about someone who wanted good things to happen to their ex, but it would seem they shifted gears because they were confident that wanting revenge would resonate more with people than wanting good things for their ex. That’s an amazing thing when you think about it. Chances are that right now you can think of someone who hurt you, and perhaps you’ve wanted either to get revenge on them, or secretly wished for bad things to happen to them. What if forgiveness truly means that we not only let go of the thing that hurt us, but we are able to wish the offender well because they no longer have control over us? Take a moment and talk to God about the hurt you experienced. Ask Jesus to come and bring healing. Invite Him to take away the bitterness and anger and move you toward forgiveness. 

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

Forgiveness can be a process. It might take a few or even many times of “letting it go” before you can truly move on. We need to shift our perspective from thinking it’s about the person who hurt us – because it’s really not. It’s about letting ourselves be free from the bitterness, anger, and more that can hide in our hearts. It’s about experiencing the freedom Jesus gave us on the cross. It’s why Jesus said in John 8:36, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed! Take a few minutes to ask God to bring freedom into your heart. Ask Him to change your perspective so you can experience all He is offering you. 

(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.) 

When we can forgive others, we allow ourselves to live free from the bitterness and anger that will consume our hearts. This is why we must move toward forgiveness. Throughout this song, we hear an angry, vengeful, bitter person who wants her ex to be hurt. The problem with this is that she will never really find peace, she will never really be free from the hurt. In the same way Jesus has provided forgiveness for us on the cross, we can forgive others and live free from the burden of hurt that we experienced. 

CLOSE IN PRAYER

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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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