Music Discussions

Sober

sober

 

Demi Lovato – Sober

Main Point:  When you feel hopeless and defeated, turn to the One who can always turn things around.

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.
  • Demi Lovato came to fame as a teenager with her 2008 role in the Disney Channel television film Camp Rock.
  • This breakthrough led to her debut album Don’t Forgetwhich was produced by popular boy band the Jonas Brothers.
  • When Demi was 18, she entered rehab, acknowledging struggles with depression, self-harm, eating disorders as well as drugs and alcohol.She has continued to fight these battles and this song describes the struggle she has faced.
  • 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 Soberwas released in June of 2018, and contains Lovato’s revelation that she had begun using substances again after six years of sobriety.  In July 2018, she entered rehab after overdosing on heroin.  In an Instagram post following this overdose, Lovato declared that she will keep fighting against her addictions.

The Music Video:  The music video can be viewed for free at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vORIohoI4m0

Song Lyrics:

I got no excuses
For all of these goodbyes
Call me when it’s over
‘Cause I’m dying inside
Wake me when the shakes are gone
And the cold sweats disappear
Call me when it’s over
And myself has reappeared

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know why
I do it every, every, every time
It’s only when I’m lonely
Sometimes I just wanna cave
And I don’t wanna fight
I try and I try and I try and I try and I try
Just hold me, I’m lonely

Momma, I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore
And daddy, please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor
To the ones who never left me
We’ve been down this road before
I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore

I’m sorry to my future love
For the man that left my bed
For making love the way I saved for you inside my head
And I’m sorry for the fans I lost
Who watched me fall again
I wanna be a role model
But I’m only human

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know why
I do it every, every, every time
It’s only when I’m lonely
Sometimes I just wanna cave
And I don’t wanna fight
I try and I try and I try and I try and I try
Just hold me, I’m lonely

Momma, I’m so sorry I’m not sober anymore
And daddy, please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor
To the ones who never left me
We’ve been down this road before
I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore

I’m not sober anymore

I’m sorry that I’m here again
I promise I’ll get help
It wasn’t my intention
I’m sorry to myself

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

Q:  Why do you think people turn to addictions?

A:  Here we are looking to engage them in the topic of addictions, and better understand their thinking.

Q:  Demi Lovato is popular and successful but sings about being lonely. Why do you think she feels lonely despite having so much going for her?

A:  This is an opportunity to have discussion on what really matters, and how fame and success do not meet our deepest needs.

Q:  Do you think there are situations that God cannot turn around?  Is anyone ever at the point where they really have no hope?

A:  A great conversation starter to discuss the depths of God’s love and ability to redeem even the most hopeless of situations.

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.

Transitional Statement – Say something like this: 

In this vulnerable song, Demi Lovato acknowledges her failures and continued struggle.  The lack of powerful instruments allows the song to focus on the lyrics, where Lovato refuses to make excuses for her behavior.  She sings about how she has lost control, and can only promise to keep fighting against these addictions that continue to bring her down.  When we fight personal battles and feel as though we keep losing, it can be discouraging and defeating.  I’d love us to talk about what it means to turn to Jesus in these times and see Him as the One who can always turn things around.

Discussion Questions:

  1. ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS: What kinds of emotions or thoughts do you encounter when you listen to this song?
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think she feels so lonely in the midst of her struggles?
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How do people usually respond to struggles that they cannot seem to overcome? Why do you think that is?
  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think Lovato means when she sings, “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know why I do it every, every, every time.”  Can anyone relate to her in this?
  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Would anyone be willing to share about a time when they felt hopeless? What happened, and how did you respond?
  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What would you say to Demi if she was sitting here with you now?

Read the following passage:

John 16:33   

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Jesus had just promised His disciples the Holy Spirit, told them He would be going to the Father but they would see Him again, told them they could ask for anything in His name and told them God loves them deeply.  According to John 16:33, why did Jesus tell them these things?
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does it look like to have peace? How have you experienced peace in your own life?
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Look up Philippians 4:7. What do you suppose it means to have peace that surpasses all understanding?
  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: In John 16:33, what three things did Jesus promise to those who live in this world?
  5. ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think it looks like for someone to take heart during their struggles?
  6. ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS:What is something you can surrender to Jesus, the One who can turn things around?

Wrap Up: 

During this time, we watched Demi Lovato’s video for Sober.  We looked at her vulnerable lyrics and talked about what hopelessness feels like.  Some of us shared about times when we felt hopeless and how we responded to it.  Considering this discussion, what do you think Jesus wants to say to those who feel hopeless and lonely?

(Pause and give them a moment to consider this question.)

Jesus has promised us that we can take heart because He has overcome this world.  Trouble is guaranteed, but so is His ability to overcome anything that comes our way.  What are some ways you can keep this truth in front of you in difficult times?

(Pause and give them a moment to consider this question.)

During this song, Demi Lovato sings about the hopelessness she feels as her addictions knock her down. We know from the news that she experienced a significant relapse after this song, demonstrating the continued struggle she faces. We talked about Jesus’ promise to bring peace in the middle of our despair. We talked about His charge to take heart as there is nothing this world can throw at us that He cannot handle. When you feel hopeless, you can turn to the One who can always turn things around. Let’s end our time praying together, asking God to help us hold onto the One who holds us in the darkest hours of our lives.  Let’s ask Him to meet us in our struggle and turn things around as only He can.

CLOSE IN PRAYER

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Rob Chagdes

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