Sunflower – Post Malone and Swae Lee
Main Point: Being resilient and loyal can be a good thing, and God has proven to be worthy of our deepest loyalty.
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.
- While it’s likely many would not consider Post Malone or Swae Lee role models or a poster child for good wholesome music, the purpose of this discussion is to guide you into what we hope will be meaningful conversation about the content of this song.
- Austin Richard Post, better known as 23-year-old recording artist Post Malone rose onto the scene as a twenty-year-old when he released his hit single White Iverson.
- The song White Iverson garnered over a million plays on SoundCloud the month it was uploaded, which led to Malone signing a record deal.
- California born Khalif Malik ibn Shaman Brown is known professionally as Swae Lee.He is one half of the hip duo Rae Sremmurd with his brother Slim Jxmmi.
- The brothers overcame a period of homelessness to release three studio albums before either of them turned twenty-five years old.
- 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: This catchy song from a popular movie is about a rocky relationship. They sing about having to leave a love interest behind despite her seemingly unwavering loyalty. The relationship seems to be taking a turn for the worse, yet she continues to persist.
The Music Video: The music video can be viewed for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApXoWvfEYVU
Song Lyrics: Sunflower
Ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy (Ooh)
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh (Ooh)
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Needless to say, I keep it in check
She was a bad-bad, nevertheless (Yeah)
Callin’ it quits now, baby, I’m a wreck (Wreck)
Crash at my place, baby, you’re a wreck (Wreck)
Needless to say, I’m keeping her checked
She was a bad-bad, nevertheless
Callin’ it quits now, baby, I’m a wreck
Crash at my place, baby, you’re a wreck
Thinkin’ in a bad way, losin’ your grip
Screamin’ at my face, baby, don’t trip
Someone took a big L, don’t know how that felt
Lookin’ at you sideways, party on tilt
Ooh-ooh, some things you just can’t refuse
She wanna ride like a cruise and I’m not tryna lose
Then you’re left in the dust, unless I stuck by ya
You’re a sunflower, I think your love would be too much
Or you’ll be left in the dust, unless I stuck by ya
You’re the sunflower, you’re the sunflower
Every time I’m leavin’ on ya (Ooh)
You don’t make it easy, no (No, no)
Wish I could be there for ya (Ooh)
Give me a reason to, oh (Oh)
Every time I’m walkin’ out (Oh)
I can hear you tellin’ me to turn around (Oh, oh)
Fightin’ for my trust and you won’t back down (No)
Even if we gotta risk it all right now, oh (Now)
I know you’re scared of the unknown (-Known)
You don’t wanna be alone (Alone)
I know I always come and go (And go)
But it’s out of my control
And you’ll be left in the dust, unless I stuck by ya
You’re a sunflower, I think your love would be too much
Or you’ll be left in the dust, unless I stuck by ya
You’re the sunflower, you’re the sunflower (Yeah)
Three Questions to Ask in the Car (with thoughts to dive deeper with your kids):
Q: What comes to mind when you think of loyalty?
A: Start a conversation about what loyalty looks like or perhaps they will identify examples in their lives of loyalty lived out.
Q: Why do you think he says I think your love would be too much?
A: Here you may gain understanding of their thoughts on love as well as dive into the perspective of the guy singing the song.
Q: Why do you think God is so faithful to us even when we aren’t faithful to Him?
A: The goal is to have a conversation about God’s faithfulness, His incredible love, and the depth of His character.
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: The loyalty in this song is reflected through the reference of a sunflower. The sunflower is a symbol of loyalty and longevity and despite the man in the song trying to leave, the girl continues to stand by him. Loyalty is a characteristic that is often held in high regard, but when is loyalty deserved? How can we tell if someone deserves the type of loyalty that is seen in this song? Let’s take some time and talk about that.
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is your favorite superhero movie? Why do you like it?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: The sunflower is known as being a symbol of loyalty and longevity. Why do you think this is the case?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think loyalty looks like in a dating relationship? What about in a friendship? Is it different?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Read through the lyrics to this song. What do you think about the guy in the song (represented by the singer)? What do you think about the girl (the one being sung to)? Is one of their approaches to the relationship better than the other?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think there’s a point where someone no longer deserves loyalty? Explain why you think the way you do.
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Can anyone share a situation where they had to stop being loyal to someone because of how they were treated?
- ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS: Is there a point when loyalty can become unhealthy? Explain why you think the way you do.
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some characteristics a person might have that would make them deserving of your continued loyalty?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think we value loyalty as a society?
Read the following passage:
2 Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless, he remains faithful.
- Read 2 Timothy 2:8-13. What is this passage talking about?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think it means to be faithless?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think Jesus is faithful even when we remain faithless?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some ways you have seen God’s faithfulness in your life?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Is there ever a time when you think you deserve God’s faithfulness? Explain why you think the way you do.
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Proverbs 20:6 says, “Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?” Explain what you think this Proverb means.
- ASK ALL FAMILY MEMBERS: While nobody has been as loyal to you as Jesus has, who are some people in your life who have proven to be loyal by their actions? Why are people like this hard to find?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do we sometimes show people loyalty even when they continually hurt us? Is there a point when we should no longer do this?
- ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why are some people in your life that you can count on to speak truth to you if you were in an unhealthy relationship? Would you listen to them?
Wrap Up – Say Something Like This: You and I are never going to achieve the level of faithfulness that God has shown us. In His incredible awesome love, He has remained faithful to you and I despite the many times we fail to be faithful to Him. How often do we show others a higher degree of loyalty than we show to Jesus? Take a moment and thank Him for His faithfulness and talk about how you can respond to Him.
(Pause and give them a quiet moment to pray silently.)
There is a benefit to being a person who perseveres in relationships and shows others loyalty. We can be like Jesus when we choose to do this toward others. However, there is a point when our loyalty can be foolish. In this song it appears the girl has an undying loyalty to the guy despite him trying to get out of the relationship. It seems this relationship has become unhealthy and most people would likely advise her to get out. When we are in that place it is hard to see if things have crossed a line which is why we need others in our lives to help us see.
Too often we look for loyalty from others who in return will let us down. Jesus has proven to be faithful in our lives despite the number of times we are unfaithful to Him. What might our lives look like if we allowed our hearts to be loyal to Him first, and then used wisdom in how we show loyalty to others? As the Proverb we read says, it’s hard to find a faithful person, but when we do we should hold on to them. They are a gift and a treasure.
Is there someone in your life who deserves your loyalty but hasn’t gotten it? Is there someone in your life who has gotten your loyalty and should not get it anymore? Take a moment and reflect and pray on these questions.
(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.)
Being resilient and loyal can be a good thing, and God has proven He is worthy of our deepest loyalty. Let’s be people who put Him first and then show loyalty to those in our lives who have proven to be faithful. Let’s honor and cherish those people in our lives and spend more time investing in those relationships. Let’s be people who love others, but hold our deepest loyalty for Jesus and for others who show us the faithfulness that is worthy of our loyalty.
CLOSE IN PRAYER
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 firstname.lastname@example.org