Music Discussions

We Are Never Getting Back Together

Dynamic ImageThe Song: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor Swift)

Main Point of Discussion: God wants us to be in relationships that are loving and caring and God-honoring, and when they aren’t, we must have the boldness to break away from them.

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.

 

  • The music video for Swift’s latest song focuses on the “on again off again” nature of young people’s romantic relationships. The song (and video) shows Taylor essentially telling her boyfriend that they are never ever getting back together since their last break up. She admits that she’s caved to his pleadings and ploys in the past, but she is never going to give him another chance. You can view the music video online by clicking on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA4iX5D9Z64

 

  • The song went straight to the top of iTunes Top Singles, and was Swift’s first #1 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

 

  • Given the artist, it’s unsurprising that the song is clean. The lyrics talk about her healthy attempt to move beyond a toxic relationship. There are no scantily-clad dancers in the background; in fact, a lot of people are wearing animal costumes. Further, there’s nothing sexually suggestive about the song.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Parents 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 students to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most students, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away.

Since this song was at the top of both iTunes and Billboard, your kids have heard it. Heck, this song gets playtime in retail stores and grocery stores which means everybody’s heard it. When you sit down to discuss this song, make sure to have a copy of the lyrics available (below) and access to the music video (which we provided in the link above).

Above all, 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.

Lyrics:

I remember when we broke up the first time
Saying this is it, I’ve had enough, ’cause like
We haven’t seen each other in a month
When you, said you, needed space, what?
Then you come around again and say
Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change
Trust me, remember how that lasted for a day
I say, I hate you, we break up, you call me, I love you

Oooh we called it off again last night
But Oooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you
We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk
To my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

Like ever…

I’m really gonna miss you picking fights
And me, falling for a screaming that I’m right
And you, will hide away and find your piece of mind with some indie record that’s much cooler than mine

Oooh you called me up again tonight
But Oooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you
We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk
To my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

I used to think, that we, were forever ever ever
And I used to say never say never
Huh, he calls me up and he’s like, I still love you
And i’m like, i’m just, I mean this is exhausting, you know
We are never getting back together, like ever

We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends talk
To my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

We, oooh, oooh, not back together, we
Oh, getting back together

You go talk to your friends talk
And my friends talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

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

Q: What’s the message of this song?
A: The song is about Taylor telling her boyfriend that she’s had enough of his games and tricks, so she breaks up with him and tells him that they are never ever going to get back together.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this song?
A: The song is a good reminder that if we’re in a relationship that’s bad, unhealthy, or even ungodly, we need to break it off. God wants the best for us but we have to act courageously on our own behalf.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this song to actually living out those opinions?
A: First, we can choose the right person to date from the start. Second, we should analyze the relationship we’re in with our significant other to see if it meets God’s standards. If it doesn’t, then we need to do what Taylor did in the song: call it off, forever.

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, the following discussion guide can help take you there.

CLICK HERE if you want to look at a quick training article on small groups and drawing questions out of young people—you may find much of the information applicable as you go through this subject with your family members.

Transitional Statement:
If you haven’t experienced the emotion of wanting to get out of a bad relationship yet, odds are you will at some point in the future. The problem is that people who are on the giving side of toxic relationships are stubborn about letting people out of them. But God has given us great advice that actually reflects the big idea of Swift’s song.

More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Before we dive in, everybody go around and share your name and what you like or don’t like about Taylor Swift’s music.
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think this song of hers is so popular?
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS? Do you think there are things in life that we need to ‘break up’ with? What would be some examples.
  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think most relationships between guys and girls your ages are healthy? Why or why not?
  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do so many people stay in bad relationships even though they are unhealthy?

Read the following passage from the Bible:

      • Proverbs 13:20

Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

        • Proverbs 12:26

    The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

          • 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

      Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?

            • ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do these three passages have in common?
            • ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How do toxic relationships cause OUR lives to fall apart?
            • ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does it look like to choose our friends carefully?
            • ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is a good balance to model with those who are not Christians but aren’t toxic either?
            • HAVE ALL OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: What are ways we can be sure that we ‘never ever’ get back together with the unhealthy people in our lives?

        Wrap Up:
        Because we live in a fallen, messed up world with fallen, messed up people, avoiding unhealthy relationships will be next to impossible. But because of the wisdom that Scripture brings to us about friends and relationships, we can be discerning about who we let into the deeply personal areas of our lives. More importantly, God wants us to be in relationships that are loving and caring and honoring to Him, so He gives us the strength to break away from them.

        Pass out the Healthy Relationships questionnaire below and have your teenagers take some time to reflect on this critical area of their lives.

        Healthy Relationships

        Do we make decisions about what to do and where to go, TOGETHER?

        Have I isolated myself from my friends and/or family members because of this relationship?

        Does my friend/significant other feel that what I have to say and how I feel is important, and shows me through his/her actions and words?

        When something goes wrong in our relationship, does he/she try to fix it or save the friendship?

        Does my friend/significant other apologize for wrongs they commit?

        Do we enjoy spending time together just as much as we love our independent time?

        Does my boyfriend/girlfriend push my physical boundaries?

        Do my parents approve of this relationship? If so, why? If not, why not?

        Is my friend/significant other deeply jealous of me and my time?

        Is trust a positive and important part of our relationship?

        Is the basis of our relationship physical attraction or is it more significant than that?

        Does my friend/significant honor God with their life and in our relationship?

        Close in Prayer

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        Jonathan McKee

        Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for parents on his website TheSource4Parents.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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