Music Discussions

Whiskey Glasses

whiskey-glasses

Whiskey Glasses – Morgan Wallen

Main Point: When life goes wrong, it’s very tempting to turn to alcohol…but we should turn to God instead. Alcohol only causes more problems while God’s love can actually change our lives for the good.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: The following info will help you contextualize this 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.

  • Morgan Wallen was born in Tennessee, the son of a Baptist pastor. Growing up, he played baseball and even won a scholarship to play in college, but chose to pursue music instead. That decision looks to be a good one so far. Wallen is as talented in the studio as he was on the field; he plays the piano, violin, and guitar.
  • Others have recognized his musical abilities. Usher and Adam Levine both picked him for their teams on Season 6 of The Voice. Those two weren’t the last to want Wallen associated with them. After signing with a record label, Wallen has collaborated with some of the biggest names in country music, for instance, Florida Georgia Line, and has gone on tour with them, as well.
  • Wallen’s debut single, The Way I Talk, has garnered almost 40 million views on YouTube to date and secured his name among some of the hottest in contemporary country music. Whiskey Glasses is proving to be another strong performer for Wallen and is currently in the #4 spot on Billboard’s Country Music Chart.
  • Speaking of whiskey, alcohol is a consistent theme in his music and an ever-present visual in his videos.

Introducing the Song – You Say This:
I want to show you a music video that’s currently sitting near the top of the country music charts. Written and performed by Morgan Wallen, “Whiskey Glasses” is a song about the singer’s plan to get through his most recent breakup. Hint: it involves lots and lots of whiskey. As we listen to the song and watch the music video, pay close attention to his relationship with alcohol.

The Music Video:
The music video can be viewed for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjBp30kjzTc

Song Lyrics:  Whiskey Glasses

They say sometimes you win some
Sometimes you lose some
And right now, right now I’m losing bad
I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’t
It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now
 

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
 

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul
 

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can
 

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

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

Q: How would you summarize this song’s message in Morgan Wallen’s song Whiskey Glasses?
A: The singer talks about facing a tough situation – a break up – by going down to the bar and getting drunk on whiskey.

Q: Is getting drunk a good strategy or not…and how do you know?
A: Of course not! The best he can hope for is temporary relief from his grief. When he sobers up, he’s still going to be in the exact same predicament he was before he got drunk.

Q: What does the Bible suggest we do when life gets difficult?
A: The Bible encourages us to constantly pursue God…even in the tough times. The presence of God makes all of our situations in life better. Instead of turning to alcohol (or any other habit), we should turn to God.

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 – You Say This:
So, we find out at the beginning of the song that the singer and his significant other have just experienced a break up. He’s clearly upset about the loss of the relationship…and his only plan for dealing with the grief is getting drunk on whiskey down at the bar. Most of us can sympathize with the singer because we’ve gone through tough times, as well. But alcohol is never the answer for our struggles. Sure, it can be very tempting to turn to alcohol when life goes wrong, but the best move we can make is to turn to God instead. Alcohol only causes more problems while God’s love can actually change our lives for the good.

Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our favorite genre of music.
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: In the chorus of the song, Wallen kept repeating this line: “I don’t wanna see the truth.” What do you think he’s referring to…and why in the world wouldn’t he want to know the truth?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When life gets hard, or something goes wrong, how do you usually react?

Read the following passage:

Ephesians 5:15-18 (NLT)

So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise.  16 Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.  17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.  18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some of the things Paul, the writer of this passage, tells us to do? (Parents – He tells us to “be careful how we live,” to “make the most of every opportunity for doing good,” to “understand what the Lord wants you to do,” to “let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.”)
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: OK, look at the same verses and see if you can identify some things Paul says to avoid. (Parents – Paul says to not live “as fools,” “don’t act thoughtlessly,” and most importantly, “don’t be drunk.”)
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What does Paul mean when he says, “Let the Holy Spirit fill and control you”?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: There is certainly some wisdom packed into those few verses. What would our lives look like if we were to obey each of those points?

Read the following passage:

You Say This: Interestingly, Paul tells us exactly what will happen if we obey this teaching. Take a listen as we read the next three verses in this same chapter!

Ephesians 5:19-21 (NLT)

Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts.  20 And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  21 And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Of each of these benefits, which is the most important to you and why?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Let’s say you were in the exact same situation as the singer: your significant other broke up with you. If you turn to alcohol – which lots of teens would – you know you’ll just get wasted, lose money, and still have to confront the problem when the alcohol wears off. But if you turn to God in prayer, what might He do?
  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Are you facing a problem in life right now that’s tempting you to lose control to alcohol or drugs?
  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: What can you do this week to make sure you turn to God instead of alcohol or drugs?

Wrap Up – You Say This:
During our time together, we watched a music video about a guy who thought he could drink his problems away. Though the song never says what happened when he got to the bar that night, we all know how alcohol works. It dulls our senses. It costs us money. It can make us drunk. And in the end, we still have to face the exact same problem the next day when we sober up.

Of course, we have less brain cells and less money by then…. 

Meanwhile, the Apostle Paul offers a completely different strategy. He says we should turn to God, allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, and seek His will and His outcome to the problems we’re facing. Only then will we be able to have such a strong walk with God that we can give thanks to Him in the good times and the bad times.  

So the choice is ours. How we choose to handle the tough times in life is completely up to us. We can try to bury our problems in alcohol or drugs or porn or some other addiction…or we can turn to God and learn to trust Him. I don’t know what God might choose to do so I don’t necessarily know how every one of your stories will end. However, I do know what will happen if you turn to alcohol or drugs. You’ll only regret it the next day…and you’ll still be looking for a solution for your problems.

I’m going to close in prayer in a moment, but before I do, I want to extend an offer to each of you to speak with us if you’re facing a tough time right now. You don’t have to do it right away. You can come to one of us any time this week and say, “Let’s talk.” We love you, so if we can walk with you and God through something to help you out, that’s exactly what we want to do.

Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith

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David R. Smith

David R. Smith

David R. Smith is the author of several books including Christianity... It's Like This and speaks to parents and leaders across the U.S. David is a 15-year youth ministry veteran, now a senior pastor, who specializes in sharing the gospel, and equipping others do the same. David provides free resources to anyone who works with teenagers on his website, DavidRSmith.org David resides with his wife and son in Tampa, Florida.

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