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Weak
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
11/29/2017

Dynamic ImageMain Point: AJR wrote a song to capture the reality of addictions and our own weaknesses when it comes to fighting these things we struggle to be free from. The response in the song is to say “hey, I’m weak, so what’s wrong with that?” While we can identify with being weak, should we just accept this? Should we continue to do the things we would say we are weak against?

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, 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.

  • AJR is made up of three brothers, Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met. The Met brothers were raised in Manhattan and started performing when they all between the ages of nine and fifteen.

  • Their first album Living Room was released on 2015, reaching number twenty on the United States Top Heetseekers chart, which highlights new and developing musical recording artists. In June of 2017, the brothers released their second album The Click which features our focused song Weak.

  • 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: From AJR’s second released album, the song Weak has shot up the charts. The YouTube video for this song has over 27 million views. Citing the bands Fun and Twenty One Pilots as influences, AJR aimed for quirky, sometimes dark, insightful lyrics set to a really anthemic beat. Still considered new on the music scene, the brothers wanted to create a song that could be the next evolution of the party anthem.

The Music Video: The music video can be viewed for free at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txCCYBMKdB0


Song Lyrics: Weak

"No thank you" is what I should've said, I should be in bed
But temptations of trouble on my tongue, troubles yet to come

One sip, bad for me
One hit, bad for me
One kiss, bad for me
But I give in so easily
And no thank you is how it should've gone
I should stay strong

But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm weak

But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
(Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that)

No thank you
They call me after dark, I don't want no part
My habits, they hold me like a grudge
I promise I won't budge

One sip, bad for me
One hit, bad for me
One kiss, bad for me
But I give in so easily
And no thank you is how it should've gone
I should stay strong

But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm weak

But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that

We, we fall for that
Wake up, we fall again

We, we fall for that
Can't wait to fall again

One sip, bad for me
One hit, bad for me
One kiss, bad for me
But I give in so easily
And no thank you is how it should've gone
I should stay strong

But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that
I'm weak
Go!
But I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?
Boy, oh boy I love it when I fall for that

Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
    Q: What do the songwriters say about the meaning of this song?
    A: Ryan Met said in an interview that it almost doesn’t matter what we wrote about, it matters what people hear in the song. They acknowledge the song will say different things to different people.

    Q: What does it mean to be weak?
    A: According to the songwriters, there are many songs about being strong and confident, and they wanted to be more realistic. They see the weakness in people when it comes to the things they know are bad, but do anyway. They desire for people to be secure in their weakness and wanted to ask the question so what’s wrong with [being weak] that?

    Q: What is the focus of this song?
    A: AJR considers their sound to be the most blatant way of saying things. They also have said when we try and dress up things with a thousand metaphors and beautiful language, sometimes you can get in the way of the point of the song. They wanted everything to point to the lyric I should stay strong but I’m weak, which they say is the focus on the song.

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:
If we are being real, we all have things that we would describe as weaknesses. Maybe it’s something such as procrastination, laziness, overeating, or a lack of patience with others. Perhaps it’s something more severe such as a relationship, destructive habit, or substance. Each of us recognizes the presence of things in our lives that we would acknowledge are bad for us. We are weak, and what’s wrong with that? Well let’s ask ourselves if there is something better, something worth overcoming these weaknesses for. What if we actually had everything we needed to overcome the things that so often call the shots in our lives?

Let’s talk about this a bit and then look and see what God’s Word says on the subject.


More Discussion Questions:
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Can you imagine forming a band with your brothers or sisters? What kind of music would you do? Why would it work or not work out?

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: The youngest of the AJR brothers (Jack) was eight years old when they started performing. Do you remember what sorts of things did you do for fun when you were eight?

  3. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: When you hear this song, what are some areas that immediately come to mind where you would consider yourself weak?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Is it hard for people to admit weakness? Why or why not?

  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: We all willingly choose things that we know are bad for us. Why do you think we do this?

  6. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      1 Corinthians 6:12

      I have the right to do anything, you say - but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything, but I will not be mastered by anything.

  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Looking at this verse, what do you think Paul (the author of 1 Corinthians) means when he says he has the right to do anything?

  8. ASK A FEW MEMBERS: What do you think he means when he says not everything is beneficial?

  9. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: What are some things in your life that you would admit you do but really are not beneficial?

  10. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is the difference between Paul’s statement I will not be mastered by anything and the AJR lyric but I'm weak, and what's wrong with that?

  11. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If you are a follower of Jesus, the freedom He gives through His death on the cross enabled you to live in freedom. Jesus says in John 8:36, so if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. What do you think it means to live in freedom?

  12. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How should followers of Jesus view weakness in light of what Paul is saying in this verse?

Wrap Up:
During this time, we listened to AJR sing about weakness. They sincerely ask the question of what’s wrong with being weak? The brothers are quoted in an interview as saying:

[It’s] good to inspire people, but sometimes that can get to be a little bit of an unrealistic expectation to set for all of society to be constantly confident and strong. And we thought, how cool would it be for everybody to shout together that they’re weak?

While we can relate to our weakness, as followers of Jesus, we are free to not be mastered by things. We do not have to allow any substance, habit, or behavior to control us. In 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul writes:

For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

We can find strength when we trust in a God who has overcome weakness. Jesus knew this in John 16:33 when He said;

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Do you believe that Jesus has set you free from having to stay weak? Do you trust Him that as the overcomer of the world, He can give you strength?

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

We often end up feeling guilty when we give in to our weakness, but Jesus tells us we are set free from guilt and shame. What would it look like for you to believe Him and decide to depend on His strength when it comes to your weakness?

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

Let’s admit that we are weak, and in that weakness, decide that we will not let our weaknesses win out. Jesus has promised us strength when we are weak and has said we can take heart as He has overcome this world. Let’s end our time praying for each other, asking God to give us a new and hopeful attitude when it comes to weakness.

CLOSE IN PRAYER

Written by Rob Chagdes

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