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Music Discussions

What Makes You Beautiful
09/11/2011

Main Point: Even though others may admire us for our outer beauty, God is much more concerned with the beauty that comes from within.

The Song: What Makes You Beautiful
You probably don’t know the names Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles or Louis Tomlinson, but you probably recognize their band name, One Direction. “1D,” as they’re called, is the latest boy band to take our planet by storm. The 5 young men from the UK met on the set of the smash television show called The X Factor, and Simon Cowell signed them to his label. (This video on their official site tells the story in their own words…accents and all.) Later, they were signed to Columbia Records (when they migrated to America). They’ve already had chart-topping tunes and sold millions of songs worldwide, but none have been as famous as What Makes You Beautiful.

This catchy tune is about the band’s take on a really pretty girl who doesn’t know or think she’s beautiful. The group paints this girl as not only beautiful, but also humble, two qualities that seem to rarely go together these days. The song is encouraging for several reasons, beginning with the fact that it’s clean. But it also highlights the guys’ appreciation of her beauty in positive ways, as well as promotes a humble attitude by the girl when it comes to her appearance.

Introducing the Music Video:
It’s been viewed on YouTube 275 million times. I’m talking about One Direction’s song “What Makes You Beautiful.” I’ll pause here if any of you girls want to shriek…. To tell the truth, I really like this song a lot, not only because it’s kinda catchy, but also because it promotes a pretty positive message. In the song, 1D talks about a beautiful girl who doesn’t know she’s beautiful. Further, the girl seems to model a certain humility about her beauty, which is also very good. Let’s take a look at the song’s official music video.

The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJO3ROT-A4E




Song Lyrics:

What Makes You Beautiful

You're insecure
Don't know what for
You're turning heads when you walk through the door
Don't need make up
To cover up
Being the way that you are is enough

Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you

[Chorus]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it aint hard to tell
You don't know
Oh Oh
You don't know you're beautiful

If only you saw what I can see
You'll understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe
You don't know
Oh oh
You don't know you're beautiful
Oh oh
That what makes you beautiful

So c-come on
You got it wrong
To prove I'm right I put it in a song
I don't know why
You're being shy
And turn away when I look into your eyes

Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you

[Chorus]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it aint hard to tell
You don't know
Oh oh
You don't know you're beautiful

If only you saw what I can see
You'll understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe
You don't know
Oh oh
You don't know you're beautiful
Oh oh
That's what makes you beautiful

[Bridge]
Nana Nana Nana Nana
Nana Nana Nana Nana
Nana Nana Nana Nana

Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it aint hard to tell
You don't know
Oh Oh
You don't know you're beautiful

[Chorus]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it aint hard to tell
You don't know
Oh oh
You don't know you're beautiful

If only you saw what I can see
You'll understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe
You don't know
Oh Oh
You don't know you're beautiful
Oh oh
You don't know you're beautiful
Oh oh
That's what makes you beautiful

Transitional Statement:
You don’t know you’re beautiful and THAT’S what makes you beautiful. We’ve bopped our heads to this song for weeks now, but have we ever stopped to contemplate its lyrics? The girl in the video is being admired by the guys in the band for her beauty. That’s OK. But they also think she’s unaware of her incredible beauty…and that’s the real attraction these guys have for her! I love the humility this girl shows! What I want us to spend our time talking about is this simple truth: even though others may admire us for our outer beauty, God is much more concerned with the beauty that comes from within. That statement is found directly in the Word of God, so let’s get to it!

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite boy band of all time.

  2. ASK A FEW: What was the overall message the guys were trying to communicate in this song?

  3. ASK A FEW: Do you have friends who are beautiful but seem unaware of it, or aren’t focused on it? Is that good or bad?

  4. ASK A FEW: Why do you think those people/friends are unconcerned with their outer beauty?

  5. ASK A FEW: Without mentioning any names, do you also know someone who is beautiful but is also very aware of it and flaunts it? How does that make you feel about them?

  6. ASK A FEW: Do you think God is OK with others admiring our beauty? Why or why not?

  7. ASK A FEW: Is God concerned about our beauty? Why or why not?

  8. Read the following passage:

      1 Peter 3:1-8 (NLT)

      In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over 2 by watching your pure, godly behavior. 3 Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 That is the way the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. 6 For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, when she called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. 7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. If you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard. 8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.

  9. ASK A FEW: Very specifically, what type of woman is Peter talking to in this passage? (Leaders – The answer is “wives.”)

  10. ASK A FEW: None of us are wives yet, but is there anything we can learn from Peter’s advice here? If so, what?

  11. ASK A FEW: What does Peter say about outward beauty in verse 3? How difficult is that to abide by today in our culture?

  12. ASK A FEW: What is the “beauty that comes from within” that Peter talks about here, in verse 4? Give a few examples of it.

  13. ASK A FEW: We all know that outer beauty fades, but according to verse 4, this beauty that comes from within is “unfading.” Why is that?

  14. ASK A FEW: In verse 5, we’re told how women made themselves beautiful. How does that differ with how women make themselves beautiful today?

  15. ASK A FEW: There is some clear instruction given to guys in this passage as well. How does Peter say husbands are to treat their wives?

  16. ASK A FEW: If you were to rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 based on the “beauty that comes from within,” what would you be?

  17. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Very specifically, how can you increase your beauty that comes from within?

Wrap Up:
Everybody knows that we live in a world that’s totally consumed by outer beauty. We spend literally billions of dollars each year trying to make sure that our image attracts the eyes of the opposite sex. Physical attraction isn’t wrong by any means; in fact, it’s one of the many gifts of God. But it’s possible to use our beauty in the wrong way…and it’s possible to put way too much emphasis on our beauty.

I think that’s why I like the message behind One Direction’s song: you’re beautiful and you don’t even know it. You’re beautiful, and you’re not trying to flaunt it. You’re beautiful, but you’re not focused on it. That’s pretty refreshing isn’t it? Hopefully we all know a few people like that. Hopefully, we’re trying to become people like that.

The best reason to do so is because that’s what God would have us be. He wants us to focus on the beauty that comes from within. At least, that’s what the passage from 1 Peter tells us. Peter painstakingly describes that beauty as “unfading” and says that it pleases God. So, right there is enough reason to pursue that kind of beauty and attitude.

But let me give you another reason to pursue inner beauty. It comes from Proverbs 31:29-31, and this is what it says:
    Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Outer beauty is “fleeting.” It will one day go away no matter how beautiful you are right now. One day – hopefully many years from now – we’ll all be riddled with wrinkles, sagging all over the place, and even graying and/or balding. But the Bible says it’s possible to make all that beautiful! The way to do that is to focus on and pursue the beauty that comes from within.

That’s the beauty that God is most interested in! That’s the beauty that pleases Him.


OPTIONAL: At this point, you may want to invite an elderly married couple to the front of the room. Have this lined up ahead of time, of course, with some pre-planned questions, and then host a simple interview with them. You might ask them about their marriage, how they met, how they’ve grown in their love, how they’ve lived out the passage from 1 Peter, how they’ve changed, and whether or not they still consider one another beautiful. This is pretty powerful if you can pull it off. Just make all the necessary preparation beforehand, and rehearse it at least once!

Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith


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