Alicia Keys’ Biggest Decision
Life is a precious gift from God and we should do everything in our power to honor and protect it.
The Discussion Starter:
With her new book (More Myself) set to release in the spring of 2020, Alicia Keys sat down for an interview to discuss her journey to musical stardom, the growth of her family, and the everyday stresses that come from trying to balance both.
The clip your students will watch (below) is a video version of the People magazine article that featured the interview with Keys. While several subjects are addressed, the focus of this discussion centers on Keys’ decision of whether or not to abort her second child with husband Swizz Beatz.
Ultimately, in a rather surreal moment, Keys decided to keep the baby, and eventually gave birth to boy they named Genesis.
NOTE: Yes, this story presents youth leaders with a powerful opportunity to discuss God’s plan for life and family, but it also addresses the cultural debate of abortion. Though the Biblical view will be endorsed below, you will need to pray through how you address the subject with your group.
Introducing the Video – You Say This:
I want to show you a quick video that’s based on an interview recently conducted with Alicia Keys, you know, the world famous singer who’s earned 15 Grammys across her career. The interview was done to help promote the book she’s about to release entitled More Myself.
The focus of this clip will center on the moment Keys found out she was pregnant with their second child back in 2014. You’ll hear how hectic and busy her life was in that season. She was on the brink of releasing her sixth album. Her husband, Swizz Beatz, had just been accepted to Harvard. She was already busy raising their first son. Oh, and she was drinking quite heavily. The question racing through her mind was, “Should I have the baby…or abort it.”
I’ll let you hear what she decides to do, and then we’ll talk about her dilemma in our breakout groups.
The Video Clip:
You can access the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcNjHyEFJnI
Transitional Statement – You Say This:
Faced with what might have been the most important decision of her life, Alicia Keys realized that nothing was more important than her baby so she decided to give birth to the child and named the boy Genesis. This story has a happy ending, but sadly, many other women in similar situations make a vastly different decision. From the Bible’s perspective, this decision is as close to a no-brainer as you can get. All across God’s Word, we’re taught that life is a precious gift from our Heavenly Father and we should do everything in our power to honor and protect it. Let’s use Alicia Keys’ situation to talk more about that.
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.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Let’s all take a second to share our name and our favorite genre of music.
- ASK A FEW: Some women are excited to find out they’re pregnant; others are not so excited. Why do you think that is?
- ASK A FEW: Do you remember some of the stresses and pressures Alicia said she was facing when she found out she was pregnant? (Leaders – She was working on her latest album. She was raising their first son, Egypt. Her husband was going to college. And she was drinking heavily.)
- ASK A FEW: In that moment, Keys confessed that she felt “torn” and that her musical career was more important than her baby. Would you agree? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: What would it cost to abort the baby? What did it cost to keep the baby?
- ASK A FEW: What helped Keys decide to keep the baby and give birth? (Leaders – She was working in the studio and remembered the words to the song she wrote with her husband entitled “More Than We Know” which talks about the potential of every person’s life. She realized that her child was much more important than her music so she decided to keep the baby and give birth.)
- ASK A FEW: What did Alicia Keys find out when she talked to her mom about her decision? (Leaders – The singer’s mom told her that she had wrestled with the exact same decision over her own birth years earlier. The significance of her decision quickly set in for Keys when she realized she was “chosen” by her mom and she had “chosen” to keep her own baby.)
- ASK A FEW: OK, so we know what Alicia Keys thinks about the life of babies, but what does God think…and how do you know?
Read the Following Passage:
Psalm 139:13-17 (NLT)
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous– and how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable!.
- ASK A FEW: King David wrote this psalm about God’s design over his life. What are some of the things David says God did for him…even while he was still in his mother’s womb?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think God took such painstaking detail in forming and making David? Is that something God only did for David…or does God do it for all of us? How do you know?
- ASK A FEW: Would you agree that it sounds like God has a plan for our lives…even before our lives begin? Why or why not? (Leaders – Have your students review verse 16. The answer is a breathtaking yes! God’s sovereignty – His matchless power and wisdom – allows Him to know every second of every day of our lives. He has a perfect plan for our lives. We shouldn’t allow abortion to interrupt His plan.)
- ASK A FEW: David says God has precious thoughts about him (David). If God’s thoughts about life in general (and us in particular) are so precious, why aren’t our thoughts about life and others so precious?
- ASK A FEW: Alicia Keys named her baby Genesis. Does anyone want to guess what the name Genesis means? I’ll give you a hint: the first book of the Bible is named Genesis. (Leaders – Genesis means beginning. If your students didn’t know that, tell them, and then ask a follow up question along the lines of “How ironic is it that a baby named “Beginning” almost never had a beginning?)
- ASK A FEW: What do you think God would say to a woman (and/or man) who was contemplating an abortion?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What can you do right away to help protect and honor life?
Wrap Up – You Say This:
It’s unlikely that Genesis will grow up to be as famous as his mom. After all, Alicia Keys has had multiple #1 hits and even more Top Ten hits on today’s biggest charts. So let me ask you a question: Can you imagine a world in which Alicia Keys was never born? Can you imagine life without the melodies and songs she brought to us? As you contemplate that, bear in mind that Alicia’s own life was almost aborted…and our world would have never had her music. That’s sobering…and sad.
Pam Tebow, the mother of college football champion, Tim Tebow, raises a similar question when she tells the story about Tim’s birth. She and her husband, Bob, were serving as missionaries in the Philippines when the two found out they would be having a baby boy. However, the Filipino doctors warned Mrs. Tebow that it looked like their baby boy wasn’t developing in the womb in a healthy manner. They were concerned that the child wouldn’t be able to live a normal life, and even worse, that his birthing process might even endanger Mrs. Tebow’s life. Their recommendation was to abort the baby.
Pam Tebow pauses at that point in her story and jokingly asks, “Can you imagine aborting a Heisman Trophy winning college football player? Can you imagine me giving up the chance to give birth to a baby boy that would go on to win not one, but two national football championships?!?!” The obvious answer is “no.” No one can imagine college football without Tim Tebow!
But the really awesome thing is, God feels the same way about every single one of us even though we might not ever write a hit song or win a national championship.
We are special because He created us in His image.
We are special because He gave the life of His Son Jesus to save us.
We are special because He has a detailed plan for our lives.
We are special because we are His!
For all those reasons – and many, many more – we should do everything we can to honor and defend life. We’re going to close in prayer in just a moment. I’m going to pray for parents and families that we know…and I’m also going to pray for the children that each of us might one day have. I’m going to ask God to help us view children the way He does: in perfect love.
After I pray, if you’d like to talk more about this subject, our adult leaders would be happy to speak with you. Maybe you are in this situation right now – or know a friend who is. Let’s talk about the ways we can support and encourage them. Sound good? Let’s pray!
Close in Prayer
Written by 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.