Main Point of Discussion: God’s design for sex and relationships is the best (and most fulfilling).
The Song: “Only Girl (In the World)” by Rihanna
The video has spent some time at #1. The lyrics reveal two opposing viewpoints on sex and relationships that our culture struggles with. Since Rihanna is— as the American Psychological Association puts it—“sexualized,” it’s a bit surprising to hear her singing about wanting what sounds like a monogamous relationship.
Introducing the Song:
Let’s take a deeper look at the opposing views on sex and relationships in the Rihanna hit, “Only Girl (In the World),” a tune most of you are probably familiar with:
Song Lyrics (partial):
- Want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world
Like I’m the only one that you’ll ever love
Like I’m the only one who knows your heart
Only girl in the world…
Take me for a ride
Oh baby, take me high
Let me make you first
Oh make it last all night
“Only Girl (In the World)” seems to paint two very different pictures of sex and relationships: The first is common in the vast majority of songs that use sex as subject matter—but the other actually represents a design for sex and love and relationships that goes back thousands of years.
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: Before we dive in, each of you tell us your name and if you see yourself married one day—and if so, if you believe it will last a lifetime.
- ASK A FEW: Why do you suppose there’s a 50 percent divorce rate in America?
- ASK A FEW: In the song lyrics, where do you see the culture’s view of sex and relationships, and where do you see God’s design for those subjects?
- ASK A FEW: Rihanna wants to feel like the “only girl in the world” to this guy. Do you believe that’s a common desire? Or are most teens into being casual?
- ASK A FEW: Do you have friends who’ve hooked-up casually? If so, what have been their emotional reactions to their experiences?
- ASK SOMEONE: According to this passage, why does sexual sin have its own category? (leader—answer you’re looking for: It violates “the sacredness of our own bodies…made for God-given and God-modeled love for ‘becoming one’ with another.”)
- ASK A FEW: Does it make sense to you that sex is more than “mere skin on skin,” as the passage states—that there’s a spiritual element to it? If so, why? If not, why not?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Do you believe that people who’re all about hook-ups and no commitment are truly happy or fulfilled? If not, is your opinion the same when they insist they are happy and fulfilled?
- ASK A FEW: Do you believe that people who have casual sex will have a more difficult time staying married? Or do you believe they’ll stay more committed since they “got lots of sex out of their systems”?
- ASK A FEW: Do you believe the design for sex that God gave to Adam and Eve thousands of years ago is the same design Christians follow today?
- ASK A FEW: Since sex outside of marriage is a no-no, and sex inside a marriage is a yes-yes, how important or crucial do you believe sex is to married couples?
- ASK A FEW: Is it possible to feel like the only girl/boy in the world to another boy/girl outside of marriage? Why or why not?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are the potential upsides and downsides of committing yourself to purity and saving sex until marriage?
Read the following passage from the Bible:
1 Corinthians 6:16-20 (The Message)
There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
The best way to think about God’s design for sex is to imagine a fire burning in a fireplace. When it’s contained within its proper boundaries, the fire gives warmth and enjoyment. But if the fire burns outside of the fireplace with no restrictions, great devastation usually happens. The marriage commitment is the “fireplace” for the mystical union of sex—but when it spreads outside its boundaries, it usually wreaks hurt and heartbreak. I realize most of you “know” all of this, but it’s important to talk about in a continual way—because our culture pushes sex and infidelity 24-7, and we think about it almost as much. In fact, we practically worship sex and engage in immorality at staggering levels. So tonight I’d like you to prayerfully consider dedicating yourself to purity and come up with a few ways you can start avoiding sexual sins such as pornography, heavy petting/hooking up, etc.
Devote any minutes you have left to allow your students to think about your challenge, then let them know you’ll be available to talk to them about their decisions after the meeting and throughout the week.
Close in Prayer
Written by Lane Palmer
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 youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.