Music Discussions

What the Hell

Main Point: In spite of what the world tells us, there are always consequences to our actions, so we must stay focused on living a godly lifestyle.

The Music Video: What the Hell
Canadian-born singer Avril Lavigne is definitely one of the pied pipers of this generation. She used her affiliation with fellow Canadian Shania Twain to launch her career in the US, and eventually around the world. She’s best known for Girlfriend, a spicy number that basically tells a certain boy to break up with his girlfriend in favor of her, and Sk8er Boi, a song about a boy and a girl with very different tastes and personalities becoming a couple.

As of this writing, Lavigne’s latest song sits in the #18 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 (though it climbed to #11 at its peak). Interestingly, the song is finding a bit of a resurgence; it’s climbing back up the charts again after dropping a few spots. But why wouldn’t it? The song’s message is a very popular one amongst kids in our culture.

You can purchase the song from iTunes or watch it for free on YouTube by clicking on this link:

NOTE TO LEADER: It’s obvious that this song uses an expletive in the title, but the song also uses some sexual imagery and even includes several sexual messages. Our small group discussion that follows will address those issues/topics; just make sure you’re prepared to discuss them with your students.

Introducing the Music Video:
While passing out copies of the song’s lyrics, say, “Here is the set of lyrics from Avril Lavigne’s new song ‘What the Hell.’ Reference them if you need to while we watch the music video together.”

    Song’s Lyrics:
    You say that I’m messing with your head
    (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    All ’cause I was making out with your friend
    (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Love hurts, whether it’s right or wrong
    (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    I can’t stop ’cause I’m having too much fun
    (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

    You’re on your knees, beggin’ please ‘stay with me’
    But honestly, I just need to be a little crazy

    All my life I’ve been good but now,
    I’m thinking ‘What the hell’
    All I want is to mess around,
    and I don’t really care about
    If you love me, if you hate me,
    you can’t save me, baby, baby
    All my life I’ve been good but now,
    whoa ‘What the hell’

    What, What, What,
    What the hell

    So what if I go out on a million dates
    (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    You never call or listen to me anyway
    (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    I’d rather rage than sit around and wait all day
    (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Don’t get me wrong,
    I just need some time to play (yeah)

    You’re on your knees, beggin’ please ‘stay with me’
    But honestly, I just need to be a little crazy

    All my life I’ve been good but now,
    I’m thinking ‘What the hell’
    All I want is to mess around,
    and I don’t really care about
    If you love me, if you hate me,
    you can’t save me, baby, baby
    All my life I’ve been good but now,
    whoa ‘What the hell’

    La la la la la la la la, whoa, whoa
    La la la la la la la la, whoa, whoa

    You say that I’m messing with your head
    Boy, I like messing in your bed
    Yeah, I am messing with your head
    When I’m messing with you in bed

    All my life I’ve been good but now,
    I’m thinking what the hell (what the hell)
    All I want is to mess around and I don’t really care about (I don’t care about)
    All my life I’ve been good but now, I’m thinking what the hell
    All I want is to mess around and I don’t really care about. (if you love me)
    If you love me (no), if you hate me (no)
    You can’t save me, baby, baby (if you love me)
    All my life I’ve been good but now, whoa, what the hell

    La la, La la la la la la, La la, La la la la la la la

Transition Statement:
In this song, Avril Lavigne seems to adopt a fairly careless lifestyle; she just begins to say, “What the hell.” While everything worked out for her by the end of the video, the truth is, if we live our lives by that standard, we generally have to pay a high price. Since we can’t live our lives with a “what the hell” attitude, let’s take a few moments to look at how we should live our lives.

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 begin, let’s all take a second to share our name and a careless or silly mistake we’ve made in the past.

  2. ASK A FEW: What were some of the things Avril did in the video to show that she’d adopted a “what the hell” way of living? (Leaders – she sleeps with her boyfriend, confesses to cheating on him, steals a taxi, crashes it into another car and walks away, flipped off the viewer from onstage, etc.)

  3. ASK A FEW: In the video, she had a fun time out on the town and even wound up in the arms of her boyfriend…all while living a “what the hell” lifestyle. But what would happen to you and me if we did some of the things she did?

  4. ASK A FEW: What are some ways we live a “what the hell” lifestyle (even if we don’t actually say it)?

  5. ASK A FEW: What are some of the prices we pay when we live recklessly?

  6. Read Colossians 3:2-12 (NIV, 1984)

      Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

      Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

      Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

  7. ASK SOMEONE: What are some of the things Paul tells us to get rid of in this passage?

  8. ASK A FEW: In your opinion, which of these is the most difficult to “put to death”?

  9. ASK SOMEONE: In the music video, did Avril do some of the things Paul tells us to avoid? If so, what?

  10. ASK A FEW: What are some of the consequences of “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed”?

  11. ASK A FEW: What are the consequences of “rage, malice, slander, and filthy language”?

  12. ASK SOMEONE: At the end of this passage, Paul turns his attention to telling us how to live. What does he say our lives should look like?

  13. ASK A FEW: Are there “consequences” (or outcomes) of living lives of “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience?” If so, what are they? (Leaders – You just want to show that every decision has a consequence. If it’s a bad or sinful decision, the outcome is a consequence that penalizes us. If the decision or action was good, the outcome is positive.)

  14. ASK A FEW: Do you agree or disagree? “Our culture sends the message that we can do whatever we want – AKA, live a “what the hell” sort of life – without paying a price.”

  15. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What’s one area of life you’ve been living out a “what the hell” attitude? (Leaders – If there’s any stalling, you might want to suggest “grades,” “relationships,” “dangerous behavior,” etc. But give them a chance to answer without leading them.)

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Based on this passage of Scripture we just read, it’s clear that God wants us to live a holy life. How will you begin to do that this week?

Wrap Up:
Tonight, we took a moment to watch a popular music video from a popular artist. The song even contained a popular message sneaking its way into our culture. That message is, “You can do whatever you want…and you don’t have to worry about consequences.”

During our small group time, we saw just how wrong that message is. When we get reckless in our relationships, or with our sexuality, or with drugs/alcohol, or even with our mouth, we pay a price. And sometimes, that price is high!

This message is a really silly one; even young children know there are consequences for breaking rules. Yet, this message still fools a lot of people. That’s why God’s Word is filled with warnings to obey the Lord and live a godly lifestyle. Just check out what Deuteronomy 11:13-28 says:

    13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

    16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

    22 If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him— 23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the western sea.[b] 25 No man will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.

    26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.

It doesn’t get much plainer than that. If we live a godly lifestyle, we will be blessed. If we don’t we will be punished.

The time to start living a godly lifestyle is right now. If you’ve got questions about how to do that, ask one of our adult leaders to talk with you after we pray. If you’ve made some really bad decisions in the past and need someone to talk to about that, again, just grab one of our adult leaders.

Close in Prayer

Written by David R. Smith


Jonathan McKee

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 Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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