Music Discussions

Thank U, Next

thank-u-next

“Thank U, Next” – Ariana Grande

Main Point:  God’s design for marriage involves guarding your heart and joining to one person for a lifetime. 

Important Note to Youth Leader about Discernment: 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 a student to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one.

In our experience most students, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos. Thanks to YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away.

Ariana Grande has become a popular figure due to her high profile in music and through her publicized dating relationships.  The purpose of this discussion is not to dissect her as a role model, but to use a popular song to provoke discussion about an important topic.  We encourage you to be discerning and utilize this resource in whatever way is most helpful. Jonathan McKee wrote a helpful article on Ariana Grande that you can read to get more context on her as you prepare for your discussion.

About the Artist – Ariana Grande

Florida native Ariana Grande started performing as an eight year old, displaying her talents in musicals, karaoke, and eventually singing the national anthem on television at a Florida Panthers hockey game.  Grande is of Italian descent and her name was inspired by the character Princess Oriana from the 1991 box office bomb Felix the Cat: The Movie. At age 15, Grande landed a role in the Broadway musical 13.  This propelled her to be cast in the Nickelodeon television show Victorious just one year later.  Ariana was able to capitalize on her newly found stardom and released her first studio album Yours Truly as a twenty year old in 2013.  Her debut album topped the charts, sending her to greater heights that including performing at the Obama White House just a year later.  Grande was raised as a Roman Catholic but divided with the church over LGTBQ rights, choosing instead to invest in the teachings of Kabbalah.  She has been in the public eye with high profile relationships including rap artist Big Sean, the late recording artist Mac Miller, and Saturday Night Live actor Pete Davidson.  Grande will release her fifth studio album in early 2019.

Song Lyrics: 

Thought I’d end up with Sean

But he wasn’t a match

Wrote some songs about Ricky

Now I listen and laugh

Even almost got married

And for Pete, I’m so thankful

Wish I could say, “Thank you” to Malcolm

‘Cause he was an angel

One taught me love

One taught me patience

And one taught me pain

Now, I’m so amazing

Say I’ve loved and I’ve lost

But that’s not what I see

So, look what I got

Look what you taught me

And for that, I say

Thank you, next (Next)

Thank you, next (Next)

Thank you, next

I’m so f****’  grateful for my ex

Thank you, next (Next)

Thank you, next (Next)

Thank you, next (Next)

I’m so f****’ —

Spend more time with my friends

I ain’t worried ’bout nothin’

Plus, I met someone else

We havin’ better discussions

I know they say I move on too fast

But this one gon’ last

‘Cause her name is Ari

And I’m so good with that (So good with that)

She taught me love (Love)

She taught me patience (Patience)

How she handles pain (Pain)

That s*** amazing (Yeah, she’s amazing)

I’ve loved and I’ve lost (Yeah, yeah)

But that’s not what I see (Yeah, yeah)

‘Cause look what I’ve found (Yeah, yeah)

Ain’t no need for searching, and for that, I say

Thank you, next (Thank you, next)

Thank you, next (Thank you, next)

Thank you, next (Thank you)

I’m so f****’  grateful for my ex

Thank you, next (Thank you, next)

Thank you, next (Said thank you, next)

Thank you, next (Next)

I’m so f****’ grateful for my ex

Thank you, next

Thank you, next

Thank you, next

I’m so f**** —

One day I’ll walk down the aisle

Holding hands with my mama

I’ll be thanking my dad

‘Cause she grew from the drama

Only wanna do it once, real bad

Gon’ make that s*** last

God forbid something happens

Least this song is a smash (Song is a smash)

I’ve got so much love (Love)

Got so much patience (Patience)

I’ve learned from the pain (Pain)

I turned out amazing (Turned out amazing)

Say I’ve loved and I’ve lost (Yeah, yeah)

But that’s not what I see (Yeah, yeah)

‘Cause look what I’ve found (Yeah, yeah)

Ain’t no need for searching

And for that, I say

Thank you, next (Thank you, next)

Thank you, next (Thank you, next)

Thank you, next

I’m so f****’  grateful for my ex

Thank you, next (Thank you, next)

Thank you, next (Said thank you, next)

Thank you, next (Next)

I’m so f****’ grateful for my ex

Thank you, next

Thank you, next

Thank you, next

Yeah, yee

Thank you, next

Thank you, next

Thank you, next

Yeah, yee

Introducing the Song – You Say This:  Thank You Next is the lead single from Ariana Grande’s upcoming album of the same name.  The single was released November 3, 2018 and immediately soared to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  The video was released November 30 and gained nearly 150 million views in its first ten days on YouTube.  The video features references to several popular early 2000’s comedy films, helping it become a viral hit.  The song has been noted as one that takes a positive look at her past relationships, pointing to them as avenues for her growth.  The day the song was released, Grande tweeted about the song in response to former fiancée Pete Davidson throwing shade at her on a SNL promo: https://twitter.com/ArianaGrande/status/1058723032900952065

 

 

 

 

The Music Video —  The music video can be viewed for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl1aHhXnN1k

A clean version of this song can be found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdeIHC2EGCE

Hand out Lyrics and Play Song. 

Transition Statement – You Say This:  This song paints a sincere desire to not be dragged down by past relationships but instead move forward with growth.  The song also represents Ariana Grande’s desire to be married once and to make it last. Let’s take some time to talk about her approach toward relationships as well as God’s design for marriage and see what we can learn.

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. ASK A FEW: What do you think about how Ariana Grande views her past relationships?
  1. ASK A FEW: In one verse, Grande sings:  We havin’ better discussions, I know they say I move on too fast, But this one gon’ last, ‘Cause her name is Ari.  It appears she is talking about how she’s improving herself through each failed relationship.  Why do you think it’s important to her to become a better version of herself as she moves forward?
  1. ASK A FEW: Grande is currently estranged from her father who was divorced from her mother when Ariana was eight years old.  When you consider this, how would you interpret the part of the song where she sings:  One day I’ll walk down the aisle, Holding hands with my mama, I’ll be thanking my dad, ‘Cause she grew from the drama?
  1. ASK A FEW: Based on this song, it appears Ariana wants to be married only once, and when she takes that step she wants it to last.  What advice would you give her as she moves forward with that desire for her marriage?
  1. ASK A FEW: When Grande sings about having so much patience, what do you think she means by that?
  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What makes it so difficult for people to usually be patient?

Read the following passages:

Proverbs 4:23

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Genesis 2:24

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

  1. ASK A FEW: What do you think it means to guard your heart?  What are some ways we tend to fail to do that?
  1. ASK A FEW: When the writer of Proverbs says that everything you do flows from your heart, what do you think that means?
  1. ASK A FEW: When God designed marriage, why do you think He chose to arrange it to be one man and one woman for life?
  1. ASK A FEW: Do you believe that God knows what’s best and has what’s best for you in mind?  What are some ways where we act like we don’t believe that?
  1. ASK A FEW: How does guarding your heart tie into being united to one person in marriage for life?
  1. ASK A FEW: What would you say to Ariana Grande in light of these verses? How would you help her see the hope that comes from God’s incredible design for marriage?
  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Read John 4:1-26 together.  Talk briefly about how this situation is similar to Ariana Grande’s story.  In light of this, what do you think Jesus would say to Ariana Grande right now?

Wrap Up – You say this: Our discussion about Thank You Next dove into God’s design for marriage and how important it is for us to guard our hearts. If we give up our hearts so easily, we face hurt and pain that God never intended for us to experience.  While God can use those times to shape us and help us grow, the further we get away from His design for marriage, the more difficult it becomes to truly experience what He has intended.  Do you struggle with believing that God is good and sincerely wants what’s best for you?  If you do, be real with God and ask Him to help you believe it in time.  If you already believe that, take a moment to affirm that to God in prayer. 

(Pause and give them a quiet moment to reflect on this.) 

Loved ones, God has a deep affection for you that is greater than anything you will experience on this earth.  He loves you so much that He chose to put on flesh and come to earth so He could die on the cross as payment for your sin.  He urges you to protect your heart because He knows the hurt that comes when you don’t.  When God says don’t, He means don’t hurt yourself.  He is good.  He knows what’s best.  God designed marriage to be a certain way because He knows this is how it will function at its best – and that’s what He wants for you!  Because Jesus died on the cross for you, no matter what you’ve done in the past can be forgiven.  Take a few moments here and talk to God about your desire for marriage one day.  Do you want to be married?  What kind of marriage do you hope for?  Would you commit to following His design for your heart and for marriage?  Maybe you need to confess some past choices, knowing He is eager to forgive and pour out His grace on you.  Take a few moments now to talk to Him. 

(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.) 

To Ariana Grande, I believe Jesus wants to say that He loves her, and He is eager to show her that He is what she is looking for.  She will never find the deep satisfaction she longs for in any other relationship, and He is inviting her into a never ending bond with Him.  There she will find hope, acceptance, and love like she has never known before.  He invites you to the same.  Let’s close in prayer together and ask God to help us see Him as He is so that we will trust Him and His ways more and more.

CLOSE IN PRAYER

0 Comments
Share
Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at chagdeswrites@gmail.com .

Reply your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*