7 years

Contributed by: Darcy Perry, Bishopric of Waikato

Using the song “7 Years” by Lukas Graham, invite young people to think about what shapes them and what influences them as they grow.

Introduction

Ask: Who knows the song? Who knows what it is about?

Use their answers and add what you need to park the idea that it’s about the people, the dreams and the ambitions that influence and shape how we grow and who we become in life.

Invite them to look for some of those things as you play the music video, and let them share what they spotted afterward.

Play “7 Years”

Note: This video version of the song includes lyrics and has a photo montage that shows family and friends, which has an important connection to the lyrics. The song has references to loneliness, drug abuse, peer pressure, ambitions to be rich, dreams of glory, friends and family – all things that affect the kind of person we become. They’re also things that God’s Word addresses.

Discussion Questions

Unpack the song further in small groups of 4-7.

Good Advice

The first verse of this song talks about advice given to the singer as a seven year old, then later as an eleven year old. 

  • What advice do you hear? (For example, from home, media, teachers, friends). Is it all good advice?
  • What are your dreams? Can you imagine what they might look like at 20, 30, almost 60 years of age?
  • How do you express who you are, who you want to be, who you are becoming? (e.g. is it mostly through social media? through words or music? through relationships? through living out your faith?)
  • How might Jesus change that first line if he was giving us advice at 7, 11 or 20 years of age?

Who Knows You?

  • What do you think about these lines: “Cause only those I love will really know me”?
  • Who really knows you?

Read 1 John 4:11-12 and Psalm 139:1,13-15,23-24

  •  How does it feel to know that God really knows you and loves you?
  • According to 1 John 4:12, how is God’s love made complete in us?

Life in all its Fullness 

The last two verses of the song hold some uncertainty about the singer’s future. Yet God promises those who follow him a life of hope and meaning. 

  • What do you think the singer has missed out on by not inviting God to shape his journey?
  • What kind of life does Jesus want you to have (see John 10:10)?

Although God never promises an easy life or plain sailing, we can be confident that the loneliness, coldness and regret ​feared by the singer, are not part of a life of following Christ.

Finding Favour

The song mentions being ‘in favour’. 

  • When you hear of the word ‘favour’, what do you think of?
  • Talk about how the word is used in the Bible, for example:
    • Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
    • 1 Samuel 2:26: “And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favour with the LORD and with people.”
    • Proverbs 8:35: “For those who find me find life and receive favour from the LORD.”
    • Proverbs 12:2: “Good people obtain favour from the LORD, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.”
    • 2 Corinthians 8:21: “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.”
    • Proverbs 13:15: “Good judgment wins favour, but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.”

Conclusion

Ask: How would wanting to find favour with God shape your life, your choices, your goals, and who you become?

LYRICS: 7 Years

Lukas Forchammer Graham, Stefan Forrest, Morten Ristorp, Morten Pilegaard

[Chorus 1]
Once I was seven years old my momma told me
Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely
Once I was seven years old

[Verse 1]
It was a big big world, but we thought we were bigger
Pushing each other to the limits, we were learning quicker
By eleven smoking herb and drinking burning liquor
Never rich so we were out to make that steady figure

[Chorus 2]
Once I was eleven years old my daddy told me
Go get yourself a wife or you’ll be lonely
Once I was eleven years old

[Verse 2]
I always had that dream like my daddy before me
So I started writing songs, I started writing stories
Something about that glory just always seemed to bore me
Cause only those I really love will ever really know me

[Chorus 3]
Once I was 20 years old, my story got told
Before the morning sun, when life was lonely
Once I was 20 years old

[Verse 3]
I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure
Cause I know the smallest voices, they can make it major
I got my boys with me at least those in favour
And if we don’t meet before I leave, I hope I’ll see you later

[Chorus 4]
Once I was 20 years old, my story got told
I was writing about everything, I saw before me
Once I was 20 years old

Soon we’ll be 30 years old, our songs have been sold
We’ve travelled around the world and we’re still roaming
Soon we’ll be 30 years old

[Verse 4]
I’m still learning about life
My woman brought children for me
So I can sing them all my songs
And I can tell them stories

Most of my boys are with me
Some are still out seeking glory
And some I had to leave behind
My brother I’m still sorry

[Bridge]
Soon I’ll be 60 years old, my daddy got 61
Remember life and then your life becomes a better one
I made a man so happy when I wrote a letter once
I hope my children come and visit, once or twice a month

[Chorus 5]
Soon I’ll be 60 years old, will I think the world is cold
Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me?
Soon I’ll be 60 years old

Soon I’ll be 60 years old, will I think the world is cold
Or will I have a lot of children who can hold me?
Soon I’ll be 60 years old

[Chorus 1 recap]
Once I was seven years old, my momma told me
Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely
Once I was seven years old

Once I was seven years old