Cruel Summer

Artist: Taylor Swift

Song: Cruel Summer

Writer(s): Sarah Taylor

Themes(s): Love | Relationships

From: YLO 132

Album: Lover

Label: Republic

Teaching Point
Students will learn that there are risks in every relationship – rejection, hurt, disappointment – but not when it comes to a relationship with Jesus.

Opening Questions

  • Have you ever been hurt in a relationship (friend, romantic, family, etc.)? What happened?
  • How did you recover from the hurt?
  • Was it harder for you to trust in that relationship?
  • Did it make it harder to trust new relationships? 
  • Do you find relationships risky? Why/why not? 

You’ve heard Taylor Swift’s song “Cruel Summer.” She sings about the hold a relationship has on her, about the secrets she keeps just to keep the relationship going. There’s risk in keeping secrets, right? You risk the secrets coming out eventually. You risk hurting the other person.

Let’s face it, relationships are just plain tricky. They require a lot of work to keep them healthy. The same is true when it comes to a relationship with Jesus.

John 15:5-8 (NIV) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Jesus calls Himself the vine. He tells His followers they are the branches of that vine – that if they remain connected to the vine they will bear great fruit. In other words, your relationship with Jesus, like any relationship, can only thrive as long as you remain connected. That means regular prayer, time for worship, Bible study, etc.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? But you know what we get out of a relationship with Jesus?

We get peace.

John 14: 27 (NIV) “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

We get the promise that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us.

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’

Joshua 1:5 (NIV) “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

We get the promise that pain and suffering will end.

Revelation 21:4 (NIV) “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Finally, we get the promise that we don’t have to live in fear.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


There’s one thing I know about being in a relationship with Jesus. He’s never let me down. I found comfort in Him when my mother passed away. I found acceptance and reassurance when all I experienced was rejection from the world. I found peace in Him when I finally landed a job I’d been waiting for. And I found love when I felt unlovable. Jesus will never let you down.

Is there risk in a relationship with Him? Sure. Jesus warned His followers that the world would hate them, would mock them, would even try to kill them. But do you think any of His followers regret the risk they took? No way!