When I was in Nashville at the beginning of June for the K-Love Fan Awards, I had the opportunity to interview two time Grammy winners, for KING AND COUNTRY. The duo won Group/Duo Of The Year and Best Live Show at the K-Love Fan Awards.
Joel and Luke Smallbone, are the two brothers that make up for KING AND COUNTRY. (Fun Fact – Rebecca St. James is their older sister.) The are currently working on a movie called “Priceless“, which discusses the identity, value and worth of women.
for KING AND COUNTRY has spoken a lot on the topic of identity. It’s so refreshing to see men talking about the issue of a woman’s worth. I truly believe that the message is received differently when men speak about it.
Why is this topic of identity important, and what would you like to see happen in our generation?
Luke and I are two of seven children. We came from a lovely family, and our parents have loved each other for 40 years. It’s been so special to see their love, but the older we’ve gotten – coming into adulthood, meeting our wives, we really started looking around at the messages we were feeling and seeing in our peers, both male and female. We realized that our identity was being pulled in many different directions. Since the beginning of the band, we really said, “What’s our part in this conversation?” Because there is a conversation going on, or if there’s not a conversation, it needs to be had.
Our message has always been very simple. Our starting line has been about acknowledging that if you look so often at culture, there’s a subtle underlying tone, it’s about your weight, it’s about what you wear, it’s about sex appeal – these are the things that men are looking for. While I think the identity is off, quite often these are the things men are looking for. Unfortunately there is some truth to it, but we’re out to change that narrative.
We’ve found that it really does begin with the men. Our charge to men is this – “Men, there’s this tension in you between the hunter and the protector. The hunter is very much – find the woman, hunt the woman. But we’ve played so much on that, and on the sensuality of it, that the protector is being lost. Be chivalrous. Love extraordinary.” We celebrate these movies like Gladiator and Brave Heart – they are fighting for a woman’s love. It’s all in us, we just have have to under guard and correct ourselves and say “No, what is great is to dedicate. What is worth celebrating isn’t how many women you’ve slept with, but the fact that you’ve committed to this woman, and you’re going to stay with her through the storms and you’re going to fiercely protect her.
What do you do to seriously pursue joy in the Lord?
It’s an endless pursuit. Piper would put it well, “When you think you’ve found it, it’s moved somewhere else and you’ve got to find it again.” I love that about it! I love that there’s intentionality about it. One of the biggest things I’ve found that’s been a hallmark for joy is not taking life too seriously. Not just grabbing at everything. This is a terrible example, but that’s why drunk men never die in a car accident, because they limber lose, and when the impact happens, they just kind of go with it. Whereas the people that get hurt are the people that tense up. It’s the same thing with health! These illness that are connected with stress are indicators that we’re not well.
I think it’s through God, but if we could just leave it to God, I think we’ll be surprised at the joy we can find in any situation. Both good and bad.