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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • 1999 7 Jun

"Being happy or successful in life is not just about getting married and having kids. It is your relationship with the Lord and being happy with who you are that makes you happy and successful."
--4 HIM's Kirk Sullivan

After a twelve year road trip that included a three year stint with {{Truth}}, and produced eight albums (with one, ==The Basics of Life== certified Gold), six Dove awards, a Grammy nomination and #1 hit songs too numerous to mention, the men of {{4 HIM}} decided it was time to take a break. Life was getting way too complicated. Five months off the road would give them the time to regenerate, recreate, and most important, to hear God's voice.

Half way through their sabbatical, a very relaxed foursome waxed eloquent about faith, family, and the basics of life.

Marty Magehee - On Fatherhood
"Fatherhood changes your perspective on everything, and as a writer it gives you more fertile ground. You can't fake it. You can't write something you haven't lived through. In order to be believable, you have got to experience it. Sometimes it's pain, sometimes it's sacrifice, and sometimes it is facing up to your own selfishness. Three of us are fathers, and we are challenged, everyday, by our kids. We are faced with ourselves when we look into our children's eyes, when they demand things at a time when we just want to say, 'get out of my face! I'm tired. I can't BE a father right now.' But you have to be a father. Sacrifice comes in.

There are aspects of fatherhood that I didn't foresee; things that creep in and blow your mind because there was no way that you could have rationalized it before it happened. That's when the fighter in me comes out to protect the family. There are all those little things that happen that are painful lessons now, but you know that down the road you will realize they were really gifts from God.

The first year, fatherhood doesn't make any sense. It's nothing but diapers and no sleep. Now it's starting to make sense, with my oldest jibber-jabbering and rationalizing, and my youngest walking and trying to keep up.

If there was piece of advice I could give my kids it would be, 'Be patient. Life is ever changing, and one day you will understand. Don't let your frustrations lead you emotionally.'

Maybe when my son is sixteen, and we are out fishing or something, I will just look over and say, 'You know, when you were two years old, you seemed like you really understood what I was saying. I could see it in your eyes. So I just followed up on that, only to realize later that you didn't have a clue. When you get to be a father, looking into my grandkid's eyes, I want you to be more patient than I was'."

Click for clip from "Can't Get Past The Evidence!"

Kirk Sullivan - On Being Single
"I have people walk up to me and say, 'When are you going to get married?' For the first time in my life, I'm okay with being single. I am enjoying life. If someone comes along that I want to spend the rest of my life with, great! But if not, I'm a busy man. I have a lot of stuff to do and I don't have anybody to kick me out of bed in the morning and tell me to go do something. I do what I want to do, when I want to do it.

Being happy or successful in life is not just about getting married and having kids. It is your relationship with the Lord and being happy with who you are that makes you happy and successful. You can be married and have kids and be the most miserable person in the world, because marriage doesn't make you happy just like things don't make you happy. If there is turmoil inside, then a person or thing is not going to fix that. If you can have fun on your own, then you will be able to have fun with someone else.

And to those who would try to 'encourage' a single person with, 'when are you going to get married?' - BACK OFF! It's their life. You don't know what God has instilled in them. They might be called to be single.

I may never get married, and the guys will tell you, there was a time when that was a really touchy subject for me. But now it's not. I have a great career, and God has given me some dreams that I thought I would never see. I just turned 40 and I'm pretty dog-gone happy with life right now."

">Click for clip from "The Great Awakening!"

Andy Chrisman - On Godzilla, and Other Mysteries of Road Life
"He would hate to hear me say this, but {{Wayne Watson}} has been like a father-figure to me when it comes to dealing with life on the road. He was married and raised both of his boys while touring and traveling. He once told me he got depressed one day when his first son was graduating from high school. He was sitting in his den counting up all the special days he had missed by being on the road; the football games, the recitals, the birthday parties.

Then he got the impression to go look at a typical tour year. He began to count how many days he was gone and, like us, it was about 150 days per year. Then he realized, 'Hey, wait a minute - that means I am home 180 days out of the year! I'm actually at home with my family more than if I had a conventional, 9-to-5 job.'

Although it's tough when you are gone, day and night, for up to ten days in a row, there really is compensation by being home for two weeks at a time. That's where the balance comes in. It's different, and not everybody could do it. I don't know how long I'll be able to do it.

Then there are those special times when the kids get to come with us. I took my six year-old son, Lucas, with me when we went to Maine. We ate lobster and saw the sites and stayed in a hotel. Lucas is really into monsters, and he wanted to see the movie, "Godzilla," so I took him to see it. On the way back to the hotel that night, we had this conversation:

'Dad, when Godzilla was killed at the end of the movie, did he go to heaven?'
'Well, you've got to understand, Lucas, Godzilla isn't real.'
'Well, if he was real - did he go to heaven?'
'I don't think so. I'm not sure what the Bible says about animals going to heaven. Besides, he was a pretty mean guy.'
'I learned in school that evil men will go to perish.'
'Go to perish?'
'Yeah, what the Bible says in John 3:16.'
'OhLucas, adults call that hell. I know kids don't use that word a lot, but we say when people don't know God, they go to hell.'
'Well, I'm not going to hell. I'm going to heaven, because I know God.'

I just felt in my spirit that he was ready to come to a saving knowledge of Christ, and when we got back to the hotel he asked Jesus into his heart. It was beautiful! We were on the phone yesterday, and he said, 'Daddy, you know how much I love you? I'm going to love you until the devil reaches the bottom of hell!' I thought, I'm going to take that as a compliment."

Click for clip from "Before The River Came!"

Mark Harris - On Marriage
"The most valuable lesson I have learned from my wife is how to listen. I've learned the value of listening to what someone has to say, without trying to figure out what I'm going to say when they are finished.

That has really helped me with my walk with the Lord. It helps me to be still in the presence of God. I'm from a Pentecostal background and I never longed for nor understood the need to be still before God. When you are raised in that movement - it's very charismatic, very loud, and very aerobic - but there is something you miss out on sometimes, and it is the stillness and the quiet. That is something my wife has taught me, to stop long enough to listen.

It has helped me as a songwriter to not just sit down and start writing, but to take it a little slower and to listen to what God has to say. And it has helped me in sharing with people, because I have learned that most of the time, people just want someone to listen. They really don't want to hear what you have to say; they want to talk it out themselves. They want someone who will just be there, and be an ear.

My wife is a mirror - she shows me who I really am. I think that is the beauty of marriage, that accountability and that honesty with one another."

While enjoying their time off the road, 4 HIM has still managed to release a "greatest hits" project, ==Best Ones==, and has contributed to the beautiful, new concept album, ==Streams==. Still, they insist that this down time is being most valuably invested, not in making long term goals, but in learning to hear God's voice, and making sure they follow His anointing.

"That has been our philosophy since we started," Andy sums up, "to focus on what God wants us to do right now. Every time you change the way you do things - when you add another facet to either your music or your ministry - you see things a little differently. I'm excited about what God is going to do with us this fall when we start touring again. I feel that a new phase of {{4 HIM}} will be birthed out of this time."