Rascal Flatts member Jay DeMarcus says he and his wife Allison are raising their children Christian because it’s important to have a foundation in Jesus.
DeMarcus is a father of two Dylan, 6, and Madeline, 7½. Along with his wife, the musician is raising his family in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is hoping they will hold to traditional values.
“To live country is more of a state of mind, and not about cowboy hats and living on a farm,” DeMarcus told PEOPLE in their latest issue. “It’s about your core values, and your beliefs, and a way of life.”
The Rascal Flatts bassist says he grew up attending church twice a week and was even a member of the choir’s band. He considers faith an instrumental part of his life and wants the same for his children.
“We live in the Bible belt. I was born and raised in church,” he continued “That’s something that was really, really important to me, to build that foundation with our kids so they at least went to church.
“God knows Dylan’s gonna need it later in life. I’ve actually started putting the handcuffs on him so he could get used to the feel of them,” he joked. “We try to take him to church — try to let him know who Jesus is. It’s really important for me that they’re ingrained in a good church and have that good foundation to build upon. I think that’s a core value system that you’ll find anywhere you go in the South.”
While raising the family Christian, the couple work hard to make sure both kids are well-mannered. The musician said as parents they try their best to make their life “magical” as it can be while not spoiling their kids.
“At the same time, you don’t want them to be spoiled brats because that would be no fun to live with either,” he added.
“I think our kids live an extraordinarily different life than what I lived growing up. Pretty much everything about their life is different than mine was,” DeMarcus admitted.
“And you know what? I’m thrilled to be blessed enough to be able to do that for them. It really makes all the long miles and all the long hours away from home worth every bit of it.”
DeMarcus’ beliefs on faith and family are echoed by another band member who spoke out on the subjects.
Rascal Flatts’ bandmate Joe Don Rooney told the Chicago Sun-Times that Christianity is losing some of those southern traditions DeMarcus spoke of.
“I feel like we’re losing the fabric of what made America America a little bit. It’s slipping through our hands a little when it comes to the Christianity on which our forefathers founded this country — putting God first,” Rooney said.
The group has been together for almost 20 years and has several No. 1 Billboard Country hits under their belt. Despite their faith, Rascal Flatts is not a Christian band rather, Christians in a band. Even still, their music has many faith themes.
“We’re not a band on a crusade,” Rooney shared. “We’re Christian men with families and children and with deep faith in God and country.”
“I think we have been very open if people read our liner notes. We always thank God and the Lord Savior Jesus Christ,” he maintained.
For instance, the new faith-based movie, GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD from director Harold Cronk (which releases in theaters on September 7), features the Rascal Flatts’ song with the same title. A portion of the lyrics read,
“Every long-lost dream led me to where you are
And others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know it’s true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you…”
He even admits to the newspaper that while the band may not use the stage as their pulpit, they do profess their faith inside their albums. “I think we have been very open if people read our liner notes. We always thank God and the Lord Savior Jesus Christ,” he says.
But then he says that Christianity isn’t what it used to be, and he’s sad to see that: “I feel like we’re losing the fabric of what made America America a little bit. It’s slipping through our hands a little when it comes to the Christianity on which our forefathers founded this country — putting God first.”
Rooney says they are not afraid to share their faith publicly, citing freedom of religion and freedom to choose how you live your life as his rationale.
And they want to pass that boldness onto their kids.