FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Love in the Spotlight

with Matt and Megan Magill | August 10, 2009
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Who’s controlling your life--you or Christ? Today Matt and Megan Magill recall how they fell in love doing summer stock in college, and how they let their own egos and desires drive their relationship, and each other, almost into the ground.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Who’s controlling your life--you or Christ? Today Matt and Megan Magill recall how they fell in love doing summer stock in college, and how they let their own egos and desires drive their relationship, and each other, almost into the ground.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

Who’s controlling your life–you or Christ?

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Love in the Spotlight

With Matt and Megan Magill
August 10, 2009
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Megan:  By the time I met Matt, I was feeling pretty “backslidden” if I can use that term,

Matt:  I grew up thinking that life’s a party; I am supposed to enjoy life.  Well, relationships don’t work when it goes one way.

Megan:  I still knew the LORD; I knew that HE wanted more from me; I knew that I was not supposed to be dating this guy.

Matt:  I had had so many broken relationships by the time I met Megan that life had started to become a drag.  So, I had started to experiment with pot, pills, and before long I was just living a life of what they call “Functional Bent.”  I got up in the morning and I got high and I stayed high all day long because life was a party.

Megan:  But because I had followed my own desires and not clung to what I knew to be true, I was in a bad spot.

Bob:  This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, August, 10, 2009.  Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I am Bob Lepine.  

When you start with that as the beginning of your relationship, your marriage is headed for some rocky times.  We will find out about Matt and Megan Magill’s journey today.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today!  Thanks for joining us! 

Dennis:  Are you looking forward to today?  

 Bob:  Oh!  Yeah!  I am!  I mean anytime we have guitar in the studio I am looking forward to that.  You know?

Dennis:  You had fun before we came into the studio just interacting over all the music that you share with this couple who join us today.

Bob:  I like, you know, listening to CD’s and singing along on the cards, so, we had some friends in.  I thought we’d talk about music.

Dennis:  And you’re ending up getting 2 new CD’s out of this.

Bob:  Well, I have actually had those for awhile – I am passing those on to you. 


Before we introduce them, let me remind our FamilyLife Today listeners about a special opportunity that we have been letting them know about.  We mentioned this last week.  This is your final opportunity this week to register for one of our upcoming Weekend to Remember marriage conferences.  We are going to be hosting these conferences in cities all across the country this fall; more than 50 cities.  And if you are registered this week, you and your spouse register at the regular rate; we are going to send you a certificate so another couple can attend with you as your guest at no cost.

It is a ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ opportunity for FamilyLife Today listeners, but to take advantage of it we need to hear from you this week.  You either register on-line at, or you call to register at 1-800-FLTODAY. 

If you are registering online and you want to take advantage of this special opportunity where you and your spouse attend the conference at the regular rate and another couple can attend with you at no cost.  All you have to do is type my name, “Bob” – into the promo code box that you find on the conference registration form online. 

When you do that, you are automatically registered, and we’ll send you the certificate for the second couple to attend at no cost.  Or call 1-800-FLToday and you can register over the phone.  Just mention that you are a FamilyLife Today listener.   If you want to take advantage of this we need to hear from you this week.  This is the last opportunity for you to take advantage of this special offer. 

Again, details are on-line at, or you can register online – if you’d like or call 1-800-FL-TODAY and get registered over the phone. 

And with that – let me introduce the couple that brought this CD’s for you today - Matt and Megan Magill.

Matt and Megan, welcome to FamilyLife Today!

Megan:  Thank you!

Dennis:  Matt, you live right now in New York City.  (Yes)  They have been married for 8 years.  They have a new little daughter who is 7 months old.  And they have a ministry that is a unique ministry – a relational ministry – that talks about marriage and family relationships.  But you use music!  You really tap in to … kind of where you both came from…  Megan, you from theater … and … Matt, I don’t think I have ever met anybody who was “Rock Opera. “

Bob has I am sure. 

Megan:  Yes.  And that was unique, to say the least.  Singing ‘Arias‘ by day . . . and kind of . . . the local celebrity at night in the ‘Rock-n-Roll ‘ band.  (Playing in all the clubs)

Bob:  You grew up in Weatherford, Oklahoma – right? 

Matt:  That’s correct – I grew up in Weatherford, OK

Bob:  Which is not – kind of the – “Opera capital of America.”

Matt:  No, but they had a little play house 15 miles west in Clinton, OK.  And I grew up spending evenings in the little Play house, a little community theater.  Beautiful little slice of Americana.  I grew up singing “Brigadoon,”  “Sound of Music,”  “Oliver,” and all that . . .   I grew up with Mom and Grandma who just loved musicals.

Bob:  Musical Theater!  Now there is a difference between that and singing . . . .

Matt:  It is a little bit more legitimate.  There is a long way from “Elvis Presley’! 

Dennis:  But was it ‘Rock’ at that point, when you were doing ‘Oliver’ and those types of things?

Matt:  Well that was when I was 10 or 11.  By the time I was 13, 14, 15, I started to get into ‘Rock-n-Roll’ – listening to “Guns and Roses. “

Megan:  Well, what you considered ‘Rock-n-Roll?

 Matt:  Exactly!

Dennis:   How well do you improvise on the spot?  Because I am wondering about right now – - - give us a - - - more of a ‘Rock- Opera’ interpretation of  “The Sound of Music,”  (Oh man!) … some song in there.

Matt:  What was I wanting to do at one point? 

Megan:   That – cats and the - - - you know - - - ‘these are a few of my favorite things.’

Matt:  These are a few of my favorite things . . . 

Bob:  (Yeah Baby! )

Matt:  You guys gotta ‘Rock-it-up’ a little bit. 

Dennis:  I knew you could do it.

Matt:  Something like that!

Dennis:  And so, Megan, you are from Tyler, Texas?

Megan:  Yes!  Born and raised in east Texas and I, too, ‘came out of the womb’ tap dancing for the doctor.  As early as I can remember, I loved to sing, I loved to perform, and that was initially what drew us together; was our love for performing and our love, specifically for music, and the stage.

Bob:  You met in Oklahoma City?  You were a college student there?  Is that right?

Megan:  I was!  We didn’t go to the same school, the same university, but I spent my summers doing “Summer Stock”!   Which is kind of musical theater ‘boot camp.‘  We were performing about five shows a summer, rehearsing one during the day – performing another at night.   At the ripe old age of 19 I thought I was pretty big stuff, doing professional theater.  They brought Matt in to be ‘Tommy’ – the lead role of Tommy – in the Rock Opera “The Who’s Tommy?”  

I have to tell you I was pretty impressed.  He knew all of his lines.  He had studied the songs and could sing them to where it sounded just like the album.  But, I am pretty sure he knew how great he was!  He was smug! 

Matt:  I think in retrospect, I was the picture of overcompensation.

Bob:  Is that right?

Matt:  Oh sure!  I mean I came into the theater wearing a shirt that said, “Chicks hate me!,”  dark sunglasses, and I thought I am going to come in here and blow these chorus girls out of the water.  They are going to dig me! 

Dennis:  She was 19 and you were – how old?

Matt:  20 – 21, something like that.

Bob:  So you thought you were pretty ‘hot stuff’?

Matt:  For sure

Bob:  And you come in – they just tap you and asked, “Would you like to be the lead of the musical?”

Matt:  I had heard about it.  I went in, dropped off some CD’s, never did an audition, and they said, “oh you could do this.  Please come.  You’ve got the (sort of) local celebrity status; we could put a couple of ads in and say ‘here is Matt Magill from this band.

Megan:  Right.

Dennis:  So Megan, immediately you fell at his feet and just became a worshiper.

Megan:  You know, I thought he was good looking, I thought he was easy on the eyes – for sure. But I noticed all the other girls doing that, just that, ‘oo-oo-oo-ing and ah-ing’ over him, and he didn’t seem too interested in that.  So I thought I’d play it the other way.  I think I told you right away that “you weren’t that cool.”

Matt:  Yeah!  You did!  And I found that very, very attractive!

Dennis:  Wow!  Now, where is GOD in all this? I mean, spiritually speaking, are we talking about a couple of lost young people at this point?  Just starting your journey toward adult-hood?

Matt:  Well, you know, I grew up in Weatherford, I grew up in a church, and I was there every Sunday.  My parents were very involved, but I would say it was a little light, in that, it wasn’t a church where I was constantly hearing the message of salvation.  It wasn’t constantly hearing about sin and I wasn’t hearing about Satan.  I wasn’t aware of my depravity.  I grew up thinking GOD loves me and I just need to go out there and enjoy life . . .

Bob:  And conquer the world.

Matt:  … and conquer the world, because GOD loves me.  But, it wasn’t an understanding of just how much GOD loved me and the sacrifice and the price that HE paid to win me to HIS heart.  Truly, I hadn’t understood that, I hadn’t grasped that and I wasn’t a Christian.  I believed that I was, but I was deceived.

Bob:  Had you grown up in the church as well?

Megan:  I had grown up in the church with a little bit of a different story.  My parents came to Christ later in life, they had been married for 12 years, and they were in their mid-thirties.  A couple had invited them to church and they just felt the grace of this particular community, this particular church, and accepted CHRIST as their Savior.   About six months after they became believers, they got pregnant with me.  That was a wonderful thing, in that I heard about JESUS – it was a very real faith. We weren’t just Sunday Christians. 

 But there was always an inner struggle because like I said earlier, I was a performer.  I enjoyed the spotlight.  I am telling you guys, as a child, I was always trying to figure out how I could please the LORD and how I could please man.

Bob:  How you could keep the spotlight on you? 

Megan:  You got it!

Bob:  And have Jesus along for the ride?

Megan:  That’s right!  And as parents that was difficult, because they were very encouraging of my gifts, but by the time I got into high school, I had begun making little compromises, after little compromises and soon they were bigger compromises.  So that by the time I met Matt when I was 19 years old, I was feeling pretty, “back-slidden,” if I can use that term. 

I still knew the Lord; I knew that HE wanted more from me; I knew that I was not supposed to be dating this guy.   I knew that he was probably my parents’ worst nightmare.  But because I wasn’t walking with HIM, because I had followed my own desires and not clung to what I knew to be true, I was in a bad spot. 

Matt:  I was the same way.  I thought I was GOD’s gift to the world.  And I grew up thinking life’s a party.  I am just supposed to enjoy life.

Well, relationships don’t work when it goes one way.  I had had so many broken relationships by the time I met Megan, life was starting to become a drag.  That started to reveal and create a crater in me. 

And remember, I am living with the theology of happy.  So I have to stay happy!  So, I had started to experiment with pot, pills, and before long I was just living a life of what they call, “Functional Bent.”   I got up in the morning and I got high and I stayed high all day long because life was a party. 

Bob:  Was this going on at the time you met Megan?

Matt:  Yes!  It was!  You’re living a truly duplicitous life in that, I was putting on one face, but I was deeply crippled. 

Bob:  Did you know that the cute boy was also smoking dope and taking pills?

Megan:  I did!

Bob:  But you were still drawn to him? 

Megan:  I was still drawn to him and I did think that if he just knew Jesus . . .  now keep in mind . . . you have to wonder, does she even know Jesus? 

Matt:  Oh yeah!  Because we were smoking pot and having sex . . . It’s like, here she is telling me that, “I need to become a Christian,” I was saying, “you look just like me.  What’s the difference?”

Dennis:  She loves the spotlight, you love yourself, and here are two people who are somehow getting along with each other in the midst of ego being on the throne.

Megan:  You got it!

Bob:  So how long from this point until you said, “We ought to combine our dysfunctions and make a marriage out of this?” 

Megan:  Right!

Dennis:  Did you cohabit?

Megan:  We did not!  No!   Because keep in mind, even though I was not walking with the Lord, I had a lot of ‘do‘s and don’ts‘(morals).  I was raised in this Baptist church from Kindergarten through the 8th grade and I was in an evangelical private Christian school.  I knew better.

Bob:  So you had your standards, “I may be smoking dope with my boyfriend and sleeping with him, but he is not going to move in.”  Right?

Megan:  Absolutely!

Matt:  That’s where you were truly duplicitous and it started to affect you physically, right?

Megan:  It did!  I was physically ill.  Because when you are living a double life, when you are trying to serve two masters, it can take its toll on you a number of ways.  For me it worked itself out physically.  I was just always was kind of sick to my stomach. Because I knew that I was being rebellious.  I knew I was being disobedient.

Dennis:  So why did you get married?  I mean here you have everything that you know???

Matt:  Hey listen, after I graduated, I moved out to Georgia went to intern for Capricorn Records.  I was living with some guys, growing weed in their attic.  I was playing with some rock stars and hanging out and just going further down.  I got into crystal meth.  And just different bad news things. 

She was finishing up her senior year and she got involved with a Beth Moore study.  Away from my influence she starts going to another church.  She calling me back and saying, ‘you’re in a bad place.’  We are still talking on the phone; obviously, because we are dating and you’re telling me things like . . .

Megan:  You need Jesus!  And he is saying, we have dated for two and half years, you have always kind of talked about God, and “am I saved?  Have I accepted Christ as my Savior?”  But now, like he said, he is in a different state.  I can remember a very specific moment where I was literally just on the floor on my face.  And God said, now is the time, little girl, you have got to get right. 

I was calling him in Georgia and saying, “Okay, if we are going to stay together, if we are going to give it a go at this, things have got to change.”  And like he said he is going further and further and spiraling down. 

I get this opportunity to go work on a cruise ship; to sing and dance on a cruise ship.  As I am going through the audition process and I get hired and as I was looking at a script in the show, I noticed they still needed another male singer that is going to do the Rock-n-Roll part of the show. 

Matt:  So she calls me and she says, “Look, you are not doing anything out there but getting high all day and going nowhere, if you will leave all that behind . . .

Megan:  I will get you a job on this cruise ship.  

Matt:  Shave the beard. Get on the cruise ship.  And here we are going to ports of call through the Caribbean, and we are singing musical theater.  Now, all of a sudden, I am back to the theater, doing this on a cruise ship . . .

Megan:  And the irony was, it should have been the most fantastic kind of adventure of our young lives.  Here we are going to these beautiful exotic locations; getting to sing and dance for all of these passengers, getting great money, but we were fighting like cats and dogs.  I was trying to get him to do a Bible study and he is reading . . .

Matt:  I don’t know...all kinds of liberal theology.  I am running off into the islands with Rastafarian, getting high.  It was just nutty.  We were arguing day and night.  We had some like Titanic moments on the deck in the middle of the night.  Arguing!  What are you going to do?  Are going to get your life right? 

But in the midst of that I was realizing that somehow God has given me a gift.  He had given me Megan.   Because in the midst of all that I was doing; all that I was good and mostly bad, that she was having to deal with me in my selfishness.  I was experiencing grace.  I was experiencing grace from her.  I was saying, she was engaged and she wanted more from me than I even wanted from myself and that calling to relationship.  I was starting to open my eyes to this slowly, very slowly, right?

Megan:  Very slowly.

Matt:  Because I am having to undo a lot of half-truths in my own walk.  We got off the ship. She went to Texas.

Megan:  He proposed.

Matt:  I proposed – out of nowhere. 

Megan:  I said ‘Yes!’

Matt:  She said, ‘yes’ – and we got married.

Megan:  Well, we went through some pre-marital counseling.

Matt:  Right.

Megan:  I think that planted the seeds.

Matt:  I confess I knew what I needed to say to get through that.

Bob:  Did you think he had had a spiritual transformation in his life?

Megan:  Well, this… 

Matt:  It was wishful thinking right?

Megan:  Well, this is going to show where I was at.   I was okay with him just giving the right answers.  Oh!  That just breaks my heart to even admit.  But at that point, I was satisfied with him giving the lip service.  I guess I was just praying that God would be merciful and at some point make that ‘lip service’ a true transformation of the heart.  No!  I did not think he had truly accepted Christ.

Bob:  Well Megan, you have to know, everyday there are thousands of young women who know better.

Megan:  Yes

Bob:  Or young men who know better, who are okay with the right answers, because there is such a longing in their heart for a relationship; such a longing in their hearts for intimacy.  If we can just get the right answers, then we can have what we have always wanted.  I mean we see this as we talk to engaged couples at the Weekend to Remember marriage conference.

You have talked to know that that desire can be so overwhelming in the life of a single person …

Dennis:  It can become an idol.

Bob:  That you are willing to take a lukewarm, half-hearted, lip service to Christianity and say “well that’s it – we are okay now – right?” 

Dennis:  Yes!  And the real danger here is that Megan was involved physically, emotionally, with Matt and …

Bob:  That clouds everything!

Dennis:  I am telling you, as a father, one of the things I constantly warned both my sons and daughters about was that after you give yourself to someone, you don’t think objectively.

Megan:  That is true!

Dennis:  You have to protect and create boundaries in a relationship so that you can ultimately hear the voice of God.  I used to say to my kids is when you get involved sexually it is like the orchestra warming up with the drums.  Whatever follows next you never hear, because the drums completely mask the flute, the oboes, the violins, whatever…  But, you start with the lighter instruments, as you warm up the symphony. 

That is what a relationship was meant to be.  It was meant to start getting to know another person, finding out about their values, finding out about what is the center of their lives, who is the center of their live, is it themselves or is it Christ, and how those choices are demonstrated by what we choose and what we live, and what we serve.

Bob:  You and I have both talked to a lot of couples over the years who have attended the Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference and there are engaged couples, and they are struggling at this very point, because their relationship has gotten clouded with what is going on physically.  We talk to them about the need to blow the fog away by committing to purity in their relationship no matter what they have been doing up until that point. 

Make a commitment to be pure until they arrive at the altar and say “I do.”  It does help uncloud some of the cloudiness of the engagement period.  For some of those couples it means that the relationship is over. 

But that is okay, because we would rather see couples come to the Weekend to Remember as an engaged couples and decide not to marry, then to come back a few years later, having married, and now they are trying to deal with some of the relational struggles that should have dealt with on the front end. 

I mention all that because this week is the last opportunity FamilyLife Today listeners have to register for an upcoming Weekend to Remember marriage conference this fall.  When you and your spouse register at the regular rate, we are going to send you a certificate for another couple to attend absolutely free. 

So, if you are coming as an engaged couple, it’s you and your fiancé, or you and your boyfriend, or you and your girlfriend coming to the Weekend To Remember, again, when you sign up for the regular registration rate, and you identify yourself as a FamilyLife Today listener, not only will you be able to attend, but we are going to send you a certificate for another couple to attend with you as your guests.  Or a couple in another city can go at another time, but the certificate is good for another couple to attend absolutely free. 

It is a ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ opportunity for the Weekend to Remember and the offer is good through the end of this week and it is only for FamilyLife Today listeners.  When you call make sure you let us know that you listen to FamilyLife Today.  Either say, “Bob told me to call or I am a FamilyLife listener.”

1-800-FL-TODAY is the number.  We can answer any questions you have about the conference, get you registered over the phone, but make sure you identify yourself as a FamilyLife Today listener.

Or register online at, and when you are filling out the registration form, type my name, type “Bob” into the key code box on the registration form and it will all be taken care of with that.

We do hope you will plan to attend and upcoming conference.  Bring another couple with you.  In fact it is great for a couple of couples to come together to the conference.  It really is a fun weekend for all of you to enjoy together when you come to a Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference.

For more information go online at, or call us, toll-free, 1-800-FL-TODAY and someone on our team can answer any questions you have about the conference or get you all set up to attend a conference this fall.

Let me just mention the Weekend to Remember is also available on audio CD if you are not able to attend for whatever reason this fall and you are interested in getting the audio CDs go to our website and there is information available there about how you can get the conference on CD. 

There is also information about the CDs that Matt and Megan Magill have recorded.  You can find out more about how you can hear some of their music and we have some samples for you online.  That is at, and we hope you stop by.

Now tomorrow, we are going to hear more from Matt and Megan Magill and we are going to hear how Matt’s ongoing use of marijuana landed him in jail in Manhattan.  That is coming up tomorrow.  Hope you can be back with us for that.

We want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team.

On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I am Bob Lepine.  We will see you back tomorrow for another addition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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