It’s been more than 20 years, but Montell Jordan’s indelible mark on the music industry remains solidly intact. Now a worship pastor at Victory World Church in Atlanta, GA, the Grammy nominee whose hit song, “This is How We Do It” remains a fan favorite, is on a mission, along with his wife Kristin, to strengthen marriages. Married for almost 22 years, the Jordans share their road map to marriage success in their book, “This is How We Do It – Making Your Marriage a Masterpeace.” JET spoke to Jordan about his passion for healthy relationships and how this book can serve to bring true peace to marriages.
JET: Tell us about the book.
Montell Jordan: The premise [of the book] is that, in life, as we are attempting to find balance between job, career, finance, family, spouse, friendship—just a whole big balance where we have all these different pieces—we believe that marriage is the closest thing that resembles the love that God has for us. If we can emulate that here on earth with our spouse and if we are able to make marriage that masterpiece of the puzzle, then we will be able to master peace in our lives.
JET: Why was this such an important calling for you guys?
Montell Jordan: It is an extremely important calling for Kristin and me because we were very music/business/fame driven. There came a time when we had to make a choice between the music business and our marriage; and we had to make a choice between the music industry and our ministry. Through the twenty-something years that we were in the music business, we have watched other couples marry and divorce. We’ve watched some people not marry at all; we’ve watched the business become the business of people’s lives and marriage has taken a back seat to fame as a substitute for what we believe is the biggest gift God ever gave to us. So, knowing what we know now and looking back at couples who didn’t make it, and the relationships that fell by the wayside, we want to try to do more to help couples who are in entertainment and who are athletes to know that this [marriage] relationship is the most important relationship they can have beyond their personal relationship with God.
JET: Was the transition from Grammy nominee to worship pastor a difficult one for you?
Montell Jordan: Extremely difficult because even though God was calling and had been calling for quite some time, I knew from the time I was a child that I was supposed to be in ministry. I just didn’t answer that call. So, I spent many years, both my wife and I, in what we were gifted to do but not what we were called or purposed to do. We were left with lots of accomplishments that were empty. So the lure of fame, finance, notoriety and relevance were counterfeit for what God’s love meant for us and for our lives. We understand that God’s love is real and the love that the music business provides is counterfeit. And I don’t say that to be negative. What I mean by counterfeit is, I used to say, “I love music.” The reality of it is that music can’t love me back. My wife, kids, and people can love me back. Music can never love me back. I said I would dedicate my life, my blood, sweat and tears to something that can never love me back. That’s an abusive relationship. When we finally determined that we were going to exchange the counterfeit love for the love that would not fail or turn against us and would love us whether we were relevant or not.
JET: What advice would you offer to someone who is up and coming and wants to learn how to preserve the relationships that are important to them?
Montell Jordan: The first thing I would say is you have to know whose you are in order to know who you are. If you don’t know whose you are when you enter the music business, there are plenty of people who will tell you who you are. The second thing is [to] know the difference between flexibility and compromise. There are some things you can be flexible on, but there should be some non-negotiables. The third piece is to understand that humans are not designed to carry fame. That’s a tough one for people to understand because they want to be famous. God told Abraham, “I will make you famous. I will make your name great.” If you try to achieve this by yourself, you may do it, but it will only be for a brief amount of time. When God makes you famous, it can be eternal because it will have an eternal value.
To learn more about Montell, Kristin and their new book, visit their website at www.montellandkristin.com.