Michael W. Smith: Two Decades
as God's Instrument
By Marti Paradee and David
The 700 Club
Lisa Ryan visited Michael and his wife, Debbie, at their home in Franklin,
LISA RYAN: Tell me about the first time that you saw Debbie.
MICHAEL W. SMITH: I was at a record company, actually, in Nashville,
Tennessee, and was going to have a meeting and she walked by where I was sitting
in the lobby. My head turned, and it just really rocked my world, honestly,
because I wasnt ready for it.
DEBBIE SMITH: Well, I wasnt either. (Laughter)
MICHAEL W. SMITH: I began to pray. I prayed two different things:
that she would walk back by and that she wouldnt because I knew my life
would change forever. It was just weird. It was so surreal.
DEBBIE SMITH: He even called his mom.
MICHAEL W. SMITH: Yeah, I called my mom and just.
LISA RYAN: Oh, thats serious.
MICHAEL W. SMITH: I called mom right after I saw her for the second
time and was talking a hundred miles an hour, going, 'Mom, youre just
not going to believe. I just saw this girl. Im going to marry her, mom,
and spend the rest of my life with her. This is the girl Im going to
LISA RYAN: And you havent even met her yet.
MICHAEL W. SMITH: No. It was so funny because my mom said, 'Whats
her name, son?' I said, 'Mom, I dont know. I dont know her name.'
I think the fleece for us was that we did fall in love. We were engaged three-and-a-half
weeks after the first date.
LISA RYAN: Three-and-a-half weeks?!
DEBBIE SMITH: I dont recommend that, either.
MICHAEL W. SMITH: I dont recommend that either, And married
four months later. We dont recommend that either. It was pretty quick.
LISA RYAN: And youve been married
MICHAEL W. SMITH: Twenty-two years.
LISA RYAN: Well, it seemed to work for you guys.
W. SMITH: Yeah. Theres this real desire on our part to be the man
and woman of God that He wants us to be, and to do that you have to be a servant.
Thats what were called to do, and so as you grow up and hopefully
get wiser, you just find out that serving brings more joy in your life than
anything. Thats the thing I would tell first of all to couples. First
of all, you need to just absolutely pray with all your might that God will
give you a heart for Him more than anything -- for Him. (Points up to heaven)
You start falling in love with God and this thing will work.
LISA RYAN (reporting): Debbie wrote the lyrics for the now famous
song "Friends" from his first record, The Michael W. Smith Project.
DEBBIE SMITH: We had a friend who would come to our home and lead
a Bible study with people from our church, young couples and singles, and
he found out that he was going to move. So, it was the last Sunday he was
coming to do the Bible study that evening. In the afternoon, wed been
studying I think it was Ephesians. I just told Michael, 'Wouldnt it
be neat to write him a song to say goodbye?' So I just sat down and looked
over that Scripture and just wrote it down quickly, in 15 minutes. I handed
it to Michael. He looked at it and said, 'OK,' and sits at the piano and starts
writing the music. Literally, it was written in about 30 minutes, which rarely
happens, for me definitely. Little did we know that this song would really
speak to a lot of people about a lot of situations.
LISA RYAN (reporting): Michael and Debbie have five children: Ryan,
Whitney, Tyler, Emily, and Anna.
LISA RYAN: Youre coming out with the Second Decade project.
Youve also done a song with your son Ryan called "Signs." Tell me about
MICHAEL W. SMITH: Yeah, its awesome. I mean, for me as a dad
to be able to do something with your son, thats a bit surreal, too.
It just seemed like, golly, he was just 8 the other day and now hes
20 and hes a young man. We go through those days where, oh gosh, we
failed. We havent raised them right. Then you see them serving somebody.
Or then you see your son in a prayer closet with the door shut and you go
wow! Thats amazing. So, good stuff.
RYAN (reporting): Along the way, Michael W. Smith has made friends with
some very well known and important people, including President George W. Bush.
President Bush asked Michael to write a song dealing with the tragic events
of September 11, 2001. The song is titled "There She Stands."
MICHAEL W. SMITH: It was great to go back and play the song for President
Bush. First time, I believe it was when we were in Kennebunkport.
LISA RYAN: How did he respond?
MICHAEL W. SMITH: He got teared up. He always tears up (laughter).
Thats where were a lot alike. Were emotional. And it was
so funny because when I played it for him, I said, 'You remember that conversation
we had?' I said, 'I think this is the result of it.' So I played it, and,
obviously, everybody got teared up: Daddy Bush and Mrs. Bush. Ill go
out on a limb and say this: I think my best work is still to come. Thats
a really good feeling being the age that I am. (Laughter)
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.