The Light Breaks Through
About the Guest
All that glitters isn’t always gold. Today Matt and Megan Magill talk about chasing their dreams of stardom to New York City, only to find their marriage in shambles just as Megan’s career as an actress was taking off. Matt recalls how he hit rock bottom when he was jailed for buying drugs on a city street.
All that glitters isn’t always gold.
The Light Breaks Through
Megan: I certainly was starting to think why did I get so invested? Why did I let that summer fling turn into a marriage? At what point did I just surrender the rest of my life to being unequally yoked? I really did think that after we were married things would change. That he would realize the responsibility and weight of being a husband and the party days would take a back seat.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, August 11, 2009. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I am Bob Lepine. We’ll hear today that Matt Magill’s party days didn’t slow down after he got married. In fact, they got him arrested.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today! Thanks for joining us!
If you had to give counsel to parents—let’s say a mom and a dad came to you and they said our daughter has started dating this guy and we’re a little worried about what we are seeing. We don’t know whether we should step in. We don’t want to damage the relationship with our daughter but we are really concerned. She seems head over heels. In fact, we are concerned that they may be physically involved with one another. What kind of counsel would you give them?
Dennis: Before the handoff at the altar in my opinion a mom and a dad have not only the right to speak into their son or daughter’s life but they have the responsibility. For us on more than one occasion Barbara and I had to call some time outs for our adult children as they were seriously dating someone and about to make what we would consider a mistake. Either marrying someone who was not strong enough and that may have been spiritually or in leadership to love and honor and protect and care for. I’ll tell you some of the most frightening moments as a parent occurred when we felt like we put the relationship on the line.
I remember with our daughter Ashley driving back from Mississippi one time having had a conversation with her and I felt like this could cost us our relationship. We may sever our ties because Bob, to the point of your question, we basically told our daughter this young man is not right for you. We want you to know we’ve prayed about it and talked about it. Having said that, I have this warning for parents--you better be careful about firing that bullet very often. That is a heavy thing to say to an adult child who may be involved sexually. You may not be able to turn their hearts.
Fortunately for our daughter that was not the case and she turned away from the relationship and ultimately married a fine man who we did bless in that relationship. We’re talking about the responsibility of parents to look into the lives of their children and I can’t help but wonder if the couple that we have with us today couldn’t have used a mom or a dad stepping into the relationship perhaps with some pretty potent words.
Bob: That’s the reason I brought it up because the story we’ve been hearing this week from our guests is that kind of a story. This is a good place for me to step in and remind our listeners that this is the last week that you can sign up to attend an upcoming Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference. If you register at the regular price as a couple we are going to send you a certificate for another couple to attend absolutely free.
I mention that because this is a great conference for couples to go to before they are married. There are a couple of sessions in the conference where we talk straight about what you need to be considering before you get married. It’s kind of a reality check on marriage and we also talk straight about the issue of purity during the time when you are dating and engaged.
It’s a great conference for engaged couples. It’s a great conference for married couples and if you sign up to attend before the end of this week you and your spouse sign up at the regular rate and we’ll send you a certificate so that another couple can attend with you or as your guests in another city absolutely free.
To take advantage of this offer we need to hear from you before the end of the week and you need to let us know that you are a FamilyLife Today listener. If you’re registering online at FamilyLifeToday.com just make sure you type my name. Type “Bob” in the promo code box on the registration form or call 1-800-FL-TODAY. We can answer any questions you have and get you registered over the phone.
Just mention that you are a FamilyLife Today listener or mention my name “Bob” and again when you sign up for the regular registration fee as a couple we’ll send you a certificate for another couple to attend either with you as your guests or in another city as your guests buy one get one opportunity. It’s good for FamilyLife Today listeners and it expires by the end of the week. Get in touch with us at FamilyLifeToday.com or by calling 1-800-FL-TODAY.
Now let me welcome back our guests to the program this week—Matt and Megan Magill. Let me recap their story for our listeners. Matt and Megan welcome back to FamilyLife Today.
Matt: Good to be here.
Megan: Thank you.
Bob: Your story was that the two of you met while you were doing theatre in college. Megan you grew up in a Christian home. Matt you grew up in kind of a nominal church going home right? By the time you were in college Megan, you’d backslidden from your faith. Along comes the cute new lead boy in the musical and you guys fell right into a relationship with one another and you fell right into one another’s arms literally.
Megan: Summer loving.
Bob: That’s right. At the point two and a half years later where Matt proposes and you say yes the question that was on my mind was I wonder what Megan’s parents think about Matt. I wonder if they have said anything to Megan and raised any concerns. Had that been any part of the conversation?
Megan: Absolutely, on several occasions. They loved Matt. He was…
Matt: Eddie Haskell…I was a charmer with a hidden agenda but not in a deceptive way. I knew what I wanted but I also knew that I was in a culture of Christianity and I needed to say the right things to get a ring of Megan’s finger and get her out of Texas.
Dennis: Did your parents see through all of that?
Megan: They did. In fact you guys had some pretty intense conversations where there were lots of tears and some raised voices.
Matt: Yes, especially with your mom. She would say you’ve got to believe that Christ is the son of God and I would say but how can he be the son of God and man both?
Megan: He and Mom would get in to these kind of theological debates where she was just broken hearted that he didn’t believe.
Bob: Did she have any idea that he smoked dope?
Bob: So no idea that he’d done any crystal meth?
Megan: Oh, goodness, no.
Bob: Any idea that her sweet little daughter was doing any of this?
Megan: Oh, goodness, no. No.
Dennis: What about sleeping together? Did they have any idea about that?
Megan: I would like to think that they were probably not as naïve as I thought they were at the time. We certainly didn’t talk about it. I will say Matt wasn’t my first boyfriend. In high school and even early on in college I had other boyfriends. By the time Matt came around I think my parents were pretty broken hearted.
Bob: Megan is making choices that we are not happy with.
Megan: Yes. Our sweet miracle baby and gift from God although she still claims to love the Lord and claims that Jesus is the Lord of her life there isn’t evidence. She’s palling around with these guys that we’re not in agreement with.
Dennis: Here’s the thing I would want say to parents who are listening in and thinking this is my worst nightmare as they picture this thing unfolding. Use the Weekend to Remember as a pre requisite before you bless the relationship. In other words, when our kids decided to get married we’d say we’ll give you permission to begin the process but before you get married you must go to the engaged sessions at the Weekend to Remember.
Bob: Yes, we have two special sessions that are a part of the Weekend to Remember. Actually the conference began as a conference for engaged couples, right?
Dennis: It did.
Bob: So the material we’re presenting to married couples we also have some break-out sessions that we also do for engaged couples and it really gives these folks who are looking at marriage an opportunity to understand what marriage is all about from the beginning. And then secondly to evaluate their current relationship and say is this a relationship we should continue to pursue?
Dennis: And it introduces them to Jesus Christ. I’m just wondering what would have happened to Matt if he had had the whole weekend to sit and soak and heard a blueprint for a marriage relationship. It’s not weird. It’s very logical and out of the scripture and it also talks about how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Ultimately that’s what you needed.
Matt: Yes, we got married and moved to New York 10 days before September 11th. We were there.
Megan: We moved into our apartment on September 1st. We had loaded up the U Haul and driven across country. We took out a loan to move to New York City. We had no jobs and no prospects of jobs. We didn’t know a soul but were that confident that we would…
Bob: You are going to conquer Broadway.
Megan: You got it.
Matt: And I’m going to get into a rock-n-roll band.
Megan: They are going to say Matt and Megan, finally, you have arrived!
Dennis: Here’s Matt. A big fish in a small pond in Weatherford, Oklahoma.
Bob: Even in Oklahoma City he was pretty well known there.
Dennis: Now you are a small fry in the ocean of New York City.
Matt: Without a job or prospects of one. There were no jobs in a rock band to speak of and a drug addiction.
Dennis: So you took that with you, the drug addiction?
Matt: Oh, yes because I was so good at hiding.
Megan: At this point it wasn’t so out in the open. It was kind of like yes, I’ve cleaned up my act.
Bob: But you knew he was still smoking…
Megan: I did and I would make threats to no avail. There were lots of broken bongs that got thrown up against the wall. For listeners who don’t know what that is it’s drug paraphernalia.
Bob: But I have to go back here Megan. You were marrying a guy who was smoking dope all the time, right?
Megan: I was. Thank you for pointing that out.
Bob: Well, somewhere in the back of your mind there had to be a little thought, this could be a mistake. He is a sweet guy and he’s very respectful to my parents but he’s smoking dope all the time.
Megan: I did think that this could be a mistake and I’m embarrassed to even admit this but I’m just going to go ahead and tell you. I really did think that after we were married things would change. He would realize the responsibility and the weight of being a husband and the party days would take a back seat.
Bob: I’m glad you admitted it because of the number of folks who right now are thinking when I marry her she’ll change. When I marry him he’ll change. Your first year of marriage was pretty rough wasn’t it?
Matt: Well, let’s just say this. Two months after living in New York Megan got a phone call at around 8:00 at night and it was me and it was my one phone call. I said, “Honey, they picked me up.” She said, “What do you mean?”
Well, I’m in a holding cell down in lower Manhattan. I was trying to buy drugs on the street and out of nowhere this cop car pulls up and I’ve got my hands behind my back. Now I’m spending the night in New York City after two months this western Oklahoma boy is in a holding cell in downtown Manhattan looking around at the company that I’m with and I’m thinking who am I? What have I done?
Most crushing was thinking of my beautiful talented lovely bride who’s prayed for me now for years. She’s sitting at home having to answer phone calls from her parents when they ask where I am.
Megan: I think he went to the grocery store.
Bob: How long were you in jail?
Matt: Just overnight but it was a new low.
Bob: Were you broken?
Bob: Was this the turning point?
Megan: You would think.
Matt: Well, you would think. Here’s the deal. This was the point where I started to realize I have a problem but my answer was self reliance. I can change this. Honey, I’m not going to do this anymore. Honey, I’ll only get high on the weekends. Honey, I’ll be much safer. I’ll only have the dealers come over to the house. I won’t go outside. I didn’t really know anybody at that time so I had to go out and get it. Remember I have to keep the party going. My theology is the theology of happy and celebration constantly because God loves me. I deserve to be happy.
Megan: I would go away for extended periods of time doing musicals bringing Broadway to Arkansas.
Bob: So your career was happening?
Megan: Yes. I was working. My name wasn’t necessarily in lights but I was a working actress.
Dennis: Were you floating the boat financially for his drug habit?
Matt: No, I started to work a lot in New York City as a cater waiter. There is a whole sub culture of cater waiters so I was working for like $12 an hour for 70 hours a week. You can get high and do these kinds of jobs. You can do these kinds of jobs with your eyes shut. She was also working as well. While she was away in Kansas City or wherever you would travel around to I would be alone, friendless, drug addicted, porn addicted in New York City just totally defeated.
Bob: Did you know that your husband was back home alone, drug addicted, porn addicted, defeated in New York City?
Megan: I did or at least I had a feeling. I wore out my copy of The Power of a Praying Wife, Bible studies, and praying for him. While I was away it wasn’t so bad because I wasn’t having to face it every day. That was just the nature of my job that kept me away. But then I would come back to New York City and be reminded of just where he was at.
Dennis: To that point comment on how his pornography addiction impacted you as his wife.
Bob: Were you aware that he was looking at porn?
Megan: Well, anytime we had a conversation about that he would tell me that it was so common place that every man did it that I must expect him to be like Superman or something. The truth was I knew he wouldn’t be able to fight that demon without the Holy Spirit and without knowing Christ as his personal Savior. It was almost an unfair request to ask him to act in a way that he didn’t know.
Bob: It was contrary to who he was.
Megan: Exactly. It broke my heart but it just kind of went along with the whole allusion of our life at that time.
Bob: So your life is on track spiritually at this point, right?
Megan: It is. It’s on track spiritually but I’m alone.
Bob: And your career is on track?
Megan: It is.
Bob: Your husband is lonely and depressed and drug addicted but hacking it out in New York. You’re still trying to be a rock star.
Matt: Still looking for rock and roll. Recording little things here and there.
Megan: Doing some crazy projects with some very eccentric characters in New York.
Bob: Was there ever a time you looked at a guy in the chorus line on the shows that you were in and thought I wish I’d waited for him?
Megan: Well, not necessarily the chorus line but I certainly was starting the think why did I get so invested? Why did I let that summer fling turn into a marriage? At what point did I just surrender the rest of my life to being unequally yoked? I really did think that I was going to be that woman who goes to church alone, that takes her kids to church, and the whole church is praying for her husband who is at home on the couch.
Matt: Here I am and I’m starting to see that these things that I’m dealing with I’m compensating. I’m starting to experience the fact that I’m no longer on top. This is no longer a celebration this is medicine for a failed life.
I had a wife but I had hit bottom in a way. I’m doing a job that doesn’t make sense why am I doing this? I’ve got all this talent in my mind but it’s not being used. I can’t stop getting high. When she’s away I’m looking at porn. I’m just starting to understand that this is no longer me celebrating life on top but it’s me medicating my ego for what has become a failed life.
Bob: It is interesting because when we started this story you walked in off the street to be the lead in Tommy. You had the world by the tail. Flash forward ahead five years and you’re a cater waiter getting high and you can’t get your music thing going and your wife’s career is doing okay. If I’m a guy sitting in your shoes I’d start to get a little depressed.
Matt: I’m thinking what am I doing? I’m getting phone calls from my parents saying are you happy? That question is playing like mad with my brain. I’m thinking, am I happy? What a divisive question to ask a married man. Are you happy?
I know now on the other side that marriage is as Gary Thomas puts it not created by God to make us happy though it certainly is a byproduct of joy. Marriage is created to make us holy. I was resisting holiness. I was resisting the teaching and education that Christ was giving me.
C.S. Lewis says if you’re not a Christian you shouldn’t even get married because marriage is a covenant that is based on the love of God for us. So, me entering into a covenant with Megan was like I was getting the reverse.
You said first they should go to the Weekend to Remember what I was getting was a slow painful death of my old life. To the extent that I would surrender to that death and allow that death to happen the second birth to happen. I was already in the sacrament of marriage and it was the sacrament of marriage that was teaching me who God wanted me to be.
Bob: I wonder how many folks hear what Matt and Megan are describing and think either that is our situation. I’m married to somebody who doesn’t know Christ or they are looking at a son or daughter heading in this direction and they feel hopeless.
Dennis: Well the rest of the story hasn’t been told obviously or they wouldn’t be on our broadcast.
Dennis: The reality is God’s power always works best in a grave yard.
Matt: There’s a song there, Dennis. (laughter)
Dennis: You are on your way toward dying to self so that you might finally place your faith in Christ. He might create a new person. We’ll hear more about that but to that listener who is in the marriage that’s identifying with what is taking place here no matter how bad it is he really does work in hopeless situations. Frankly if I were you right now as a listener and I was in a situation like you were talking about I’d call friend and ask them to pray for me. That I would not lose hope in doing good to my spouse. You may be like Megan. You may be the only light in that person’s life.
Bob: Then if there is a way that the two of you can get to a Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference or if you can get a group to go with you to a conference we have seen God do some remarkable things with couples who are in very difficult desperate situations coming to one of these Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences. Most of the folks who come honestly are not in that situation. Most of the folks are coming for a refresher or a tune up to strengthen their marriage relationship but we have seen couples who have come in a tough spot and God has done some work at the Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference.
Right now through the end of this week our FamilyLife Today listeners have the opportunity to register for an upcoming fall conference and when you register at the regular rate we are going to send you a certificate for another couple attend with you absolutely free. If you know of a couple that is in a tough spot or if you are in a tough spot and you want to bring another couple along with you to help you through the weekend call us toll free at 1-800-FL-TODAY or go online at FamilyLife Today.com and register for the conference.
You have to register this week and you have to register as a FamilyLife Today listener. So if you register online when you come to the promo code box on the registration form just type in my name “Bob” and we’ll know you are a FamilyLife Today listener and you will qualify for the “buy-one-get-one-free” opportunity we have going on this week.
Or if it is easier just call 1-800-FL-TODAY. 1-800-358-6329 and we can get you registered over the phone. Just make sure you mention that you listen to FamilyLife Today. Again, when you register for one couple at the regular rate we’ll send you a certificate for a second couple to attend absolutely free. Let us hear from you this week and take advantage of this Weekend to Remember special opportunity and plan to attend the conference this fall.
It really is a great get away for couples. It’s a lot of fun and is relaxing and refreshing. It does provide help and hope for couples in their marriage relationship. You get the biblical blueprints for building a stronger marriage. Once again the web site is FamilyLife Today.com or call toll free 1-800-FL-TODAY.
Now tomorrow, Matt and Megan are going to be back with us and we are going to hear how God worked in your marriage. We’ll hear the specifics of what happened to get things back on track for the two of you. I hope our listeners can be 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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