Husband-and-wife duo Out of the Dust, comprised of Chris and Stephanie Teague, will release their self-titled national debut album on March 7th, via Discovery House Music. Out of the Dust features 11 songs birthed from a difficult and raw time in the Chris and Stephanie's lives, including a separation, divorce, and remarriage. Their lyrics address not only the pain and reality that life brings, but the hope and healing that Jesus offers. These memorable songs will speak to the hearts of listeners as they make sense of their own lives.
Q: Thank you very much for your time. Let's start with your own story. Chris, I believe there was a time when you got into drugs that led to a divorce. What happened there? How did you first get hook on drugs?
Our divorce was a function of many different things happening all around the same time. These things built up for years. Doubt, lies, rebellion, poor communication and also an attachment to the feelings that came from drugs (marijuana specifically, which started in college and in the music industry) all played a big part in what ultimately led to our divorce. Throughout that period of my life, I idolized many things and used them as counterfeit to try and satisfy the parts of me that only God could. I didn't trust Him to do that. Wasn't that the original sin in the garden, though? "My will" over His. Selfishness over surrender. We're all guilty of this!
Q: What turned you around to repentance and re-commitment to Christ? Or to quote your own song, what "awakened the sleeper to come to life"?
No matter how much I tried to convince everyone that I was doing them a favor by leaving, I still ripped their hearts out for the sake of my selfishness. And unsurprisingly I didn't leave that selfishness behind with them. It came right along with me. Decision after decision was made in the name of "me." I didn't see it at the time, but it all just kept piling up and piling up. So, after months of this, I couldn't take it anymore and all those decisions lead to their natural end. I wound up flat on my face. I see it now as an act of God's grace to let me get to that point of anxiously waking up in cold sweats, scared and feeling alone... because that's where he found me. When I finally came to my end, He was there with perfect love.
Q: How did that reconciliation back to your wife Stephanie lead to the two of you to singing and to recording your new album?
We have always leaned toward music, but funny enough we never pursued any projects together until after God restored our marriage! Our music is one of the most important things to us in life. We are incredibly proud of the album we created, but we offer it with open hands in hopes that God will use it to lead people to a completely transformed relationship and life with Him through Jesus. We hope that God uses our story and our music to do that in small and big ways!
Q: What's the significance behind your titular OUT OF THE DUST?
In Genesis we find the story of creation where God breathes into the inanimate dust and dirt of the earth and creates life. In our story, the dust and dirt was our divorce and my non-belief and the new life that we have been given is a restoration of our marriage, beautiful children and a calling to pursue together. We understand that no one is immune from the hardships of life. But we also believe that those who call Jesus their savior can rest in knowing that God is strong enough, wise enough and beautiful enough to take all the junk in our lives and use it to make us more loving, empathetic and more like Him. Our message and story are full of hope and redemption, so our name represents what we've been through and what we're about.
Q: How would you describe the style of music as represented in this album?
Pop, folk and soft rock. Probably in that order, ha! We had some incredible help producing this record and we tried as hard as we could to make it great. We get tired of hearing the same old things sometimes, so we tried to make music that is familiar and catchy, but also interesting and with some surprises thrown in. Our producers Joe Causey and Kyle Cummings are masters of their craft, so we worked hard writing songs that would be worthy of their time!
Q: How do you think this record will help those who are struggling in their relationships and are broken?
A great modern Christian thinker whom we love says that the 2 primary paths of Godly transformation come through great love and great suffering. We have lived through both and can attest to the power that love and suffering can have on all of our lives. Our album is certainly joyful and hopeful, but it also isn't ignorant or dismissive towards the struggles and suffering of life. It's a real-life record from real-life people who simply want others to know that God understands our pain. He feels it with us because He lived through it too. He's not a far off God... absent or uncaring. He's near to the broken hearted and He wants to heal us and redeem our pain by using it to heal others. That is what our record reflects.
Q: Over all the ordeals, what is the most important lesson you learnt about Jesus?
What we've learned about Jesus specifically is that He is not content with quiet, safe love. True love demands that we live differently. Radically different. Jesus would rather us be cold than be lukewarm Christians. The reason is that those who have been truly transformed by him CANNOT be lukewarm or on the fence. How powerful does that make Him if we are transformed but still ride the fence? His love brings ultimate transformation. It's not about behaving a certain way or being morally superior... it's about loving like He did and prioritizing our lives like He did. The book of Acts tells us "It was at Antioch that believers were first called Christians." They called believers Christians because they were Christlike... we should aim to be deserving of such a title!