One Thing Christian Singer TobyMac Would Change

TobyMac places fatherhood above singing.

TobyMac places fatherhood above singing.


One of the great things of being a freelance writer for a major daily newspaper like the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel is doing interviews with celebrities and singers. I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing TobyMac by phone for the News-Sentinel and also a story for Focus on Your Child, a magazine published by Focus on the Family for parents of tweens.

The interview for this story was done in 2008 but I’m happy to say TobyMac is still a great Christian, singer, husband and dad. He’s also nearly 50 years old! Hardly acts like it on stage when he’s jumping around! In this story he shares a personal perspective that is not well-known about his life but pertinent for all dads today.

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For Christian pop singer Toby McKeehan, otherwise known as TobyMac, being a dad carries tremendous responsibility. One parenting goal he has set for himself is to make sure his children – Truett, 9; Moses, 5; Marlee, 5; Leo, 3; and Judah, 1 – know they are loved. He thinks the best way to convey that is through regular interactions. “I knew from the way my parents took care of me that they loved me,” he says.

Since the early 1990s, when he, Michael Tait, and Kevin Max organized the popular Christian contemporary group, dc talk, TobyMac has toured steadily.

In 2000 dc talk disbanded and TobyMac formed his own band. Today, he continues to tour with them and record music.

With a wife and five children awaiting him at home, TobyMac increasingly feels the pains of separation from those he loves most.

“I hate being gone from my family,” he says. “It breaks my heart when I’m on the road four, maybe five days a week. I’m sharing God’s love and music, but it kills me to be away from my kids.”

TobyMac believes these prolonged periods of separation can take a toll on his family. “Certain children have no problem with parents going in and out of their lives, but others can feel the effects.”

The scenario challenges him as a father. “I always ask myself, how long should I do this? My kids know why I go. They know it’s more than making music. But if God told me to change one thing about my parenting style, I think He would tell me to be in their lives more consistently.”

When he is home, TobyMac concentrates on his family. “We sit down to dinner together,” he says. “After dinner, we all do chores. I run the vacuum. Marlee cleans the table. Leo picks up the toy room. We all have jobs.”

Afterward, TobyMac may take his children outside to play. “I run around with them, and we play baseball,” he says. Then everyone goes inside for bath and bedtime. TobyMac reads to them, prays with each one, and tucks them into bed. These are precious times to Dad, especially since he’s not there to do it every night. “I love that routine,” he says. “It kills me to miss it.”

He understands his dedication to family will mean sacrifices in other areas of his life. For example, when male friends extend invitations to get together with him, TobyMac says thanks, but no. “I don’t have that opportunity, because I’m gone a lot,” he says. “When I’m home, I need to be with my family.”

The End
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