Third Day frontman Mac Powell knows what he's doing with a guitar—and with family. Married to his high school sweetheart, Aimee, for 17 years, Mac has a full house with five children, four GRAMMY awards, and 24 Dove awards. Since its start in Marietta, Georgia, in 1992, Third Day is still going strong. This year the group released their 12th album, Miracle, and appeared on 60 Minutes and Jay Leno's Tonight Show before heading out to lead worship at the 2013 Women of Faith Tour, "Believe God Can Do Anything."
"I'm a big believer in doing what's in your heart to do," Mac says. "What is it that makes you happy, what's your ultimate dream? God has placed those goals and desires on our hearts, so why not try to follow them?"
When he's not on the road with the band or as a solo artist (he released his solo country debut, Mac Powell, last August), he's spending time with his family in Atlanta.
"I'm home quite a bit more than what people think," Mac says. "We're never gone more than four or five days during the week—we're not one of those bands that leaves for weeks at a time. So we're able to manage it quite a lot better than people would think."
Familiar with global travel, here's what Mac had to say about keeping long-distance love alive and striking a balance between faith, family, work, and finding inspiration for over two decades of chart-topping CCM and mainstream music.
How do you manage marriage and family when you're on the road?
Cell phones help a lot these days, and Skype. When we first went out on the road, we had to go to a pay phone. There were no cell phones, so everybody was waiting all day for the pay phone. Now you can get in touch a lot easier. We're only gone at most 100 days out of the year, so that leaves 265 days where, for the most part, I'm home.
How do you and your wife, Aimee, stay close and overcome obstacles in your marriage?
We were high school sweethearts. I'm really blessed and honored to be with her. We learned at an early age that couples are going to fight and they're going to argue, so as an early married couple, we learned to do it well. I may raise my voice, and she may say some things she'll regret, but we've learned to talk about how we feel, to listen well, to not ever call someone a name, and to never bring up the "D" word—divorce. Never use that word. Even through anger and disappointments, we try to not say something we're going to later regret. It's a lot easier said than done. Sometimes how you feel is not the truth. But God is good and he loves us, and I like that Scripture in Jeremiah—he wants us to have a good life. That doesn't mean we're not going to have hard times, but it means through those hard times God is for us and not against us. We have to remember those words and be encouraged that God loves us.