Luke Smallbone on the Power of Family: It’s ‘More Important Than it Ever Has Been’

Michael Foust | CrosswalkHeadlines Contributor | Updated: Mar 18, 2024
Luke Smallbone on the Power of Family: It’s ‘More Important Than it Ever Has Been’

Luke Smallbone on the Power of Family: It’s ‘More Important Than it Ever Has Been’

A singer who is part of the award-winning tandem For King and Country says the "power of family" can change the world, and he hopes a new movie about his parents will inspire moviegoers to be part of the solution.

Luke Smallbone of For King and Country told ChristianHeadlines he was nearly five when his parents -- David and Helen Smallbone -- traveled from Australia to the United States with big dreams but were forced to chase odd jobs when David's job fell through. The entire family pitched in to help by cleaning houses and mowing lawns, among other things.

Their story is retold in the upcoming movie Unsung Hero, which is scheduled to release in theaters on April 26. It stars Daisy Betts, Candace Cameron Bure, and Lucas Black.

"I learned how to push mow lawns at five years old, and I loved it. I still, to this day, love mowing lawns," Luke Smallbone told Christian Headlines.

The film portrays his father as despondent and his mother as unwavering in her faith. Eventually, Luke's sister, Rebecca Smallbone -- Rebecca St. James on stage -- became a popular Christian singer after CCM artist Eddie DeGarmo gave her a chance. Most of the movie, though, portrays the family as struggling to make ends meet.

A single glass jar in the movie holds all the money they collected from their odd jobs -- and all the money they had in their possession for groceries.

"I remember everything," he said. "I've had a lot of people ask, 'Well, if you remember everything, then were you really scared?' I think what I've realized is [that] if you're loved, you can go through all sorts of trials and tribulations, and you're aware that you're poor, you're aware that money's tight, you're aware that food might be a little bit scarce...but you don't really care. If it's the inverse -- if you're going through these things, and you're not loved, I think there's trauma attached to everything that you walk through."

His parents, he said, refused to "give up on faith" or "give up on Jesus."

"Why would you turn your back on something that is the very thing that is the foundation of wisdom?" he asked.

The film gets its name from his parents, the "unsung heroes" of their lives.

"My wife and I, we've got four kiddos. I'm a big believer in the power of family. I think that family is more important than it ever has been in the history of the world right now," Smallbone said. "But yet we value it not to the level that it should be. And my hope is that people will see a story like this, they will leave the theater, and they will go, 'I want to be a better dad.' Or a son says, 'I want to be a better brother.' Or a daughter [says,] 'I want to be a better sister.' Or a mother says, 'I want to be a better mom. I want to learn to have relentless faith.'

"Because I think that if we're going to see a revival take place in America, it will either take place through persecution or through the family. Because family is that important."

RELATED PODCAST: In this Candace Cameron Bure interview, she discusses what it was like to be in the for KING & COUNTRY music video for the song " joy." and what her relationship is with the Smallbone family!

Photo Credit: ©For King and Country; used with permission.

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist PressChristianity TodayThe Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Luke Smallbone on the Power of Family: It’s ‘More Important Than it Ever Has Been’