For KING & COUNTRY Singer Joel Smallbone: Men are 'Predicating' Sex Trafficking by Looking at Porn (Interview)

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Joel Smallbone of the popular CCM group For KING & COUNTRY is passionate about encouraging women, instilling confidence and reminding them of their worth.

In fact, the 32-year-old Australian, along with his brother, Luke, have not only written a Grammy-nominated song reminding women of their inherent value and dignity, they've also created a campaign around this mission - "The Priceless' movement - encouraging men to treat women with respect.

"So often in relationships, we focus on what we should do as men," Smallbone told The Gospel Herald during a sit-down interview in Orlando, Florida. "But there seems to be little focus on what not do, what not to watch, what not to look at. You're wearing an arrow right now where, on your cell phone or iPad, you can look at anything anywhere at anytime."

The song is featured in a faith-based film entitled "Priceless: She's Worth Fighting For", in which Smallbone stars. Inspired by real events, "Priceless" tells the story of James Stevenson (Smallbone), an embittered widower who finds himself unwittingly involved in a human trafficking ring after he accepts a delivery job across the country in order to raise money so that he can retain custody of his young daughter.

When James, still struggling with his own inner demons, discovers he's delivering a person - not a product - he is faced with a life-changing choice. The result is a gripping plot that exposes the horrific nature of human trafficking while simultaneously telling of the love between father and daughter, two sisters, and finally, a man and woman.

Priceless movie
(Photo: pricelessmovie.com)
'Priceless' hits theaters Oct. 14

"What's the opposite of priceless? It's the idea that a life can be bought, that a woman can be bought, that love can be bought," Smallbone said. "I remember being on calls with these experts and just weeping at the realities of what trafficking is in this time. I believe it's the epidemic of our generation, because it's attacking the very fabric of society, and that is the family. It's dealing with such shame for men and such manipulation and such darkness that we've sort of not wanted to touch it, myself included. But all the while, this ...underbelly of our society is growing at a rapid pace, to the point of where, statistically, if trends continue, it will overtake the drug trade as the largest illegal industry in the world."

The independently-produced movie hit theaters in October and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on Valentine's Day, the same day that Universal's "Fifty Shades Darker" debuted in theaters nationwide.

According to Smallbone, the film's release date was no accident. He told GH that in today's culture, the definition of love seems to be misplaced.

"[This film] is an attempt on our end to tell this story...of what true love really looks like and what it equally doesn't look like," he said. "Culturally we have put a laser focus, it seems, on the infancy of love. It's only when the relationship blossoms and there's this commitment and this oath and this settledness and this trust that is built and this sacrifice for each other...I believe that is the definition of true love."

He added, "We're so focused on this little initial spark that it's sort of quieted this truer, more real, deeper sense of love."

Priceless movie
(Photo: pricelessmovie.com)
For King & Country singer Joel Smallbone stars as James in 'Priceless'

The singer admitted that For KING & COUNTRY's decision to champion the "Priceless" movement has undoubtedly "put a magnifying glass on both of us and on the band."

"It has really challenged us to love our families, our wives, extravagantly," he said.

Similarly, Smallbone said he hopes men will view "Priceless" as a call to action and revealed that so far, the response has been "staggering."

"As men, are we predicting [human trafficking] by looking at pornography?" he asked. "Are we objectifying women how we speak about a woman? Are we objectifying a woman by the fact that we aren't being faithful, even in our minds, to our girlfriend or wife?"

He added, "What are you looking at? Where's your mind going? What kind of films are you watching? I really believe that you put something in, it's going to come out somehow. What are we putting into us?"

"Priceless" also stars Bianca Santos ("The Duff"), Amber Midthunder ("Longmire"), Jim Parrack ("True Blood"), and David Koechner ("The Goldbergs"). For more information, please visit the film's website at www.PricelessTheMovie.com.

Tags : For King and Country, Joel Smallbone, Priceless, Priceless movie, Priceless Movement, Sex Trafficking