Not long after, we took a load of Australian one-cent coins we had brought over and made necklaces out of them. We called them the “Priceless Necklace.” It was exciting, but almost alarming to see the overwhelming response to that message. As the story unfolds, we then go back to our brother Ben—this was about three years ago. We said, “Hey, we’ve always wanted to do a film together,” (I’m not sure we knew what we’re asking), “But what about this ‘priceless’ concept? It seems to really be resonating with people. What about looking at stories and making a feature-length film out of it?” His eyes lit up. Turns out he had worked on a documentary a few years prior that had always stuck with him which focused a lot on the same subjects.
We pulled a lot of inspiration from that true story and married it with this “priceless” message. In the end, again, long story short, out came the film. But if you really look back on it, there were a lot of years full of these subtle moments and intersections of inspiration and, again, an alarm at how people responded to this message, that provoked us to even ask the question about the film.
CCM: With this recent presidential election, for instance, there has been a resurgence of the conversation about a woman’s value. You’re peddling this message as one from a biblical perspective. What do you say the Bible says on this topic?
JS: I think that it’s an onion, right? You start pulling it back and you’ve got this over-sexualized, over-stimulated, over-accessible…sex is everywhere. And, I love sex—I’m a very happily married young man! But, oh man, it’s all over the place—cell phones, television screens, billboards, shopping malls—the suggestion of it, that is.
Again, sex is a beautiful thing, but any good thing can become a bad thing. Or I could even argue, the better or greater something is, the more proclivity it has to be an awful or abused thing. I think we’ve all been just as guilty [as others] of that at some point, and I’ll raise my hand and say the same thing. We’re facing temptations that we’ve never faced before.
My hope, looking forward, is that now that a lot of this has sort-of come back up, we have to ask the question, “What do we do with this information?” As men, do we just bury our heads in the sand? Do we get into a finger-pointing match? Do we demonize one man or one woman? Or, do we actually take the opportunity to look into ourselves and say, “Who am I? Am I adding to the problem, or adding to the solution?” To circle back to Priceless, that’s one of the lovely things that I feel like the song “Priceless” and the film does is in a poetic, encouraging way. It brings light to certain things, but it also—particularly the film—celebrates the wonderful nature of a woman and the incalculable worth of a woman, and I’m very proud of that on both counts.
CCM: Priceless is going to be available on DVD just in time for Valentine’s Day. Could you share one of your favorite Valentine’s Day moments with us?
JS: Gee whiz…I’m thinking back. [Moriah] just stepped out of the car, but I probably wouldn’t ask her even if she was still sitting here, because then it would seem like I don’t remember, but now that you’ve put me on the spot and it’s early in the morning… I do remember this. It’s a little thing, but sometimes I find that it is in the little things—the thoughtful things—that somehow end up becoming the most special things.
Speaking of films, two years ago Moriah was on a film set in Louisiana and I wasn’t able to be with her for Valentine’s Day. It was our second Valentine’s Day married, I was on another tour and we weren’t together. I was racking my brain. “What can we do? What can I do to really love on her?” And then I thought, “Because she’s alone in this apartment in Louisiana every night, I’m going to send her an enormous bear.” When I say, “Enormous,” I mean, like, larger than life-size bear, but it gets packed up in this tiny little box. I’m also thinking, “This could sort-of be a real ‘hit or miss’ moment.” So I sent her some flowers and the boxed bear, the atrocious bear pops out, and she FaceTime’d me and just cried because it was so meaningful to her.
CLICK “3” TO ADVANCE