In most conversations, the word reckless doesn’t tend to imply good things. In most households with small children, it’s an even less popular concept.
But don’t tell that to Jeremy Camp and his wife of nine years, Adie. Having recently celebrated the birth of their son, the Camp family is exercising majorly reckless behavior… and his latest album, appropriately called Reckless, brings it all home.
“There’s a negative connotation that comes with the word reckless,” Jeremy agrees. “But the definition is to do something without regards to the consequences. It’s deciding to do something no matter what. God is dealing with my heart and I’m learning what it means to not say, ‘God, I want to do something. Come bless me,’” he continues. “It’s knowing that this life is not my own. I’ve been forgiven so much and now it’s time to meet Him.”
And so, without regards to consequence or fallout, Jeremy and the entire Camp household is surrendering it all on a quest to be truly reckless when it comes to sharing their faith and living the life God gave them to the fullest.
“My wife is probably even more on board than me,” he says with a laugh. “She’s homeschooling the kids and it’s crazy! But she has committed to the fact that her life is not her own.”
It’s the surrendering spirit that has guided both Jeremy and Adie through the winding roads of marriage and parenthood.
One look at Jeremy’s face when he talks about his kids is all it takes to know that Jeremy is head over heels in love with them and is more than a little pleased that he now has a potential partner in crime…or at least, partner on the field, court, wrestling mat, etc…
“When we found out we were pregnant again, I was so excited that it was a boy,” he says. “Now daddy has someone to play football with, wrestle, do martial arts…I’m definitely already his hero. You can tell he knows his daddy.”
He knows and he is watching. Jeremy is all too aware of how his son will look to him, emulate him, want to make him happy…which heaps an entirely new challenge upon Jeremy’s shoulders — helping his son grow in the man God created him to be.
“There’s definitely pressure,” he says. “But I want that pressure. I want to be getting better for my kids and my wife. It betters everybody. Bring it on.”
That attitude doesn’t end at Jeremy’s front door. Within the music world, he has guided and mentored other artists and is very aware that he is looked to as an example and as someone others want very much to be like. He knows it…and he doesn’t take it lightly.
“There’s definitely a responsibility there,” Jeremy says. “I want to challenge people to be better. I want to grow more and more and help others do the same.”
Over the years, it’s clear to see how Jeremy has been living out that statement. His most recent music reflects a new intensity. His perspective of God has entered a new phase of comfort and rest.
It’s within that intersection of rest and passion that Jeremy is abiding and allowing to shape the music he makes.
“What this record captures is the same kind of passion I had when I first started,” he says. “There was such an intensity then.”
“Then” is in reference to one of the most painful times in Jeremy’s life, when, twelve years ago, his first wife passed away.
“February 5 marked 12 years,” he says quietly. “I don’t always realize it because we don’t make it [the anniversary] something. It’s not like it’s an open wound, but I still talk about it. I wrote a book about it. God’s healed me, but the scar reminds me of the pain. But I know she’s more alive than she’s ever been.”
In many ways, the same can be said of Jeremy. Given the new life recently born, his two girls, Isabella (8) and Arianna (7) and wife, he is more than aware of the abundance from God. As that gratitude has continued to rise to the surface more and more, Jeremy is also experiencing his savior and his relationship with Him in a new way.
“I used to think I had to do things to earn God’s love,” he says. “But there’s a difference between conviction and condemnation. I used to live in condemnation, but today I’m able to rest. A lot of that comes from knowing I didn’t blow it…I made some mistakes, but I’m not condemned. I have way more peace about me. I’ve gotten to a great place.”
And with Reckless, he invites the listener along for the journey and the view. With some musical experimentation — new loops, more piano-based rock, etc.— the album showcases an artist who knows exactly who he is.
A songwriter who knows what he wants to say.
A singer who knows exactly how he wants to sound.
A husband, father and man who knows his priorities.
One might assume that anyone who knows that much and takes such solid steps wouldn’t be the reckless type.
But take it from Jeremy…knowing who you are and whose you are gives the freedom to rest in God and His mercy without shame and to live passionately and unapologetically for the tasks set before them and then…to take the leap knowing that our reckless hearts, our unrestrained passion are constantly in the hands that will never fail or leave.
Without thoughts of consequence… without thoughts of fear or trepidation, Jeremy is continuing to answer his calling to dive head first…recklessly…into God’s unwavering arms.