Recording artists Juan and Lisa Winans say that faith and commitment to the sanctity of marriage have helped them through the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has proven challenging for many married partners. The couple has already reached the Top 5 of Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart with their dynamic new Dare Records single titled “It Belongs To Me,” featuring a guest appearance by six-time Grammy Award winner Marvin L. Winans. During this season, they’ve also come to appreciate their unique position as husband and wife and the impact their marriage can make. From the way they minister in song on stage, writing collaborations, or when speaking at marriage events, they’ve witnessed the grace of God empowering others through their relationship.
“It Belongs To Me” is more remarkable because it was recorded and released during the worldwide global pandemic, a time when many families are feeling the strain of illness, home confinement, and devastating changes to their income. The stress of quarantine living has led to a 34 percent uptick in divorce filings over the same March-to-June period in 2019, with 31 percent pointing to quarantine as a contributing factor, and 20 percent of those seeking divorce having been married for five months or less, according to a 2020 poll by Legal Templates.
Juan and Lisa, married for 13 years with a young daughter, say that faith, commitment, and scheduling self-care breaks go a long way to helping them overcome any challenges.
“I think COVID has presented us an opportunity,” says Juan. “What God is saying to people is that this is a moment to realign ourselves with His Word, to realign and reprioritize the things that we are giving our time to, the things that we are giving our emotion, our meditation too.”
“This is a season unlike anything that we’ve ever witnessed,” adds Lisa. “The stress is extraordinary, but it’s important to take a break and to take time to evaluate and not make any knee-jerk reactions based on where we are right now, but understanding that this too shall pass. If you can get through this season and then move into some therapy and more positive associations with your marriage, then you may find that you have good reasons to stay.”
Juan concludes: “Some days you feel more successful than others, but ultimately so much of this is about commitment: Our commitment to Christ, our commitment to our spouses not to give up when things get difficult. That’s where the love and that’s where the choice to love should come to the forefront.”
Maintaining ties to friends and a church family during quarantine can also prove difficult during this pandemic. “I would encourage couples out there to try to find community in the best way that you can,” says Lisa. “I know sometimes you have Zoom fatigue or you want to be isolated and you get used to the isolation. But I would say to fight for those relationships that you know support your marriage, that you know support your walk with Christ, and actively guard your marriage and actively invest in it. Invest in the spiritual life of your marriage.”
Juan, a third-generation member of the award-winning Winans family, began his career as a member of Winans Phase 2, along with his eldest brother, Carvin, and his cousins Marvin Winans, Jr., and Michael Winans, Jr. The group’s first recording, We Got Next, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Album charts. Juan’s father, Carvin Winans, is a member of the five-time Grammy Award-winning group, The Winans, which includes his uncles Marvin, Michael, and the late Ronald Winans. Juan also starred in the theatrical production of Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story written by his uncle BeBe Winans and also starred his sister, Deborah Joy Winans of the hit drama series, Greenleaf.
Lisa, formerly Lisa Kimmey, is best known as a member and lead songwriter of the chart-topping Contemporary Christian music trio Out of Eden with her sisters Andrea Kimmey-Baca and Danielle Kimmey Torrez. The group released seven career albums from 1994-2006 including the critically-acclaimed No Turning Back, This Is Your Life, and Hymns. During Lisa’s tenure, she made a special guest appearance on the ‘90s hit sitcom, “Moesha,” which streaming giant Netflix recently added to its lineup of African American classics from the 1990s and early 2000s. She also was a host of original programming for the Gospel Music Channel and hosted the Verizon Wireless “How Sweet the Sound” choir competition along with Donald Lawrence.
Married since 2007, Juan and Lisa have each written dozens of songs for other artists. Together they also made an appearance on the NBC reality competition “Songland,” where they competed as songwriters to be mentored by the likes of Boyz II Men and others in their songwriting craft. Their April 2020 appearance garnered as much appreciation for Juan and Lisa’s incredible voices as for their compositional skills.
“It Belongs To Me” is available wherever music is sold and streamed. For more information on Juan and Lisa Winans visit www.JuanAndLisaWinans.com.