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John Carter Cash, the only son of Johnny Cash and June Carter, believes his father’s greatest legacy is his Christian faith.

The gravel-voiced singer, known as “The Man in Black,” passed away in 2003 at age 71. As a child, he grew up in the church and was deeply influenced by his mother’s devotion to God. He would later record “My Mother’s Hymn Book,” which was based on the matriarch’s teachings.

Despite achieving fame as a beloved country music artist, Cash developed a dependency on amphetamines and barbiturates, which started in the ‘60s. It would be Carter, who not only encouraged him to seek treatment, but also helped him rediscover his connection to Christianity. The patriarch recorded several religious albums, and the couple even traveled to Israel for the film “The Gospel Road.” It was later acquired by the Rev. Billy Graham’s film company.

The John R. Cash Revocable Trust, in partnership with DaySpring Books, has released ‘Walking the Line: 90 Devotions of Truth and Hope Based on the Faith of Johnny Cash’.

The John R. Cash Revocable Trust, in partnership with DaySpring Books, has released ‘Walking the Line: 90 Devotions of Truth and Hope Based on the Faith of Johnny Cash’. (DaySpring Books)

For Carter Cash, his parents’ connection to their faith was ever-present at home. The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, 52, is now hoping to share that wisdom passed down to him. The John R. Cash Revocable Trust, in partnership with DaySpring Books, has released “Walking the Line,” a collection of 90 devotionals, and never-before-seen content from Cash, centered around his faith.

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Carter Cash spoke to Fox News Digital about how he faced personal struggles, why he believes faith is his father’s greatest legacy and how it nurtured his parents’ lasting love.

Fox News: Why is a book like “Walking the Line” needed now?
John Carter Cash: The inspiration behind this book is my father’s specific view on faith and his enduring faith when he struggled. My father was not perfect, he made a lot of mistakes in his life but was willing to stand out in the open and say, “I’m not perfect. However, I believe, and I will continue to believe.” I think so many people out there connect directly with my father’s faith, his mission and his purpose in life. My father used to always say, “All your life, you’re faced with a choice. You could choose love or hate. I choose love.” That has always stayed with me. And I think that’s the essential spirit of the book.

John Carter Cash is the only son of John Carter Cash and June Carter.

John Carter Cash is the only son of John Carter Cash and June Carter. (Getty Images)

Fox News: How important has it been for you to continue to share your parents’ stories?
Carter Cash: So many people connect directly with my mother and father, and so many people go through their lives and struggles. People find hope in my parents’ music, what my dad said, or what he stood for. They find direction and definition in life. People come to me all the time and say, “I believe in what your dad said. I believe in his mission in life. And I believe that he saved me. He helped me understand myself better through these struggles.” And afterward, they tell me, “What else did he have to say?”

I want to help answer that question. There are a lot of quotes in this book that people haven’t seen before. Back in the 1990s, my dad did a biography. And during that process, there were a lot of recordings that were done. And so, there are quotes that came from that process. People have never seen them. So it’s my father’s voice continuing, reaching out to folks in ways that perhaps he hasn’t done before.

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Fox News: Growing up, what role did faith play in your household?
Carter Cash: It was an essential, ever-present comfort. It was an enduring certainty that no matter what we went through, either as a family or individually, peace could be found in our faith. It was very much a part of our lives. I went through struggles in my early 20s. I came to my dad one day and just said, “You know, I feel empty. I feel lost.” 

Johnny Cash performs on stage with his son John Carter Cash (L) in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1994.

Johnny Cash performs on stage with his son John Carter Cash (L) in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1994. (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

He encouraged me to look within myself. He would remind me, “You come from a long line of pastors” – my dad was an ordained minister, [so was] my grandfather, my great-grandfather and on back several generations. I’m also an ordained minister. But I’m not perfect. Dad wasn’t perfect. But we still have that faith. And through that faith, we could find peace.

Fox News: Was there ever a moment where you questioned God?
Carter Cash: You know, there have been moments in my life, especially in my early 20s, and then off and on at different periods, where I felt empty, where I felt alone. My father helped me find that connection and regain a spirit of peace and love in my early 20s by reminding me exactly who I was. 

It meant so much to me through the years to have that foundation my parents gave me, to have that certainty and understanding that I am saved, that I have my salvation in place. No matter what, there’s nothing I can do to remove that from my life. It’s something I carry around with me every day. It’s something I reflect on when I go lay in bed at night. I wonder about my choices. Did I make the right choice? But I know that by grace, I am forgiven. And that’s so essential in my life.

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Billy Graham (left) and Johnny Cash developed a close bond.

Billy Graham (left) and Johnny Cash developed a close bond. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Fox News: It’s no secret your father endured plenty of struggles. How did his faith help him face those obstacles that may have appeared impossible to face?
Carter Cash: Faith is a continuing relationship that you nurture. And it’s something he always returned to, even during the most difficult moments of his life. At the end of his life, when my mother passed away, my father found the endurance to continue through faith. And he was still making music. That was directly in line with what he learned when he was a boy and would go to church.

Country singer/songwriter Johnny Cash found solace in his faith as he endured personal struggles.

Country singer/songwriter Johnny Cash found solace in his faith as he endured personal struggles. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

He went through the pain of losing his brother at 14 when my dad was 12. And his brother had great faith in God. My father would always go back to what he learned when he was young and how he made it through those initial hardships. Even at the end of his days, he found that certainty in his faith. He always maintained hope even during the greatest hardships of his life. That always endured.

Fox News: When did you first realize that your parents were different?
Carter Cash: When I was three or four years old, my parents would bring me up on stage and I would take a bow before the audience *laughs*. But even at that young age, I felt that energy coming from the crowd. I felt a rush of this magic. I would look at my father, this larger-than-life figure, just beaming. I think even at that point, when I was very, very young, I realized that this was a unique situation. But you know, my dad and my mother never got too far above their upbringing. They always kept a sense of humility in their lives. That certainly made it much easier to put that larger-than-life image in the proper place. They were simply kind, loving, simple people. That was number one to them.

John Carter Cash, 3-year-old son of singer Johnny Cash, became the youngest person to make a Las Vegas nightclub debut when he appeared on the stage of the Hilton and rendered ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ for the sandbox set. The proud father is shown holding the microphone down to his son.

John Carter Cash, 3-year-old son of singer Johnny Cash, became the youngest person to make a Las Vegas nightclub debut when he appeared on the stage of the Hilton and rendered ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ for the sandbox set. The proud father is shown holding the microphone down to his son. (Getty Images)

Fox News: While putting this book together, what was one memory of your parents that you revisited?
Carter Cash: I think about those days when my dad and I spent alone time on fishing trips. Even when we were on the road, and we would all travel together, we kept that closeness as a family. That togetherness was essential to my upbringing. I didn’t know any different. I hope to carry that on with my children. That sense of family was so important to them and I hope to continue bringing that sense of togetherness into my own home and keep it there. There’s a beauty to family like no other. And my parents wanted to make sure I experienced that.

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Fox News: Your parents’ love story is well known. How did faith nurture their relationship?
Carter Cash: They were a brother and sister in God, and that was one of the foundations of their relationship. They read scriptures together, they read poetry together. They found meaning in life through faith as friends first. And it’s something that stayed with them all their lives. People often ask, “What’s it like being the product of the greatest love affair that ever was?”- I say, “Well, you weren’t there were you?” 

Johnny Cash and June Carter tied the knot in 1968. They remained together until Carter's death.

Johnny Cash and June Carter tied the knot in 1968. They remained together until Carter’s death. (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)

They were human, they were not perfect. And they were the first to let you know that. There was a mystery that developed around my parents later on. The movies made them larger than life. But the fact of the matter is that the simple things – the love, the hope, the togetherness, the kinship that they had as a brother and sister in Christ – these are the things that they kept going back to as husband and wife. And they didn’t live happily ever after. My parents had troubles and addictions and all these different things that, in some ways, ruled their life. But they came back to God. And that’s what made them who they were.

June Carter passed away in May 2003 at age 73. Johnny Cash died in September of that year.

June Carter passed away in May 2003 at age 73. Johnny Cash died in September of that year. (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

Fox News: How did your father cope with your mother’s passing?
Carter Cash: Sadly and broken. It was the end of a part of his home, his life and existence. I think one thing he gained was an appreciation for that love. They were more in love with each other when she passed away than they had ever been before. That’s what matters, not that they were happily ever after, but that they were happy after all. And that their love was that great. And they were far better as people than not for finding it in each other.

Fox News: What do you think was the most important lesson that your father wanted to pass down to you?
Carter Cash: Oh, I’d say carry on in the face of adversary. Keep it up. Find something to believe in. Remember the things that matter. You know, he was a good father, he really was. He was not without flaws. But he encouraged me to accept who I was and to learn the best he had to offer. I hope to pass that down to my children. 

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Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter arrived in Australia with their son John Carter Cash in 1973.

Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter arrived in Australia with their son John Carter Cash in 1973. (Photo by Kevin Berry/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Fox News: In a previous interview, you said, “I think my father would say that hopefully, his greatest legacy will be his faith in God, his joy for family, and his faith and spirit continually.” Some people may go, “But what about the music and the incredible success he achieved?”
Carter Cash: I think he knew what really mattered in life. In the end, you’re not going to bring that with you. In the end, what’s going to matter is that you did good for your loved ones. His lasting faith was his greatest legacy. Larry King asked my dad on live television what the most important legacy he had was, and how he would like to be remembered. His answer was simply, “As a good father.” And as a father, he was a wonderful one. And so in that, he was successful.

Johnny Cash, his wife June Carter and their son John arrive for the filming of ‘Following the Footsteps of Jesus.’ The film meant to feature Cash and his wife singing against the background of Christian holy sites.

Johnny Cash, his wife June Carter and their son John arrive for the filming of ‘Following the Footsteps of Jesus.’ The film meant to feature Cash and his wife singing against the background of Christian holy sites. (Getty Images)

Fox News: What’s life for you today?
Carter Cash: It’s about making sure the diapers are changed and that the kids have the right breakfast, and they’re learning, whether it’s to swim or read the Bible *laughs*. I have a 25-year-old [Joseph] who is a wonderful musician. I have a 16-year-old son named Jack who is also a great piano player. My daughter AnnaBelle is 20. My daughter Grace is 4. And my youngest James is one. It’s been an honor to see the heritage within their hearts. That kindness is within them. 

And it feels wonderful to know that the faith can be passed on to them. Hopefully, I can live by example so that they can take the good from me and appreciate how I can fall short but still lean on my faith during good times and bad. For us, it’s about the love, the togetherness. It’s about coming back to each other in the end.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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