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Our Story, The Next Chapter: Kirsten & Benjamin Watson

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2023 4:15 am

Our Story, The Next Chapter: Kirsten & Benjamin Watson

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 10, 2023 4:15 am

God's story for Kirsten Watson and NFL Super Bowl champ Benjamin Watson has spiraled them through 15 NFL seasons, seven kids, and plenty of plot twists.

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Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

Did I ever think we would be in the NFL as long as we were? Absolutely not. All of the moves, all of the kids, home school. I can go down the line and say, that was never part of my list of things I want to do before I die.

It's just not. But it's been better than anything I could have written myself. And so the fact that it's with Benjamin, the fact that we have these kids that have moved all over the country and have these experiences that had we been in a different situation, I don't know how it would have turned out. But it's like going back to how we originally met and how we've always been intentional, like I could not have imagined doing it with anyone else. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson. And you can find us at or on the Family Life app.

This is Family Life Today. You know, after 33 seasons in the NFL as team chaplains in Detroit, and I'm not even going to talk about how many games we lost. I had 35 years.

You did have a couple more years. They got rid of me, but they kept you around. The wives wanted to meet with you and you had a Bible study with the wives.

I did. Detroit Lion Wives. But, you know, we've been around a lot of NFL couples. And a lot of great couples.

Yeah. I mean, we speak at a conference every off season for the NFL called Pro Athletes Outreach, which is a Christian conference where they bring in players and couples and single. I mean, it's just an amazing opportunity. So we get to know a lot of couples and players from other teams, which is great.

But, you know, we've said this before. One of the couples that just strikes you the first time you meet him. And then when you hear the depth of their relationship and their walk with God, it impacts you. And that's Benjamin and Kirsten Watson. They're a remarkable couple, but not only are they remarkable, they're just fun. And they're deep spiritually, but man, are they relatable. And we already got to hear their love story.

Yeah. It was fun to hear them talk about that. If you missed that one, go back and listen to it, because nobody can tell it like they tell it. And it's a beautiful story. But then their love story, they end up having kids and not just one or two you're going to hear today. They ended up having seven children and they're raising them now post NFL career. But let's talk about parenting. Tell us what it's like parenting seven, count that, seven kids, even as you were in the NFL.

Yes. Well, when we first went to marriage counseling, we sat in the living room of the pastor and he said, how many kids do you want? And I said, I think four is great.

That'd be a great number. And Benji was like, I was thinking four, two, like we really are meant for each other because I don't want to have six because six is, he comes from my family. He's the oldest of six. He's like, six is too much.

And I said, two, I come from a family, I was like, two is just not enough. So four is even. And that's a good Christian number to bring into the world. Four is a Christian number. Okay. Yeah.

An American Christian number. Exactly. So we set into this thing called marriage with thinking we would have four kids. And then we had four and I looked four and a half years.

Yeah. We had four really quickly. Well, we had to, let me just say this. We were married for three years before we had to make sure we still really liked each other because we know we were called to love, but those first three years, I was like, we can't bring anybody else up into this mess. We got to figure some stuff out before we have some kids. And so we finally decided we did like each other officially.

Yeah. Four and a half years. We had four kids, two girls, then two boys. And I remember looking at Benjamin saying, I just don't think our family's done. He's like, wait, you're going back on our promise? Like we said four for good. We got two girls, two boys.

Everyone has a partner. I was like, I just don't think that's it, Benjamin. And so weren't you exhausted for four and a half years? No.

What was wrong with me? She loves to be, Oh, here we go. I mean, she loves to be like the one that everybody's like, wow, how do you do it? I mean, there's something to that.

I think there's something to people be like, wow, how you do it? Or maybe I'm connected to the spirit. That's what I was going to say. Yes, Chris. Kirsten, you are connected to Jesus and he's talking to you. He is telling me you think four, but it's not four, Kirsten.

That's what I was listening to. So you decided it's five above and beyond, above and beyond. Okay. So what happened? What do you mean what happened?

You know what happened? Well, we know you had five. Well, we had five, we had number five and Benjamin was not super excited about, I'm not super excited.

He's like, wait, what? I wasn't excited. I think the way I told you is after a away game, like it was all, we come back from playing the bears, right? How do you remember that? How do I remember that? He probably had three touchdowns, you know, whatever. It was the week before we played the bears because I remember playing the bears after I knew, because I had to like get some serious like prayer for my teammates, especially Leake and Cowell.

But he had six, so he was probably thinking it was five. So I come home from a game right before that week and play the bears and then I go upstairs and you have left like the pregnancy test upstairs on the counter. Yeah, because I just want you to see it. Yeah. So I'm walking up there with my luggage.

The luggage came through the house. It was like, boom. I was like, I think he saw it.

He saw the test and I'm running down the stairs like, what is this? Yeah. So we had number five, which you look back at it. Can you imagine our life without Eden? Absolutely not. So we had her and then I was like, babe, five is such an awful number to end on.

It's odd. She doesn't have a friend. We go on a rollercoaster, who's she going to ride with? He's like, I'll ride with her. I'm like, who am I going to ride with?

We all need a person. And so he was really like cursing, I think five is enough. So I said, you know what?

I'm not going to bring it up again. And then one day, months later, he was like, let's go for number six. And I was like, here we go. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.

Exactly. And I was like, this is planned. This is part of a good plan. And then we had our first miscarriage. And I remember looking at God, because I remember just looking up being like, this is not part of the plan.

This is nowhere, this is not supposed to happen. And then we got pregnant again and I had another miscarriage. And I was like, God, we're trying to bring people into the, you know, the arrow, you talk about shooting arrows, God in the Bible, that's what we're trying to do, like get on board. And I just remember thinking, I'm asking for a baby, you have number six. And then eventually, let's just take a break and then we'll, we'll try again. And we tried again and then we found out it was twins.

And I was like, I did not ask for that, Lord, thank you. But what in the world? And so we're still at an odd number. No, now you, now you got the perfect number.

Exactly. I should have been more specific in my prayers that I didn't want six. Six was too much. So we got seven. Yeah, I should have said six or more. I just left it at, Lord, I don't want to have six. I don't want to have six kids. And so God was like, okay, well, you just, you're going to have, you know, more than that.

So yeah. So now we have seven and two of them are in heaven. So it's just definitely more than we ever, we were just, Benjamin just said this morning, he's like, I look over there with you, the twins are sitting on, he's like, he just said, I never knew when I saw you on, on the yard at Georgia, that this is what our life would be 17 years later. And so it's just crazy, the twins are crazy.

I didn't, I wish I would have known that this happened and they were parents out there all my life. Cause I would have been praying for you because I need so much prayer with these multiples. It is not, it's not regulation. Like I don't really know why the Lord doesn't just leave that for animals, like and not people. It should not happen.

It only happens in select people that he calls and he knows that he did. And I think too, those of us that have two kids, three kids, we're like seven. How did you find time to write a book and you've got all these kids too, but why was it important to you to do that? Yeah, well, it's funny because, and I think of the top 10 things that I wanted to do in my life, book is probably, I don't know, 500 and so, I mean, it was just never on my radar.

It was always kind of a joke when we'd go somewhere and someone would just pull me aside to ask me a quick question. Like you should write that down. I'm like, yeah, I'll do, I don't know that it's true. I'm just, this is just my, my opinion about things. And so it was, it was kind of an ongoing joke and honestly it got to a point where Benjamin was saying, you need to write a book and I was like, Benjamin, I don't have time to write a book. I don't want to write a book. I don't even have anything to say because right now I just don't even know what I'm doing. Like who was going to take what I have to say and to consider, I don't know what I'm doing. And literally, I remember being in prayer and I said, God, this book thing keeps coming up. Like if you want me to write a book, make it so clear.

I'm talking like wool, wet around, wool, wet, and no, I'm talking like- Give me that fleece. Exactly. Tell, it has got to be so clear. And literally within that week I got a call from Benjamin's book guy saying, hey, I had a publisher reach out that wants to talk about doing a book. And I was like, are you kidding me right now? And then I told a friend and she's like, you know what, I have a perfect person to help you write this book. And I'm like, yeah, she's probably busy. And then I get a text.

She's like, no, she would love to work with you. I'm like, what? I was like, okay, God, I'll write the stinking book. That was literally my response to writing the book you have in your hands. It was not all fun and flowers and games. It was definitely an act of obedience and a little bit of a push from all those people around me who thought I should do it.

It's pretty remarkable. You guys think back on that day in Georgia, like, Benjamin, when you saw Kirsten in her red pants and that light came down, you never thought you would be where you are today. Is it better? Than that day when I didn't have kids and I was like, are you really asking me to talk about it now?

Are you really asking parents of seven? Can we define better? I think she means better than you imagined then it could be.

That's what she means. I mean, your journey is so unexpected, right? You'd never thought, but like I think about each of those kids, look what you're doing, your legacy. I do think I never would have drawn this up. Of course. I think a lot of people could say, you know, I look at my life and where I am now, where I thought I would be, and I can't draw that up positively or negatively.

In my case, it is definitely positive. And even on the most tired days with the kids, there's still something special about having life in your home and having the ability to teach and to see them grow and to even be tired because your kids want to do different things. I mean, those things are all blessings. And I think looking back on it, I had no idea what we were going to get into. I had no idea.

I didn't know. And I do remember saying this probably to you, or at least saying it in my head that I wanted you to be the mother of my children. Like I was trying to find someone who would be a good mother to my children and you fulfilled all that.

Thanks babe. And more, because I didn't think we were going to have seven. I was only thinking that, you know, you'd be good for four, but you turned out to be great for seven. Well, side note about that, in our counseling, remember, I'm thinking I'm going to do corner office, tailored suits, beautiful briefcase. You know, the parking thing is going to have Mrs. whatever on the thing. And he sits there with our pastor and the pastor says, well, you know, after you have kids, like, what will your family look like?

What do you, what do you think, what are your dreams? Benjamin starts first. He answers first. Well, you know, I just would hope that Kirsten would stay home with all of our kids. And I think my neck went so quickly to roll and look at him, like, do you know who you are marrying?

Like that was never anything that I thought about that I had seen, like my mom was a teacher, so she worked, but she had the summer, like I, it just did not even come to mind. And when he said that, I was like, do I need to marry this man? Because he thinks, and here we are. It's like how the Lord will change your heart when you think that something is the way you should go.

And he will pull you if you listen and say, I have a better plan. And guess what, Kirsten, all of those dreams, I'm not going to let them go to waste. It's just going to look different than what you think. And so I look back at it and think, did I ever think we would be in the NFL as long as we were?

Absolutely not. All of the moves, all of the kids, homeschool, there's this, I can go down the line and say, that was never part of my list of things I want to do before I die. Like it was just not, but it's been better than anything I could have written myself. And so the fact that it's with Benjamin, the fact that we have these kids that have moved all over the country and have these experiences that had we been in a different situation, I don't know how it would have turned out, but it's like going back to how we originally met and how we've always been intentional.

Like I could not have imagined doing it with anyone else. And there are days where I'm like, I just want to go somewhere. I just want to go somewhere.

You can come too, babe, but these people are going to stay. But there are more days where I look around and I just look at what's happening. I'm listening to the volume of the noise and I'm thinking this, this is good and help me to remember and appreciate and enjoy and like lean in to what's going on. And I'm grateful now that he's not playing football, that he's there to see it as well and to experience it and to hear it. You think crowd noise is loud.

Just walk into our house. Exactly. So it's a ride for sure. You know, Benjamin and Kirsten, you know, they're talking about God doing so much more. It's my life first. I love it.

You know, I pulled it up as you guys were talking about it. Now to him, it's Ephesians three 20. Now to him is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen. I mean, when Paul wrote that he was, I think echoing what we've been talking about is like, you know, just like the Watsons for you and I, when we started out, never would we ever dream that God was going to do immeasurably more than what we, and we had big dreams, but man, look at, look at what God's done. Did you ever, ever, ever think growing up that you would be a pastor?

Never. In fact, I was pretty convinced that would be the last thing I was going to make sure I didn't do it. One thing.

That'd be it. I'm not going to be a pastor. And I even said to you when we went to seminary, Hey, I'm all about list. Yes, let's go to seminary, but don't ever let me be a pastor's wife. And yet it was amazing. And I mean, you can add onto that. Did you ever, ever, ever think you'd be sitting in a studio recording audio?

No. For radio and podcasts about marriage and family, never. And you know, did you ever think we'd have three sons that are now married and six grandkids that are living for Jesus and trying to impact the world for the kingdom because God used us to change a legacy that was not following Christ to a legacy that's about following Christ. And that is the beauty of following Jesus, that he knows what will fulfill us more than we know, because man, I want to make my own plans. I feel like I know the right way to go and I know what will make me happy. We all feel that. But to submit our lives, our futures and our happiness to him, that is, remember doing that the first time? It's scary. I mean, I was going to say every time it's a daily choice. Surrender.

Yeah. I mean, the word is surrender, not my will, your will. I don't want to do what I want to do.

I want to do what you want to do. And boy, those dark days when the kids were little and we were fighting in our marriage and we were exhausted. And we wondered if we were doing what God wanted us to do.

Hang on. I mean, keep surrendering every single day to him, especially when you've lost hope or energy and let him continue to do his work in you. Because he's a God that loves you. He knows you.

He sees you. He created you. He knows what will bring you joy. He knows the hardships that we face and he also knows, oh, I'm using this. And wait till you see on the other end, the person that you'll become as I shape you and nobody wants to be shaped. And I think for the Watsons, just you guys having those seven kids, that is shaping you. Yeah, you know, we can say this because we're empty nesters now, and that means we're old. Embrace every moment, even as chaotic and loud and, you know, frustrating as it can be. Embrace the moment. There's going to be a day you're going to wish it was that loud again in your house.

Absolutely. I remember your mom, when our kids would leave her house, she goes, oh, I'm not even going to clean my windows. I just want to see those fingerprints. And I remember thinking, are you kidding me? Those fingerprints are throughout my entire house.

It's not just fingerprints, like the walls, the nicks, all of that. And she's right. Now I look back and think, oh, man, those were good days. I didn't think it in the moment, but now I see the richness. You guys brought up the scripture of Psalm 127, and I wanted to read some of that because you guys are totally the picture of this, starting in verse three. Old children are heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward, like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them. You guys filled your quiver.

Listen, we're filling it. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. You guys are living that life of following Jesus surrendered. You're inspiring. Thanks for all you're doing, and thanks for the legacy that you're creating. Can't wait to see what these kids are doing and what God has for you guys next too. And I would just add, being a chaplain for three decades, it's rare that a couple like you come into a locker room, and what a gift to not only a team and an organization, but to a city and the country. Thank you for using your platform to impact people for the gospel. I know that's your call.

I've seen it. You're both authors. Look at you guys, what you're doing.

That's crazy. I'll tell you what, we thank you for that encouragement, but we also thank you for being trailblazers yourself and for being a demonstration, not only to the teams that you are on, but being able to do that outside of the NFL, but also across the NFL. We were never with Detroit, but through Pro-Athlete Outreach, we were able to see you all and you all have spoken in our lives in ways that you probably will never know. I can say that a lot of other people can probably say the same thing.

I think that's the beauty of the body of Christ, is that you can be in your lane, but you also get encouraged by people that are ahead of you, behind you, and beside you, and you guys have been that for us too. So thank you. 100%. Yeah. So we thank you for... We thank you for being together because of that tree, Anne.

We love you guys. Thank you. Thank you. You're listening to Dave and Anne with Kirsten and Benjamin Watson on Family Life Today. Dave and Anne want to share something with you in just a second, but first I want to tell you that we've got copies of Kirsten's book available at Her book is called Sis, Take a Breath, encouragement for the woman who's trying to live and love well, but secretly just wants to take a nap. Again, you can get a copy at or by calling 800-358-6329.

That's 800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. All right. Now here's Dave and Anne with how they had a pretty profound influence on the Watsons one weekend a few years back. You know, it's amazing what I heard from the Watsons is their marriage was changed at a weekend that we spoke at.

I know. Isn't that crazy? I mean, it's crazy to think the things that God gives us to present on stage literally changed their life, changed their kids' life. It's amazing how God does that.

That's what he does. And it changed our lives at a weekend and the information that they heard from us. We just stole from Family Life. Yes. And it was the Family Life Marriage Conference that we first attended. That's what we're teaching them.

Yeah. And you can go get that information anytime you wanted a weekend to remember. I think so often we as wives, we want and long for a better marriage. We want to jumpstart our relationship. Hey, so do we. But we're not sure. We approach it a little differently.

Oh, and I think one of the best ways that has helped us and it could help you is go to a weekend to remember marriage conference. It can change everything. And I thought a boring, long weekend where I miss all the good games on TV.

But here's what I found out. It's awesome. You laugh, you fall in love. We talk about stuff that really matters and we even talk about that stuff. And it's a great, great weekend. And it's fun. Yeah. And you can sign up right now.

I'm telling you. And guys, you can sign up. You can sign up at And a wife can sign up. I mean, either one of you.

Just pick one anywhere you want. Get there. Trust us. I mean it.

Trust us. It will be life-changing. Yeah, just like Dave said, you can sign up for a weekend to remember near you at

And really, now's the time to do it. Not just because it's a life-changing weekend, but also because right now registration is half off. So again, check out to sign up. And tomorrow on Family Life Today, Dave and Ann Wilson talk again with Kirsten and Benjamin Watson on how they kept their marriage together despite having seven kids and how Kirsten finally accepted her new identity. That's tomorrow. On behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-10 17:44:34 / 2023-01-10 17:55:43 / 11

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