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September 4, 2020 6:00 am
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Join hundreds of thousands of students will share their faith on bring your Bible school day on October 1. This event empowers Christian students of all ages to speak God's grace and truth in the cultural realm, starting with two simple steps bringing their Bibles. The school and sharing what God's word means to them. Sign up and be counted. Text the word Bible to 72,000 or visit bring your Bible.org. While school may look different this year. God's word stands forever. That was the time that she set me down so I want to talk to you about this thing called life and she sits on. I want you to know that there is greatness in you you you need to understand that ever since you were born even before you were born, even when they were telling me to abort my new that that was not going to happen. That's Mike Singletary in the Hall of Fame NFL player and coach who's been through a lot of rough things in life but he has overcome through Christ. One inspirational story we have read today on Focus on the Family your hostess focus Pres. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John Mike Singletary is a great example of what it means to be in overcome her. He's overcome so many obstacles to become the man of God that he is today. He is best known of course for his NFL football prowess. He was the intimidating linebacker for the Chicago Bears for many years and the check I'm sure quarterbacks were very fearful of facing off against this guy. I watched Mike a lot on TV. My dad was a Bears fan still is lifelong beer stand and of the intensity came through so much and yet he's he's done so much on the field. That's fine, but you know that's just a sport that some of us really really enjoy and some very few were fortunate enough to play, but there are other aspects to every human being and Mike certainly had many things going on as a child is a young married guy trying to figure out his way and then there's that convicted Christian about what it is to live a life that honors and glorifies Jesus Christ and working to talk to him today about all those aspects of his of his journey here and we should mention that Mike and his wife Kim have seven children and six grandchildren. He's a speaker and we are so glad to have them here today like welcome to Focus on the Family, thank you very much.
I'm already shaking a little. But as I was a quarterback in man, I'm trying to run away and mean and tough and a lot of fun. I will say that I enjoyed it. I would know I do want to come back to your childhood and speak to what the Lord brought you through both you and I think it kind of rough childhoods.
I grew up with single-parent mom and and that are my dad left when I was young that same kind of story that so many young people are facing today the broken family syndrome, but you have really two things that occurred that I want to touch on one was divorce of your parents when you're young and then also the death of your brother. So what speak to those traumatic situations that you had as a child, the divorce of your parents. What happened well, you know, I think, like many large families in America.
It was a situation where mom and dad got married. Maybe at 15 and 16 years old. My dad was really put out of his home at 12 years old. So they worked as sharecroppers in the East, taxes, and this really trying to make is destroying from week to week trying to make it my my dad was trying to figure out what he was going to do for his life in terms of occupation, but those were. They were working their way through life in and when you have a lot of kids fast in next thing you know you got a house full activity, trying to figure out how you gonna make it in. Then I I am for a long time. I I really dislike my dad could not stand to be around them right. So really difficult but I watched all of this. It was finally came to a head you know my my dad was just under a lot of pressure all the time is like life was just come after them right in that context. How old were you when you're your dad and mom split 1212 years old and you had older siblings. Obviously it was.
Did your dad cut off communication. Did you speak to your dad didn't know when when my dad left I still work with him and see how that connection. Nothing really change right between he and I was dizzy and sleep at home anymore right but it was it was very tough and that brings us back to that question of your your brother passed away because that made a significant impact on you as well.
What happened well right after my dad left a few weeks after my dad left my brother Grady who was next to me in the family line came back home.
He moved back home because he wanted to help my mom financially use as well as try to keep me in line, but Dalia just came home in an buddy was coming home is dad and that was talk to you. He was the father figure in and he and I had to walk through that six months after he came back home. He was killed in an automobile accident. So that was really really tough for me yeah really tough loss that I'm trying to figure out now is hitting me at my core. Okay, dad leave, I get that I I bad I wanted Emily would Grady coming back home and doing the right thing.
Now I I'm I'm stuck because I'm thinking God would you in this. Surely you you know about this so how do I how do I navigate through this. So finally I just come to a place of saying you know what I am just going to be mediocre I'm I'm just gonna settle I'm not gonna this whole Christian thing. I'm not sure about it. So you have a sense of God. But now your questioning if these bad things happened in McDonough. Why should I believe in the time how long did that discussion take with God before he said okay I get it.
Whatever it is now monistic with you what it wasn't until my mom walked in the kitchen. She shortly after my belly. My brother, I had come to the conclusion that just what I was going to do with my life.
I was just going to be mediocre. I wasn't gonna strive to do anything great, but I wasn't going to be the worst. But if I could just be in the middle like I could make it now, so she saw she knew me very well. I had a close relationship with my mom and that was the time that she sat me down for Sun.
I want to talk to you about this thing called life and she sits on. I want you to know that there is greatness in you you you need understand that ever since you were born even before you were born, even when they were telling me to abort you. I knew that that was not going to happen. I knew that God had something special about you. The last one we are going to will going to make this happen.
You are going to be born in you going to do great things. She said I want you to know what what life is about life is about you get punched in the stomach and you get kicked in the teeth that you gotta find a way to get up, dust yourself off and get back in the ring and you just gotta keep swinging son, and you just gotta keep swinging and then she asked me to question that that changed my life.
She sits on II know this isn't fair. I know this is this is hard for you but I want to know if you can become the man of the house. I need you right now. Can you do that and you know I had looked at her in and for the first time. It was a different look.
I was a look that she really really believed in me and she needed me to step up. At this time and I looked at her and I said mom I can do that. I got up and I walked in my room when I got out a sheet of paper and and that's when I wrote out my vision statement for life. She 12 years old and 12 is all Mike I mean the power of a loving mom is amazing and it clearly had a huge impact on your life so you came from a broken home, and you lost your brother and now I need to move the story along to you and your wife Kim. Something wasn't right in your marriage. Early on, and it really needed to be top priority didn't it's it's really important. My wife and I were talking about this the other night. We talk about when we first met and you know we we were just reminiscing on how difficult it was known were at Baylor dating in and how alone she felt Mia you know I had to team writing have anything but when we were engaged. I know there were just so many things going to my mind go.
She was why I was black. There were just a lot of questions but knowing that when were engage. There were a couple of the girls that were in the picture because I know I've said many times I wish I was more stable. At that time that II didn't I didn't know Alessio at 21, 22, you know you this well.
I plan football. There's no excuse but obviously airplane football your big guy on campus get pro scouts are talking about you and that happens. Doors 11 many doors and should know yet but it happened yes but all that was part of it was it was part of it so during that time is so interesting because when I'm walking around on that Astroturf after the Super Bowl.
The two things are staring me right in the face is. I gotta go in to give my dad, you know, I just negotiated a new contract defensive player of the year that year we win the Super Bowl, and having get me to have our first child, and I mean everything is just wonderful outside of me in and yet inside of me. I'm just torn so I gotta go, dad. I and and I thought it I thought it tooth and nail acid. Lord I don't I don't need to talk to him. I mean, we don't have anything to say to each other.
I mean I don't hating. I just don't want to be around him. I just I just don't have anything but why do I need to wipe. Why do you want me to go talk to him but I knew it was there. It was the spirit inside of me a small voice. Basically saying do you love me. Yes, I love you, then you need to do this, so surely enough II call and he answers on on the first ring and I just want to get this over with Psalms and that you know what I just issued it issued to son Mike and now I know I'm just calling you to say I forgive you. That's really when the compensation study for forgive me for what right you know why I put clothes on your back in and all you you you more hungry it yellow pay for the house. You say that what what what what you mean. Forgive me for what that's when all hell broke loose address when we we started talk started really yelling and screaming and was about an hour for an hour hour and 1/2 cry and scream and yelling, but when I hung up that phone, something had been set free from something had broken and shortly after that I I went down to Houston to see him. I want to is Houston we we sat there and we talked and I got to know it was the first time that I ever really had a chance to get to know him and my mom always said that you're just like your dad more than anyone. She got angry at me. She's it. Just like your dad will listen.
Anything you have probably heard him like me don't say that it was the one thing she could say they could break me down in and really really listen but as I begin to talk to him. I really understood that I was like him. I really was. My dad sat down and I visited him for maybe four or five days straight from morning till evening just talking to them and asking them questions and and we became friends during that time, and I begin to understand why he did certain things that he did and now am I remember asking how in the world did you just walk out you know and how the question yes and he's a son.
I just dislike driving down the highway in you. You see an exit and you know you supposed to take it. I and I just couldn't. I just I just I just couldn't get off. I knew I was making bad decisions. I knew that I need to needed to to do something different. But yet I just kept right on going in and doing the things that I shouldn't have. I knew I needed to talk to mom and try to work things out.
I knew I needed talk you sisters and brothers it but I just couldn't and he said down, I hope you never have to make that choice and and don't so it was it was an opportunity to really get a chance to have a visit not only with my dad but the person that I would become. Had I not yeah went to that situation. Ensure you are is the same time.
I'm sure it also change your relationship with your wife Kim hadn't had that conversation. Then move into your relationship with your wife.
Well believe what it did it it kind it is fed into it it it after that conversation with my dad after visiting with him and we had that encounter. Now I'm feeling really good. I'm feeling good, but there's still something there it is, like half-and-half, half of me is feeling really good, but there's there's like hang up over here and I'm like the Lord what is this and the next thing was, I need you to come clean with Kim. I need you to tell her everything you did that wasn't right and that relationship while you were dating and I'm like no and had no this is not God.
No, I don't mean we won't marry see no reason why I have to do this so I'm thinking Lord, I have sinned against you and you alone you know if David would say why do I have to go in and tell her what will you know this is just going to hurt or is it going to help what why my doing this and once again that that small voices do you love me yes or then obey me and so I told her everything and of course I felt like I felt like the worst guy in the world you want your life sit there and cry, who believed in you, but knew something wasn't right who's pregnant with the child. It was it was a really really difficult time and finally after six months to year. One day I just said you know what you going to have to make up your mind going out to make up your mind to trust me, you can have to make up your mind to love me and forgive me, the way God calls us to do this if you want to leave then you gotta leave. I'm asking you to stay.
I screwed up while we were dating I would engage that that's on me but I promise you the rest of my entire life. I will love you the way God's call us to love each other and I will never lie to you I will never look somewhere else.
I will always honor you. I will always put you first on this earth and I will be the countryman that you will be very proud to call husband and from that day forth below, God begin to deal with me on things that that I needed to be dealt with. I mean I was hardheaded I was. I was strong willed, I was and little by little God just begin to strip me of those things until this day. What a remarkable story. You've got Mike and for listeners.
This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Our guest today, Mike Singletary and if you can relate to the pain that Mike experienced in his marriage.
Let me encourage you get in touch with us and learn more about hope restored our four-day marriage intensive's.
We also have a whole lot more of Mike's story available in an extended version of the program exclusively email@example.com/broadcast Mike, let me let me ask you. I was watching the news opinion person the others Tucker Carlson and he said something after interviewing a gas that really caught my attention was talking about the breakdown of the family generally and its impact on the culture. But one thing at the end he said he said the country is really breaking down into those that love their fathers and those that hate their fathers. Wow, that is a powerful statement and you look at the lack of reconciliation between a child and their dad and the destruction that that creates the animosity the bitterness. I do think even with what we see going on in the country today.
So much of it.
I'm not talking about just race relations. I talk about just all of it is rooted in these family dynamics that have been so poisonous.
How do you see those things with your friendships in your encampment. The people that you know when you look at what's going on in your own experience with your dad that reconciliation putting yourself aside all the bitterness that you had. I can feel that to but it is. It's like the world breaks down into two groups, those who love the dance and those who hate their fathers know you you exactly right know something happens and and I see it very clearly something happens when you don't forgive a parent whether some mom whether sedan icing on both sides, mostly dad but down when you're able to come to that person whom is supposedly the most trusted person yachting have to think about I turn my back on mom and dad in and I know they got my back and now I can look toward my enemies but now when you mom and dad. One of those enemies.
It it changes your thought process.
I will trust anybody. I don't trust men out of trust women on trip and so that's reconciliation. At the very core.
Because now if I'm not able to go to a parent and say I forgive you. Then I gotta take that in my life and it's gonna that that unforgiveness. He is going to lock away a part of me that I can never touch that I can never reach and that tool that allows me to someone, that hurt me someone to accept something. I don't have the tool to be able to come back and say you know what's okay that's all I know. I'm going to move on. No, I don't have that I don't have the ability to do that because the person that is supposed to be the closest to me the person that the hand that that raised me. I don't trust them, and I have not gone back to see you know I forgive you I and I'm sorry that we have a relationship. Can we have a relationship I've never done that.
So how in the world could I ever forgive anybody else how in the world could I ever be free to extend myself to someone and be vulnerable.
How could I ever do that and so I just there's a part of me that is locked away that will never be discovered because my mind said now then outwardly on the go and do that right in that old saying that hurt people hurt people hurt people is not the way it is and I think were seeing it in the culture today and I think it that the fountainhead of everything goes back to the family and the breakdown of family you mentioned your mom not aborting you as we talked earlier and we flew through that but I want to emphasize the issue of abortion. I mean, that's one of the reasons we have your Focus on the Family will wanted to talk to about the importance of life and when you look at the issue of abortion. It's complicated.
I get that I know that women in some women. Feminists will argue in organizations like Planned Parenthood argue about reproductive rights. We use these terms that make it sound so clinical and so aboveboard, but theologically, it's about taking innocent human life, and I think the scourge on our nation is deep because of it. 60 million people taken out before they had their first breath. How do you relate that to everything we've been talking about your mom's decision that she sensed greatness in you that she was knocking to listen to the doctors who said I think you should abort this baby, and fill in some of those gaps you started with some tough medical issues.
As a young boy, asthma, and other things yes and no to this power for an NFL football player. It's amazing what God can do so just fill in some of those gaps for me in your thoughts and reflections about the issue of the life I think it really comes down to trust.
I think a lot of women a lot of guys you know there many different scenarios you know you got pregnant but you married man and we made a mistake you got right you know this is a relationship, it cannot happen to young is many many different scenarios, but it it comes down to the fear of God.
So when you begin to have a relationship like that in the end you develop a fear of God, then you know that this is something that I don't is not an option is not an option because who knows who I'm carrying who knows what would the value of who I'm carrying and now who knows what God can do with the life but yet I'm afraid, afraid of what they are going to think I'm afraid of what they are going to say I'm okay. I'm embarrassed what so I mean I know that there many different thoughts many different but when it comes down to it if it's a trust issue. II got a trusted I made a mistake and I need to admit that it was a mistake and lowered. I am not going to take a life that is my responsibility to bring forth.
I'm not going to take what only you can give, then do that now and that's it so well said. I mean I'm thinking of your mom with nine kids and that she finds out she's pregnant with you. She's got a struggling marriage.
I think it would abandon today's viewpoint and of the wise thing to do is to not allow this child to come into this horrific situation and I don't care if you end up becoming Mike Singletary, one of the greatest linebackers that ever played in the NFL. All lives are valuable and worthy.
And I think Mike that's one of the most powerful things we talked about today you had a very interesting life. I'm so glad I've had a chance to get to know you this way. So well done Mike Singletary thank you for being with us today and for being with us for the sea life 2020 event. Thank you for participating with this.
Thank you, and you can find out more about sea life 2020 when you stop by our website Mike will be a featured speaker will also be hearing from LV to King Lila Rose Candace Owens and Benjamin Watson and will be featuring a live for the ultrasound of a pre-born baby that's September 26 at 8 PM Eastern online and I will be joining with our friends from the March for life and live action get all the details in the episode notes. John, as we've just heard from Mike Singletary. Life is precious and I hope you'll help us to save pre-born babies through our option ultrasound program here Focus on the Family when an abortion minded woman sees her baby in the womb. She is much more likely to choose life and your gift of $60 will save the baby's life through that program is so far 459,000 babies have been saved if you can give $60 a month. That would be so incredible for the impact you would have more life. Call us and make that donation and when you do some generous donors will match your gift so to be double to save even more babies, live call and donate today. Our number is 800 K and the word family 800-232-6459. We can firstname.lastname@example.org/broadcast on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back more help you and your family thrive in Christ. This is Jim Daly from Focus on the Family are you looking for practical ways to contribute to the pro-life cause. Join us for sea life 2020 on September 26 and learn how you can be a voice for the voiceless. For more information, text, heartbeat, to 72,000