Thursday, December 25, 2008

Role Models

I don't think there are very many men who play professional sports that I would want my kids looking up to. But, after reading this article, I found one more. Kurt Warner. I want to point out just a few quotes that struck me.
Warner has one hand on the steering wheel and the other buried in a carton of french fries when the conversation turns to how he's perceived. He knows what some people think -- that he's a do-no-wrong perfectionist who doesn't curse, doesn't drink and lives this straight-laced, holier-than-thou life.

And in a way, he understands. That's what happens when you talk about Jesus, mention God or explain your selfless ways by professing your faith. That's what happens when you pass out football cards that in bold, red letters proclaim: "Read The Bible -- Attend Church -- Pray to God -- Tell Others About Jesus." And that's what happens when, after winning the Super Bowl MVP award, you stand on the biggest stage of your life and begin a postgame interview by saying, "First things first, I've got to thank my Lord and Savior above."
A man who isn't afraid of his God is my kind of Christian.

"Now he's reading that we shouldn't have premarital sex, we shouldn't drink in excess or be drunk," Brenda Warner said. "He's finding all these things and calling me on it. So we had to make changes. He wanted to get our lives right. He decided no sex for the year until we were married. Who does that? Who goes back? But he found that in the Bible and wanted to live that way.

"He made the decision that if he was going to do this, it would be all the way, it wouldn't be pick and choose like I was doing."

He isn't perfect, but he works on his problems. But, it comes with a price:

"I've heard it all," McCown said. "Holy Roller, Bible thumper. And then there are the guys who don't want to be around him because they feel like he's judging them, which is hilarious because people will say that and Kurt's never said a word to them. There are even fellow Christians who roll their eyes because it bothers them."

Said Warner: "I think a lot of times where people see they're insufficient or lacking in certain areas they feel they're being judged even when they're not. And they condemn themselves more than anyone else does. But that's part of it. That's part of this stigma, this preconceived idea of who I am."

These two quotes are very telling of his life:

"By understanding what my priorities are and never wavering, that's how you influence people," Warner said. "It isn't standing on my chair with a Bible and yelling out scripture or condemning people for being sinners. It's about living your life with a certain sense of excellence. And when people start to scratch their heads and wonder what it is that makes me different, that's when I tell them the answer is Jesus. And then I let him do the hard work."


And he can never escape the everyday roller coaster of being a father of seven. There's the fourth-grader who hasn't turned in his past three book reports, the 16-year-old who just found out she got accepted into NYU and the 3-year-old who is tugging on his pants begging for money to stuff into her change purse.

Yet every time the Warners go out to eat, they ask their kids to select one family in the restaurant to anonymously buy dinner for. They ask their kids to tell them the eye color of any guests to their home, making sure that they've made eye contact when introducing themselves. There are 38 pictures of the Warner kids that cover the walls of the family home gym. Warner won't go on an extended vacation with Brenda because he can't stand to leave his kids for more than a couple of days.

And then there are those 106 overstuffed Christmas stockings lining the entryway to the Warners' home, filled with socks, toothbrushes, lotions, Tic Tacs, chewing gum and $150 gift cards.

No matter how much people argue, Warner is not your usual guy.
Sounds like a good man. A good Christian man.

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