Manu Tuiasosopo - Story of a football player
Back in 1984, the most exciting event in my career took place at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. It was Super Bowl XIX and I'll never forget the feeling of being a member of the San Francisco 49ers as we beat the Miami Dolphins to win the world championship of professional football.
But let me tell you about an even greater experience. In March of 1981, I made the most important decision of my life. It came at a time when I lived for the weekend; I couldn't wait for all the fun I'd have after the game.
I frolicked around so much that my wife became fed up with me. She couldn't believe that I could change my ways. She had given up on me. The person I loved the most told me that we were through. The eerie thing was that I knew it too, even before she said anything.
The loneliest man on earth...
I had a feeling of loneliness inside like I had never felt before. It was scary. Here I was a successful football player being cheered by thousands of people every weekend. Yet, I felt like the loneliest man on earth.
I asked my wife to give me one more chance, but she had heard it all before. I had to prove to her that I wanted to change. Within a few weeks I went to a Bible study with some players on my team at the time, the Seattle Seahawks. I already knew some of these guys had the strongest marriages on the team. I wanted to know what they had that I didn't.
I learned that these men centered their lives and their marriages around Jesus Christ. They trusted Christ with everything -- their family, finances, job, football career, every circumstance in life. I decided I wanted my marriage restored and my family to be happy. The Bible says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33). That was a great verse for me to learn and act on. It was simple and to the point.
But I had one hang-up. I was afraid if I asked Christ into my life that I'd change physically and look something like a nerd. You see, my image of a Christian was someone who wore buttoned-up shirts and high-water pants. However, the Bible says, "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
This meant that Christ wouldn't do anything to change how I looked. He wanted to change me starting with the inside, with my heart. He wanted to change the desires of my heart, from those desires that caused me trouble into those that would give me peace and strength. All I had to do was have faith in God and trust Him.
I was ready to choose...
I was hearing the truth of what Jesus said in the Bible: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me" (Rev. 3:20).
I opened the door and asked Jesus Christ to come into my life. Today, my marriage is so strong it's incredible. Not only did Christ save my marriage, but He saved me from eternal hell.
I want you to know that my life didn't change overnight; I wasn't born one day, then learned to run and tackle the next day. There has been a lot of work in between the day I accepted Christ and today. As a Christian, I've grown by praying daily, reading the Bible, obeying God moment by moment, trusting Him for every detail of my life, and by letting others know, through my actions and my words, that Christ is real in my life.
God healed my marriage and gave me a new start. And He can heal the brokenness in your life -- in your marriage, your work, your relationships with people -- if you let Him.
The God who created you wants to be in a personal relationship with you.