Former NFL Player Benjamin Watson Boldly Lays Out the Case Family, God, and Country at CPAC
It is encouraging to see believers step out in the Entertainment Mountain for God! Former NFL player Benjamin Watson has boldly stood for God, family and his country, America, in his career and life. We share with you his empowering speech about the importance of family at CPAC, Conservative Political Action Conference, 2019.
Watson is a father of five children with twins on the way! He says that family is very important to him and he has seen the changes in American families. We are not replacing ourselves! We need 2.1 kids to replace ourselves, and America is at 1.7. Our culture is dying! “That needs to change and that only changes when people understand the importance of family.”
“Behold, children are a 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! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5 ESV
“Children are like weapons! They are. Children are like weapons that we pull out and that we shoot into culture. Think about the effect that we have when we raise our children the correct way, when we instill values into them, they change culture.” Watson is the oldest of six kids, and his father talks about how his children are going places he was never able to go. It is because they instilled values into their children, and they are around the world doing things for the Lord and humanity!
“If you have children pour into them, children are a blessing while society would tell you they are not. Family is a gift ordained by our Creator; it should be cherished not mocked. Upheld, not ridiculed, kept together not torn apart. So much of what we see today is tearing us apart. It is tearing families apart. We see mother turned against father; we see sister turned against brother, we see parents turned against children because of outside influences…”
Watson talks about his book Under Our Skin and that we need to talk about the hard things like race in our culture. “Family is the most important and powerful weapon when it comes to changing culture…the living room is as important as the courtroom when it comes to making change.” He asks us what the conversations are that we have about race in our living rooms? What are the faces or expressions when issues of race come up? Our children or grandchildren absorb everything that we do! “As parents, that’s our job, the living room is [where we can be] teaching them how to think, how to be compassionate, how to be kind and how to be loving. How to fight for the oppressed and how to fight for justice. All those things are taught not at the university, not outside on our teams, not at our schools; they are taught in the home. The home is where we train them up, where we teach them to care about other people.
“As a nation, I would say that the strength of our families will ensure our future, or it will condemn it. When it comes to unity and solidarity moving forward into the future, a lot of that depends on what happens in the family. We can’t trust outside influences to train them; we need to be doing that in our homes.”
“The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.” Frederick Douglas, Abolitionist
“Families pass on honesty, truth, and virtues needed for healthy interpersonal relationships as well as community relationships. All that stuff starts in the home, and our nation will only survive if honesty, truth, and virtues remain paramount. That’s how it is going to survive. The fighting, the bickering, there is always going to be some of that. We all have different views; we all come from different places. We all have different worldviews, and that’s okay. It’s okay to be different, it’s okay to have different perspectives, but there are certain things that need to be held paramount for this country to succeed. Honesty, truth, and virtues. We need all to be able to come together for that. If the truth is not what you think it is, you need to be willing to say it’s not what you thought it was and move to the other side, that’s okay! Because winning the argument can’t be our only reason for getting involved as conservative/liberals in conversation. It can’t just be about winning. It has to be about what is true, what is honest, what is virtuous.”
Watson speaks next about fatherlessness in America. “We have somewhat of an epidemic I would say, across the board, in this country. According to some statistics, one out four children lives without a father in the home. Not a father period, not just biological, but no uncle, a father figure, not a father period in the home. That’s how 19 million children in the United States live. Maybe you lived without one, and that’s not to say that you can’t be successful, but all studies point to the fact that many social ills would be eradicated if fathers, if men, would do what we were called to be.” He shares how men can break the cycle for their family but also society by being there for their family!
Maybe you are living without a father or had to grow up without one? Know this, that God is a Father to the fatherless! He is there for you, and at VFNKB we had a camping trip for ten years that focused on fathers and their children and restoring that relationship! You can find out more at Next Step Outback. It is encouraging to see Ben Watson focus on the family and the importance of fathers in the family!
Watson shares how the following scripture is his family’s mission because someone who walks humbly with God and stands for justice, mercy, and kindness is one who will be remembered!
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 ESV
“First thing for our children is to model this as parents. We need to be people who correct and challenge ideals, systems, prejudices, biases that are wrong. We need to be willing to identify things for what they are and have the courage to stand for what is right. And the courage to give people their just due. Justice is uncomfortable sometimes. Sometimes it will take you stepping outside of your group because our groups sometimes are going the wrong direction…we need to be people who act justly and correct these things.”
Watson continues, “Secondly we need to be people who are kind. We need to respect each other’s humanity…we are created in the image of God. We are all image bearers. Whether we wear blue or red, whether we are black or white, whether we are poor or very wealthy, we need to have a common respect for all humanity, because we are image bearers of Him.”
He shares his third point, humility, “Humility is not weakness, I say it as a football player, humility is not weakness, but it is posturing yourself in a way to understand that it’s not all about you. You are not the most important thing or the most important person. As a matter of fact, someone else has equal value to you no matter what their occupation is. Humility before God makes you humble before people. It opens lines of communication.” Hostility closes lines of communication but when you posture yourself in humility that will open the lines of communication.
He continues to speak on racism and how we need to realize that our differences are not better than someone else and to celebrate our differences because God created us this way!
Also, he shares about the sanctity of life and the fact that 60 million babies have been killed since Roe v Wade was passed. Don’t be distracted by this extreme and defend life from conception until death, being pro-whole life! This is truly pro-life.
Another injustice he talks about is sex-trafficking. There are 2 million children currently traded and exploited for sex around the world including America.
“What voice has God given you to stand in the gap for them? Not just for abortion but also for this issue…Justice issues are a seamless garment. We don’t have to stand for one issue; we can multi-task…we can be people who stand for multiple issues because they all fall under the issue of justice.”
Watson shares several more injustices giving us the wisdom of how to fight for justice for each of them together as a family! He challenges us to be a people willing to bind up the nation just as Abraham Lincoln implored Americans to do.
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” Abraham Lincoln
Watson has set an example for everyone on how we can use our platforms wherever we are for the Kingdom of God and to speak on truth! We can have a respectful dialogue with those that we meet every day and share the truth. Also, we must remember that family has been around since the beginning of time and it is something that we must value! We need to see children as a blessing versus an inconvenience and to pray for Americans to see children as a blessing again. We want to know your thoughts on this program. Write to us at [email protected]. Greg and John shared in this segment.