Why Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Rededicated His Life to Christ
By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer
NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger revealed he got baptized again three years ago and that his faith helped him get through personal issues and addiction.
“I just felt that I needed to do that,” he said. “I wanted to have a closer walk, a better relationship with Jesus, with my wife, with my kids, my family, become a better person.”
The pro-athlete shared new details about his life at a virtual event called ManUp Pittsburgh, hosted annually by Urban Impact in connection with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
According to the group’s mission, the 90-minute conference, “Encourages and teaches men to be godly leaders for their families, and raises awareness of the devastating impact of fatherlessness among youth today.”
Roethlisberger, longtime quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, detailed how he grew up in a Christian household and gave his life to Christ in middle school.
After going to the University of Miami in Ohio to play football, his faith began to waiver.
He even admitted that he wasn’t “as strong a Christian” as he was growing up when he left for college.
“It wasn’t like I stopped believing, but you’re not sharpening your skills, you are not reading the Bible. I’m still praying here and there, but I wasn’t as strong of a Christian in college as I wish I would have been, like my wife was. I am jealous of her that she was so devout in college,” said Roethlisberger.
Three years into college, he was drafted to the Steelers in the first round, which brought a level of fame and fortune he had never experienced.
It escalated even more after Roethlisberger helped bring two Super Bowl rings home to his team.
Scandal after scandal broke about him in his early years of playing professional football. Although he made it through, his faith still wasn’t a priority to him.
It wasn’t until he married his wife, Ashely Harlan, in 2011 that he put God back at the center of his life. Then, three years ago, he got baptized and re-dedicated his life to Jesus.
Roethlisberger now encourages people they can be both good at what they do for a living and a good Christian.
“Now more than ever, it’s cool to be a Christian, especially professional athletes. One of the things I want to tell guys and tell people out there, I can be a really good athlete and a Christian. It’s not one or the other. I can do both. I want it to be known to all of the young men out there, it’s cool to be Christian and be an athlete. Go ahead and be the best athlete you can be and see if you can be a better Christian. And that’s what I’m trying to do now. I’m trying to be a better Christian than I am athlete and football player. I push myself every day to do that, and it starts here. It’s not always easy.”
Watch the full discussion below.
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