HEART OF DAVID
Ted DiBiase: Wrestling with The Truth
By Elliott Ryan
- Ted DiBiase has spent most of his adult life in the spotlight. It was not too long ago that if you heard him speaking into a microphone, you probably would have heard him bragging about his money and threatening bodily injury upon his enemies.
Ted followed his family into the family business. Both of his parents were professional wrestlers. His step-father, “Iron” Mike DiBiase, actually died of a heart attack in the ring when Ted was only 15 years old. “He married my mother when I was about five. He came into my life and not only was he bigger than life but he was a wonderful dad. He accepted me as his own son and loved me as his own son. I was grateful. He was my hero and I wanted to be just like him,” says Ted. “I looked at him at a young age and I said ‘If I can pattern my life after this man, I’ll be successful in life.’”
After building his reputation in the territorial wrestling system of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Ted finally became a nationally known star in the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment – WWE). He was given the nickname “The Million Dollar Man.”
“Basically the Million Dollar Man character was a villain. He was a guy who thought, by virtue of his wealth, that he was better than everybody else. He was very arrogant and always flaunting his wealth. He believed there was nothing that his money couldn’t buy,” said Ted. “It was easy for people to hate me in that role.”
Not only did DiBiase portray this character on television, he was also asked to portray the character even when cameras weren’t rolling. “They marketed my character in such a way that they tried to make people believe I was really rich. So I got first class treatment everywhere I went,” said Ted. The wrestling company he worked for gave him money to flaunt as he travelled from town to town on the wrestling circuit so anyone who saw him in public would believe he really was “The Million Dollar Man.”
But with money and stardom came a lifestyle of sin that threatened to ruin Ted’s family life.
“I was working 300 nights a year and was in a different town every night. I was travelling so much that I sometimes had to look out the window of my hotel room when I woke up in the morning to remember where I was. Living in hotels brought me to a very lonely place. I’m not using that as an excuse. But it takes a toll on you. People turn to drugs or alcohol or other things to ease that pain.”
Ted was on his way to an overseas tour in 1992 when his lifestyle on the road finally caught up to him. “I fell to infidelity. When my wife confronted me with this infidelity, that was a wake up call for me,” says Ted. While Ted had grown up as a believer and was married to a Christian woman, his years of neglecting his spiritual life had led to one of the darkest moments of Ted’s life. “Seeing myself for who I had become was horrifying.”
While he had previously gone through the motions of accepting Christ, he realized something was missing. “I had made that commitment but there was no fruit. I was empty because there was no real relationship, no real intimacy with God. There was still a void in my life. When the fame, the money, the beautiful wife, and the kids, and all that God blessed me with weren’t enough, I tried to fill that void with drugs and alcohol and other women.”
Ted sought the counsel of a friend of his who was in the ministry. He repented and began an authentic relationship with Christ. His wife forgave him and the marriage was saved. In the years since his conversion, Ted has developed a new reputation. While he still speaks to crowds behind a microphone, his message has changed. Instead of promoting his next fight or flaunting his money, Ted now steps up to the microphone to tell anyone who will listen about what Christ has done in His life.
Now an ordained minister, Ted has started Heart of David Ministries. “It is a ministry of evangelism and encouragement. When I was in my infancy as a Christian, in those dark days, when I was trying to regain the respect and trust of my wife, I would go to the Bible and read the Psalms. Psalm 40 was David’s cry for help. As I studied the life of David, I realized here was a man who failed miserably. He committed adultery, deception, murder. His family was dysfunctional. But God could say of David, ‘He’s a man after my own heart.’ It made me understand in a greater way the mercy, compassion and grace we receive from God. He is there to forgive and restore as long as we are willing to get back up and carry on with Him.”
Today, Ted speaks to men’s meetings, school assemblies, prison inmates, and church congregations around the country. His message is one of warning and of hope. “I have had some success in the world. I can stand up in front of people and say ‘Been there, done that.’ In spite of all that I had that the world had to offer me, I was empty until I put Jesus Christ on the throne of my life. ”
Ted also does wrestling outreaches. He brings a ring and some professional wrestlers to put on a wrestling show sponsored by churches. The wrestling show is a hook to draw wrestling fans that need to hear about Jesus. During the show, Ted shares his testimony with those in attendance.
Ted’s name is being mentioned again these days in wrestling circles. Two of his sons are currently professional wrestlers. One of them just debuted nationally on WWE television. Coinciding with that debut, WWE has just released an autobiography of “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. “This book is mainly about my wrestling career. I told WWE I wanted to be able to share my faith in this book. So in the last couple of chapters, I share my testimony. So that will be the last thing wrestling fans read when they pick up my book.”
While Ted ministers to others, his own faith is reinforced. “Whether it is a guy in prison, or a guy dealing with pornography, or a guy dealing with drug addiction - whatever he’s dealing with - time and time again I’ve heard people testify, “Jesus set me free.’ I hear these testimonies every week and it can’t do anything but deepen my faith,” said Ted.
Editor's note: For more information on Ted DiBiase or to arrange a personal appearance please contact:
12-111 Fourth Ave #373
St. Catharines, ON L2S3P5
Phone: 905-984-3168 ext 221
Also, visit Ted DiBiase’s Web site: www.milliondollarman.com.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.