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On The 700 Club
Mike Singletary: Searching for the Father

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary - Coming up on August 1, 1998, former Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary will be inducted in the Football Hall of Fame. A two-time NFL Most Valuable Player and Superbowl champion, Singletary played in 10 pro bowl games, before retiring from the Bears in 1992. He and his wife Kim, who will deliver the introduction speech during the Hall of Fall induction, have seven children and believe in making the family a priority.

Mike Singletary knelt on the gym floor of the Cook County women's prison in Chicago. The champion former pro-linebacker had come to give the female inmates a spiritual pep talk, but their hard, blank stares indicated he was wasting his words. The chaplain had warned him that he probably wouldn't get through to them.

Singletary waited for God's instruction. "The Lord spoke to me in His gentle way and said, 'I think what needs to happen here is for you to humble yourself before them,'"

Still on his knees, Singletary symbolically took the place of all the men who had abandoned and caused pain in the women's life and audibly asked their forgiveness also on behalf of all the men.

"I saw the tears begin to roll down the cheeks of the women," he says, "and the brokenness that was there. Then the Lord could begin the healing."

When Singletary was a 12 years old, his father abandoned their family and a Pentecostal church ministry. One of 10 children, Singletary would sit for hours talking to his mother who kept the family together through prayer and faith in God. Years later, Singletary recognized the hatred and unforgiveness he still carried against his dad.

"So I realized that by forgiving my dad and coming underneath the obedience of Christ, it allowed me to be free," he says. "People really need to understand that forgiveness is not for the other person but for them."

Superbowl, Mike Singletary, Superbowl, Chicago Bears, Mike Singletary, Chicago BearsForgiveness came into play once again during the Singletary family reunion of 1995. Almost all the male siblings had gone through a divorce and still suffered the effects of uncommitted fathers prevalent for generations. The ex-wives, discussing the difficulty of not having husbands as head of the household, caused the men to evaluate their priorities.

After listening, Mike stepped up his commitment to shepherd his family and provide a spiritual foundation for his home. He also credits his wife Kim for helping him become a better husband and dad.

"She's always there for me," he says.

Similar to Mike Ditka's approach to coaching the Bears, Mike sees the family as a team with each member putting team goals ahead of personal ones to become champions. He spends time talking to his children and giving them his full attention.

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