Jeff offers some words of encouragement about the future of the country, and the identity that is at the core of that transformation. What is in the making of an extraordinary man?
CRYSTAL: [Jeff Kemp] says the way to fixing America’s problems is by fixing families. Jeff’s community-based non-profit, FamilyLife, focuses on developing strong men.
JEFF: The root of problems with kids is parents, and the root of parents’ problems is that they didn’t get raised well themselves and that they don’t know how to make a marriage work. I don’t think we can fix the problems in America if we don’t fix manhood. In doing that, we can define “manhood” as a partnership with women to raise the next generation.
CRYSTAL: Jeff’s father, former NFL quarterback and congressman Jack Kemp, helped him identify his purpose. His dad’s message of making your life count stuck with him.
JEFF: My dad mentored me in the sense that he gave me a lot of encouragement to be a leader and to make your life count for others. During the off-season of the NFL as a backup quarterback, I realized, gosh, “I may never get to be the starter I wanted to be and win a Super Bowl, I’ve got to use these off-seasons for good.”
CRYSTAL: While playing professional football, Jeff realized that not everyone had a strong male role model. He now spearheads Men Stepping Up, an Internet movement that prompts courageous men to serve families when fathers are absent.
JEFF: In most cases, manhood is actually bestowed in the company of other men. A single mom needs to put her son in the company of uncles and grandpas, a pastor, a priest, a rabbi, a football coach — a mentor.
CRYSTAL: Jeff says the key to stepping up is first finding yourself.
JEFF: I remember being benched one time and going from first string to third string in one half of a game. I did an interview with someone afterwards and she asked about how you survive something like that. I said, “It’s hard, but I remember that my identity is that I’m God’s son, and it doesn’t matter whether I’m first string or third string. My identity isn’t as a quarterback who knows God and follows him, but as a man who knows God and follows him, who happens to play quarterback.
CRYSTAL: He hopes that once a man knows who he is, then he can lead by example.
JEFF: We men need to look around to see what kid on our team doesn’t have a dad, and bring him to our house for dinner. We need to look to see who is it that hasn’t been shown what it is to be a man. Let me hang out with him — invite him to coffee, invite him to lunch. Churches need to go out of their way to make the ministry to men their primary thing. You can’t fix marriages and families if you don’t help men understand their identity.
CRYSTAL: Jeff’s message for men who don’t use their role for good?
JEFF: You can be a little boy and go consume from lots of girls. You can have a baby by someone and leave them. Or you can say “I’m going to save my best for one woman.”
CRYSTAL: Jeff gives hope to men who have lost their way.
JEFF: Our strength was made to be used to protect and bless others. We aren’t meant to be consumers; men are meant to be investors. So I urge men to ask God to help you to start reading the Bible to learn what He says, to get your identity, and to pray with your wife, if you’re married.
CRYSTAL: Jeff acknowledges that prioritizing what matters is often times hard. He says that there’s only one thing that matters when it comes to being a man.
JEFF: What’s more important is “Who are you?” Who you are is different than the stuff you accomplished and the trophies you’ve gotten. It’s more than the money you have or the car you drive. Who you are is who God says you are.
© 2015 Fox News Radio.
You just finished reading “Being an extraordingary man” on the Stepping Up blog for men.
Jeff Kemp discusses “Life Lessons From the Football Field” on the FamilyLife Today radio broadcast.
Read more about how to triumph in the face of adversity by reading Jeff Kemp’s Book, Facing the Blitz.
Help other men become extraordinary by leading a group through the Stepping Up 10-week study.