Emmitt Smith Discusses Living A Faith-Led Life

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – During a candid sit down interview, Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith recalled hearing the speech that changed the course of his life.

It was the mid 90s, and Smith was just a third of the way into his 15-year NFL career. He was a 5-time Pro-Bowler, and a 3-time Super Bowl champion.

But still, he said something was missing.

“I was actually looking for answers where I kept asking myself – what am I doing,” Smith said.  “If you’re not settled spiritually, things can be a little bit more chaotic than normal.”

Clarity came at an unlikely time: On the way to a concert, a teammate asked Smith to briefly stop at a conference hosted by Bishop T.D. Jakes.

“He said let’s just stop by the Potter’s House and I’m like, OK no problem,” Smith said.  “We went in, and he was preaching, and I heard a message unlike any other message I’ve heard before. It was one that captivated me, and one that led me to seek more. It was a message that I’d never heard delivered in that method, in that structure, or in that context before.”

The message gave Smith a clear path showing where he needed to take his life, he said. But, even then, he still questioned if he heard the message correctly.

“I started going back to see how consistent the message would be, and his message just got stronger and better for me every time I went,” he said.  “It gives me the faith to walk in life unafraid. The ability to know that I am connected to a source that’s much stronger than I am.”

Smith has no doubt that it’s the source that led him to another pivotal moment with Pat, his wife of 11 years.

“Our defining moment in our dating relationship was after a game,” Pat said.  “It was after a game, and I just sensed he was very frustrated, and I said lets get on our knees, and lets pray.”

Emmitt and Pat married in April of 2000. Today, they have five children. But, even with money, fame, and faith their life is still not the perfect picture many might assume.

When asked if the couple ever disagrees, Emmitt laughed, adding, “Oh yeah, absolutely.”

The Smiths say a perfect example of using their faith to help guide them was the decision for Emmitt to compete on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. It would take him away from home for weeks.

“We talked about it, we prayed about it,” Pat said. “We set up parameters that we both felt comfortable about.”

Watch Emmitt talk about his Dancing With the Stars costume:

Now six years removed from the playing field, time has given Emmitt a new perspective on his old job.

“I’ve learned that football sometimes was an outlet,” he said. “It was a way for me to release anger, release frustration.”

His release now comes in the form of a Bible passage recited to him years ago by his grandmother – a verse he now puts into practice in life, and in love.

“Trust in the Lord with your heart and lean not onto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy path,” Emmitt recited.

“It’s not about my way. It’s not about her way. It’s about the way that we both should go. Again, “Lean not onto my own understanding. Allow Him to direct thy path.”

Today, Emmitt Smith is making his mark in the commercial real estate world. He and Pat also oversee Smith Charities for Underserved Children, something they both feel they were called to do.

“Every morning that I wake up, it’s not about me … but truly I was put here for a reason,” Pat said. “I’m breathing today because there’s more that God wants me to do for Him.”

More from Doug Dunbar

One Comment

  1. timorgany morgan says:

    I am a member of the Potters House and I KNOW that the WORD that you got from Bishop was real strong and understanding..

    Timothy Morgan

  2. Ray Lawrence says:

    The Smith’s along with CBS11 flaunt Christianity in our face, then turn around and support the pro-abortion Obama and Democrats. You gotta be kidding me.

  3. Jerry Frey says:

    For Positive FACTS about Christianity, pls visit:


  4. There is No God says:

    It’s a midlife crisis that everyone goes through trying to figure out what to do with your life at that point. Some people get divorced, some people change careers, and some people turn to spirituality.It’s a point of psychological growth. Instead of “Faith Led” label it “Emmitt Smith goes through his midlife crisis.” Believe me everyone goes through it.

    1. Jeff D Johnson says:

      Did you actually read the article? His faith started in the mid 90’s when he was in his mid to late 20’s. How is this now a mid life crisis? I know your agenda simply by your name.

    2. altha says:

      This is sooooooooo true everybody goes through midlife.

  5. Another Phony says:

    Isn’t Emmitt Smith endorsing Tequila Herradura? Some Christian.

  6. Johnnie Bryant says:

    Remember when you point a finger at someone you have 3 pointed back at you.

    Christianity is not about mid-life crisis or Tequila Heradua. Get real and stop being judgemental.

    1. Colby Bauer says:

      Yeah, you’re right. Christians should act just like everyone else. That’ll show everyone the difference accepting Christ makes!

  7. Dessie M. Sanders says:

    Thank you Emmit and Pat Smith for sharing God’s story. You are both a WONDERFUL Blessing!

    1. Get Real says:

      Yeah, keep drinking that tequila, Emmitt, that poison that destroys families and communities! PRAISE THE LORD (the Lord of Money)! Yes, Lord, blast your hot load on my face and anoint me with your creamy blessings! Lay your hands upon me so I may earn more for me and give you some sort of backhanded insult for your blessings!! YES LORD! I profess you as Lord, yet I live just like everyone else! Yes, Lord, praise be the charlatans !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. All Christian married couples should pray together. (I Peter 3:7)

  9. Vickie Black says:

    Jesus Christ makes all the difference and without Him, we can do nothing. More and more celebrities are coming to the realization that without a personal relationship with Jesus, they are doomed, destined for Hell and have an empty void nothing and no one can ever fill. Jesus gives LIFE! Trust Him today!

    1. Hebrew Child says:

      Jesus is a dead rabbi.

  10. Ann Johnson says:

    I am really perplexed by this interview. What was the purpose? Really!

  11. Helen says:

    I really enjoyed the interview with Emmett and his wife. I just wanted to say that I have always been in your corner. Watching how you always carried yourself as a Christian. I am so proud of what you have done and I know your family is too. You really are a person that you could tell your boys to model themselves after!!!!

  12. Amy Jones says:

    I noticed the photo of The Smiths with Obama. If this means that Emmit is proud of being photographed with him, let alone is a supporter of Obama, I am very disappointed. The Christian message he and Pat share in the interview sounds very sincere and sound. Yet I cannot balance his Christian beliefs with supporting a Muslim-inclined, Israel-hating, America-hating, fetus-hating, socialist arrogant lying, crooked, Jesus-hating eternally doomed “man.” I do not call Obama out flippantly and how I wish this description didn’t fit. I love Emmit, but I find him racist for supporting Obama because he is half black.

    1. Larry says:

      That’s pretty judgmental Amy. Just because he took a picture with the President of the United States does not mean that he adhears to all of his beliefs and policys. I hope you want be judged by God the way you Judge others.

  13. Larry says:

    I’m praying for all of you non belivers, and finger pointers. I’am asking God to touch your Hearts and to draw you to HIM.

  14. Amy Jones says:

    You’re judging me Larry. You apparently are not enlightened as to how evil this president is. One day your eyes will be opened. Believe me. ANY of Obama’s beliefs and policys are ungodly.

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