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Self-Denial

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

With less than 30 seconds to go in the game between Washington and Tampa Bay in the early 2015 season, Kirk Cousins and his Washington squad looked to complete an amazing comeback. Cousins dropped back and completed a pass that resulted in a touchdown and a lead for Washington after having been previously down by 24. A lead that they would go on to keep to complete an incredible comeback for a 31-30 win. And it was after that game that Cousins became an icon as he yelled the words “You like that?!” on his way to the locker room.

On the field, Kirk Cousins has become one of the most talented and respected quarterbacks in the NFL, now with the Minnesota Vikings. But it is his work off of the field that has gained Cousins so much admiration and respect from so many across the sport. In the midst of the greatest points and toughest struggles in his career, Cousins has made it a priority to use the platform he has to inspire and change the lives of many. After the game against the Buccaneers and his headlining “You like that?!” statement, Cousins used the opportunity to not glorify himself but to bless so many others. Cousins made t-shirts with the saying and began to sell them with proceeds going to benefit an organization called International Justice Mission, which protects individuals in underdeveloped countries from violence they are threatened with. Cousins used one of his greatest moments on the field to make one of the biggest differences off of it.

This humanitarian side of Cousins is a result of the tremendous faith that Cousins possesses. The son of a pastor, faith has always played an important role in the life of the Cousins’ family. Kirk’s father, Pastor Don Cousins, says “My faith in Jesus as my Lord calls me to obey His Word, which I choose to do because it honors Him, in addition to being the wisest way to live. As a result, I seek to treat my wife as instructed in Ephesians 5 and treat my children as instructed in Ephesians 6. In addition, studying how Jesus trained up His 12 disciples served as the primary tool in relating to our 3 children.” This foundation of faith has played a major influence into who Kirk Cousins is today. Cousins says, “My faith impacts everything I do. It’s the foundation I’ve built my life on, and that includes my football career. I remind myself that God owns my career and it is His to do with as He pleases. We pray over the football experience constantly. God has used my football story to teach me more about Him, to share about Him with other people, and to connect me with great people who have helped me on my path.” In the midst of the roller coaster highs and lows that accompany a football season, Cousins has continued to keep his faith a priority both on and off the field.

Through the many roles Kirk Cousins has, It is his role as a husband and a father that he cherishes the most. “Being a husband and father is often about self-denial. The way ‘up’ is really the way ‘down’. To have a great marriage and strong relationship with my kids, I need to be focused on serving and loving them, putting their needs and desires ahead of my own. The strength to do this comes from the Holy Spirit. This is the Way of the Cross.” That focus on faith and family carries Kirk over to the football field as well. Whatever it is he does in life, he looks to use his platform to help others. Through it all, both the highs and the lows, he gives God the glory.

Ethan Kruse

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