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Man steals football from woman, has no remorse

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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New Orleans Saints fan, Tony Williams, gives a thumbs down after taking a football away from Cincinnati Bengals fan, Christa Barrett, which Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham tossed to her, after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, November 16, 2014 (Credit: AP/Bill Haber)

{source}<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” class=”vine-embed” src=”″ width=”320″ height=”320″ frameborder=”0″></iframe><script async src=”//” charset=”utf-8″></script>{/source}Here’s what should be leading today’s news: a man was arrested Wednesday after Secret Service officers found a rifle, ammunition, and a gun in his car near the White House.  But with the recent White House break-in, this is no longer new news.  There’s been another campus shooting as well, this time at Florida State University.  With so many recent shootings, this tragedy doesn’t shock us as much as it should.

And a federal judge has overturned Montana’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman.  The judge admits that the amendment was approved by the voters (67 percent voted in its favor), but is convinced that he is right.  With all the judges doing the same thing around the country, this is no longer new news, either.

Here’s who is continuing to generate headlines: the Bengals fan whose football was stolen by a Saints fan last Sunday.  Christa Barrett moved from Cincinnati to New Orleans last summer.  Wearing her Bengals jersey while sitting in the stands, she was surprised when a Bengals player tossed her a football.  She was even more surprised when a Saints fan named Tony Williams elbowed her out of the way and stole the ball.

Christa’s sister pled with him, “Hey, can we just get a picture with it?  I’m a good Christian woman.  I won’t steal your ball.  I promise.”  Williams refused, and has expressed no remorse in the days since.  The video of his theft immediately went viral, and the story continues to generate headlines today.

Why?  I think it touches something visceral in us.  Most of us will never visit the White House and few of us will ever live or work there.  Less than seven percent of us are in college today.  Montana comprises 0.32 percent of the American population.  But relationships between men and women obviously affect all of us, all our lives.

Let’s learn from Tony Williams what not to do, especially in marriage.  For many years I taught a Men’s Bible Study.  Of all the statements I made, the one that has been remembered most was this: “The best way to love your children is to love their mother.”

My wife’s current blog post, New thinking for great moms and dads, highlights this fact.  It tells the story of a man who focused so much on his newborn child that he neglected his wife and nearly lost his marriage.  Janet offers some very practical wisdom for parents and those who care about them.  As she notes, parents have their children for about one-fifth of their lives.  Their children will then be married for the vast majority of their lives.  The way their parents modeled love for each other will likely be the single most influential factor in their own marriage.

The “fruit of the Spirit” includes love and kindness (Galatians 5:22).  When you are loving and kind to your spouse, children, and even the fan next to you in the stands, others will take note.

Your witness today may not go viral, but it is eternal.