“Walking Billboards for Christ”: New Orleans Saints’ Linebacker Shares How Faith Works in His Family

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For Saints’ Linebacker Demario Davis and his wife, Tamela, there is one all-important mission in their lives—and it’s not football.

“Our primary mission has always been to be a walking billboard for Christ, so that others may be able to see and encounter Him through us and our experiences,” Tamela Davis said in an interview with The Christian Post ahead of a Saturday event honoring Demario for outstanding leadership in the NFL.

“No matter where we are, no matter who we’re speaking to, we can’t compromise who we are,” Davis declared. “We know Who we belong to. We want to make sure that we’re always being a good representation of who Christ is and that we’re able to invest and share all of our life experience in a way that reflects Him.”

“Demario is all about the importance of men stepping up and leading in their homes and in their communities, and in their work environments,” Davis said of her husband, who is currently in his ninth season with the NFL. “He’s so intentional about spending time in the Word and faithful in how he spends time with God. He’s so reliant on God in every facet of life. He daily goes before the throne, asking God to reveal to him his flaws and strengthen him for the sake of the Gospel.”

While the couple place immense value on sharing the Gospel with others, they don’t shy away from the fact that the Christian life is not exempt from experiencing pain: “We want to be honest about what it means to follow Jesus…It doesn’t mean it’s going to be roses all the time.”

The Davis family knows all too well that pain, sickness, and other aspects of life in a fallen world can touch the Christian, citing their youngest daughter, Carly-Faith, and her battle with a very rare form of eye cancer that required the precious girl’s eye to be removed.

“People see the story, but we saw God,” Tamela said of the experience. “He provided us so much peace and comfort. In the removal of her eye, we saw so many other small miracles right before our eyes. We were able to see God’s hand in all of it.”

“This was nothing we would have chosen for ourselves, but we’ve been able to minister to so many others through this story,” Tamela said, noting that Carly-Faith was declared cancer-free last fall. “God is just so detailed and unique in how He elevates each and every one of us for our individual mission fields.”

The Davises also aren’t strangers to being criticized for their faith—even by the NFL itself.

During the 2019 season, Demario sparked controversy for wearing a headband that said “Man of God” during a game. Davis was fined $7,000 by the NFL, a penalty that was later dropped. Now, Demario and Tamela sell “Man of God” and “Woman of God” headbands for a good cause, donating proceeds back to their community.

“Demario and I prayed about it and realized we could sell these headbands and donate the money to a charitable cause,” Tamela said. “That way, people know that we’re boldly displaying the Gospel, but we’re being above reproach at the same time. We’re supposed to submit to authority, so it’s always going to God and asking Him to lead you in a way that is not rebelling, but also not backing down from what you so firmly believe in.”

Now, the NFL is honoring Demario for the tremendous character and leadership he has demonstrated during the year.

On Saturday, Davis received the Bart Starr Award at the Super Bowl Breakfast, an award voted on by all NFL players and given annually to the player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in his home, on the field, and in his community.

“We’re just super honored and delighted he was selected for this award by his peers,” Tamela said of the award. “I’m so excited to see him receive this award at the Super Bowl breakfast this weekend. It’s just a unique opportunity that other people are able to encounter and see some of the things in him that I get to see full time.”

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