David Akers walked into the kitchen. Feeling weak, he put his hand on the counter to hold himself up. That’s when his wife asked, “What’s wrong? You’ve been acting weird.” What she didn’t know was that the money—eight years of NFL salary, close to $4 million—was gone. Their financial problems had gotten real.
Akers was in his ninth year as a kicker with the Philadelphia Eagles and had gone to three Pro Bowls. Several days before, he had received a call from the FBI. He had done his due diligence and sought advice from wise business experts, but the money he had invested with Triton Financial to purchase real estate had been illegally diverted by the company’s chief executive. He had to face his financial problems with courage and resolve. You can do that, too. Here’s how.
Fortunately, Akers has a wife who cares more about relationships than about material things. While losing that amount of money hurts, a strange look of relief came over her face. “Thank God,” she said. “I thought you were going to say you were leaving me. As long as we are together, we will be fine.”
That unique perspective has helped Akers, an All Pro Dad NFL Spokesman, approach each day since from a position of strength rather than fear. Here are 5 thoughts that helped him face his financial problems.
1. Look forward and lead.
When hard times hit, a person can dwell on the past or move forward. As a husband and father, Akers had to set the tone for his family. It was time to embrace a new day. Things may look different for them now, but that certainly doesn’t mean things will get worse. The future may feel less secure, but he has chosen to move forward and lead the way with faith and hope. That approach has a major impact on the well-being of each family member.
2. We always want a little bit more but we don’t really need it.The more we get, the more we want, without ever stopping to be grateful for what we have.
We tend to think, “If only I had (insert object of value), I would be content.” However, once we get that thing, we want something else. The more we get, the more we want, without ever stopping to be grateful for what we have. The cycle has to stop somewhere. Better to stop it now, rather than later.
3. We have our family.
When something traumatic happens, it makes you remember what is truly important. The key to a full life is found in relationships. Material wealth is temporal while relationships are eternal.
4. Time to swallow my pride and downsize.
The whole experience was humbling for Akers. Money and fame bring a feeling of status and accomplishment. When he lost it, pride would have caused him to make bad decisions that would have had repercussions for the whole family. Fortunately for his family, he took the road of humility.
5. It’s not my money.
Right before he received the call from the FBI, Akers and his wife had been praying about giving a sizable amount of money to needy families. They had committed to that decision the day before the call came. They believe the money they have is provided by God and, therefore, is not theirs. So even after the huge loss, they still followed through on their commitment. Their faith in God’s provision gives them courage and freedom.
Sound off: Which of your financial problems stresses you out most?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What is most important to you with regard to our family?”