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Pearls & Pigskin

Our stories about life and football.

The Role Model: The Dante and Renetta Wesley Story

Dante Wesley was a third-year veteran defensive back for the Carolina Panthers. It was a crisp morning heading to Spartanburg, South Carolina, yet the air was thick with regret and burden. Married for a little over three years, Dante's SUV was loaded for training camp, but his mind was packed with guilt. God was pulling him in one direction, but temptation was leading him astray. "I had been lying, cheating, living a double life," confesses Dante. He had put himself on trial years before. He had assessed the darkness of his ways: the clubs, the liquor, the women, the NFL lifestyle and all that it implies. Even with prayer, he found he was too weak to be faithful. Even knowing that he loved his wife and knew he had a good woman, a woman who was not blind to his deception. "I always knew he was lying," admits Renetta. "There were so many times when he would try to get out of situations. No eye contact, sneaking away to take a call, covering his cell phone. But, I also knew he was struggling. I listened to him pray when he went to bed. You can tell when your spouse is struggling with his conscience." One Sunday, Renetta was leaving church when her pastor stopped her and took her hand. "Pray for patience," was all he said. She had always felt she was patient and knew she would do anything to help a person in need. Still, she did as she was told and prayed for patience.

While Dante is not clear why his confession to Renetta came out at that particular moment, he considers it a defining moment in his life and marriage. To Renetta, he revealed that although he had been trying to get a hold of himself for years, he could not resist temptation. Like Samson, he was vulnerable to seduction. In the end, he decided that when women want something, they will get it, whether it be your hair or your soul.While his confession unloaded burden, its purpose was far greater than a mere cleansing. Telling, Dante knew, would not make him stronger, nor help him resist future indiscretions. What he needed was a plan. "As he was talking, I was praying on him and thanking God," shares Renetta. "I thought of the pastor and the more I prayed, the more he opened up." Adds Dante, "I was just so happy that it came out like that - from me to her. Not in the papers, not in the street, not some woman coming up to her. It was just me and her, together. I had never spoken to Renetta like that before. Just revealing my whole life. That situation opened up our whole marriage."  

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