The Byrnes Rebels are a national high school football power, in part, because of Bobby Bentley. Bentley lead Byrnes to a 107-52 record over 12 seasons. While serving as the head coach they won 4 consecutive AAAA State titles (2002-2005) before leaving to take over as the head coach at his alma mater, Presbyterian College. Byrnes began this season ranked as the No.1 high school team in America by USA Today. They finished this season 15-1 and won their 6th state title in 7 seasons.

Bobby Bentley’s dream was to be a head coach at the college level, a dream realized when he became the head coach at his alma mater. But being a coach at the college level was more demanding than Bentley anticipated and he began feeling the unrelenting tension between being a committed football coach and a godly husband and father. Yesterday Bentley did something that flies in the face of the narcissitic worldof college football.He walked away from his dream, from an opportunity to advance his career, and from the chance to make a name for himself. And he did it all for the sake of his family.

“The personal challenge to me was to balance being a father and husband with being a successful college coach. The challenge was difficult. The last two years was a trying time for me to be a father and Biblical leader of my household when I’m not at home.”

“You never know until you’re in the college (coaching) profession about the demands of your time,” he said. “You’re pulled in a lot of directions. I was basically a dad during the summer. I don’t want my kids to grow up and say that their dad was a good football coach. I want them to say their dad was a good father and good husband.”

Bentley’s decision brings into focus what should be priority number one for every Christian husband and father. Part of the command to make provision for our families involves our presence in their lives. It is not enough to simply provide the comforts and luxuries of consumer products. This isn’t the essence of what it means to lead a family. Biblical leadership involves a presence that provides, nurtures, disciples, instructs, rebukes, loves, and disciplines those underneath our authority. These can’t happen if what it means to be a godly husband and father is reduced to the disposable income his career provides. I applaud Bobby Bentley for discovering and acting on what matters most, knowing that it meant recognizing that our dreams can often become idols that require the sacrifice of our families in order to be appeased.

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