Former athletes Kim and Corwin Anthony remember their early days together on the campus of UCLA and talk about the events that eventually brought them together for life.
Former athletes Kim and Corwin Anthony remember their early days together on the campus of UCLA and talk about the events that eventually brought them together for life.
Bob: Corwin Anthony was in college playing tight end at UCLA and dating, at the time, the star gymnast on the UCLA gymnastics team. When he came to faith in Christ he realized there were things about his relationship with his girlfriend, Kim that needed to change.
Corwin: I was afraid that if I started acting too much like a Christian, she would think I was weird, something’s wrong with me, and she would break up with me. So I kind of hid that part of my life from her until one day that I couldn’t stand the conviction anymore and I told her God’s plan for sex and for abstaining until marriage, and it was just right after a time of intimacy and I said, “Kim, we got to stop.”
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Wednesday, June 30th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife, Denis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. Today, Corwin and Kim Anthony share about their decision to step back from having sex as a couple and to pursue purity in their dating relationship.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. I’m thinking about love stories in the movies. You know, you go to the movies, see a love story. There’s always some drama, some tension in the love story, right?
Bob: I think we’re going to hear a love story today that’s got a little drama and tension in it, don’t you think?
Dennis: Oh, I think it’s going to be a great love story! I really do! Corwin and Kim Anthony join us on FamilyLife Today. Corwin, Kim, welcome to the broadcast!
Kim: Thank you.
Corwin: Thank you.
Bob: You see that twinkle in his eye? The way he was…
Dennis: Well, I was looking at her!
Kim: I think we’re in trouble!
Dennis: No, you’re not in trouble! You’re in real comfortable hands here! Corwin is the Athletes in Action national director of Pro Ministries. Explain to our listeners what Pro Ministries is all about and Athletes in Action. I’ve participated with you guys. I’ll tell our listeners in a moment what I did, but just explain what you do a bit, Corwin.
Corwin: Well, my wife and I both work with Athletes in Action, and we basically evangelize and disciple pro athletes. They’re players, coaches, wives, front office executives, and we spend each week trying to help them become the men and women God created them to be, trying to help them with their marriages, which is a desperate situation for professional sports teams.
Bob: That’s great.
Dennis: And you, too, have been to the Weekend to Remember® marriage conference. We’ll get to that story in just a moment. Kim, you were an all-American gymnast at UCLA. You wrote a book about this called Unfavorable Odds. The forward is by some good friends of ours, Tony and Lauren Dungy.
Dennis: And, you know, it’s a great story, and I wish we had more time to talk about that, specifically, but I want to know how you met this guy right here at UCLA, because he was playing football, right?
Kim: Yes, he was playing football. Shall I tell them that you stalked me, or should I skip that part?
Corwin: No! No!
Dennis: Oh, let’s hear about the stalking! What did he do?!
Kim: Well, I didn’t find out until one of our couple’s studies at the Dolphins that he was stalking me. When I was at UCLA I would walk to Sociology class, and every single time I was walking there, he would appear out of nowhere and start walking with me, and thought, “Wow, we keep running into each other!” But it wasn’t until we did a couple’s study with the Dolphins, probably eight years ago, when he admitted that he was stalking me (laughter) and he would wait by the Bruin Bear until I got there, and ease his way into the…
Bob: Into the traffic?
Kim: Into the flow of traffic!
Bob: And it just dawned on you eight years later?! Come on!
Kim: I’m a little clueless!
Bob: I guess you are!
Kim: I am! Corwin knows.
Bob: If a guy shows up three or four times in a row, it ought to dawn on you, “I don’t think this is a coincidence!”
Dennis: When did it dawn on you that you needed to find your way to the Bruin Bear?
Corwin: Well, see, to get to class, all the students have to leave one side of campus where all the dorms were and walk down the Bruin Walk. There’s a big, giant Bruin Bear in the middle of Bruin Walk, and that’s there before you walk up the hill to all the classrooms. So every student has to pass that bear if you’re going to school, so I knew it was just the Lord placed a bear there (laughter) at a strategic location to hang out.
Dennis: Where did you first catch a glimpse of Kim?
Corwin: You know she doesn’t remember it but I first saw her our freshman year and we were in the weight room. All the athletes train together and I still can picture it to this day. I was walking and I looked down, and there she was on the floor just doing a stretch and I almost stepped on her. So I kind of stumbled and stepped over her. I look down, I said, “Hi,” and she looked up and said “Hi.” And that was it. But we didn’t talk until a year later. A year later is when we got a sociology class together.
Bob: But did you say, “Hi” or did you say, “Hi?” (Laughter) Which was it? I mean, when you saw her down on the floor, stretching, did you go, “Oh my!”
Corwin: You know, honestly, I thought she was cute, but I didn’t’ really pay much mind but I still remember it to this day, so…
Kim: It’s etched into your mind!
Dennis: You know, it occurs to me that some of our listeners might be offended by us using the term ‘stalking,’ but really what Corwin was doing…
Bob: Same thing I did in high school.
Bob: Come on, let’s be honest about it!
I can show you the locker I was standing by waiting for her to come by, you know?
Dennis: So when did you ask her out on your first date?
Corwin: Well, I kind of got to back up here because I had just committed my life to Christ about three weeks before, and I remember sitting on campus with a teammate of mine who shared with me that I needed to really live for God and not just say that I knew God.
I remember praying the prayer and saying, “God, I don’t know how I can live for You like I know I’m supposed to…” and I’m thinking in my mind, “Boy; there are a lot of women on this campus. I don’t know if I really want to live for God!” But I also added, “God, I know it’s the right thing to do so please help me.”
So I began my Christian journey that year in college. Now, I had had my eye on Kim for awhile but she was dating someone else. All of a sudden, after I prayed this prayer of fully committing my life to Christ and knowing what that meant, I find out that she’s no longer dating this other guy. We have a class together and she was sending some signs that there is a possibility.
Kim: Okay, wait a minute!
Dennis: I’m sorry this is not television! She has raised a finger!
Bob: The look on her face! Sending “some signs!” Corwin, I don’t think so!
Corwin: They were signs to me!
You looked at me and smiled! That’s all I needed!
Kim: Is that all? Well, I really didn’t know Corwin but we had a tutoring session together. There was a female basketball player sitting in between us, and she passed this note to me, and on this note was one of those things written, “I like you. Do you like me? Check ‘yes’ or ‘no.’” And it was from Corwin! (laughter).
Bob: Now, Corwin!
Kim: And so basically…
Bob: Wait, wait, wait!
Dennis: This is all Pac 10?!
Bob: This is junior high! Corwin, this is what you’re doing as a college football—that’s the best you could do?!
Corwin: I had no Mac. (laughter) I had no game, I didn’t know what to do at all, but you know…
Dennis: You were smitten’!
Dennis: So check the box. So what did you do with the note?
Kim: I kept it in my bag. I didn’t check anything. I just kept it in my bag.
Bob: You checked him though, didn’t you?
Corwin: My phone number was on it.
Kim: Yes, his phone number was on it. I don’t know how long it took me but several weeks later on a Saturday I was really bored and I saw the note on my desk in my dorm room. My roommate was out of town and I said, “Well, let me call him and see what he’s doing.” So I called him and that’s kind of how it began.
Bob: And the rest is history!
Dennis: It worked!
Corwin: Everything you need to know, you learned about it in junior high, okay?
Bob: But you had this dilemma because here’s this cute young gymnast and you’ve just surrendered your life to Christ. She was not walking with the Lord, didn’t know the Lord at that point, did she?
Corwin: No, not at all, and I started meeting with our ministry on campus, the chaplain there would hold Bible studies. So, after Kim and I got together I lived a double life. I would go to Bible studies and do college stuff with her and be intimate with her. I’d go to chapels and be intimate with her and I’d go meet one-on-one with our team chaplain, and that went on for about two months.
Now I really had a sincere desire to grow and be the man God called me to be, and as you know, when you want it God gives to you. So the Spirit of God began to convict me more and more and more about my lifestyle. I knew that what I was doing was wrong. I knew I was taking advantage of Kim’s ignorance and although I did share the Gospel with her I didn’t tell her everything about what it meant to walk with God.
One of the reasons was I was afraid that if I started acting too much like a Christian she would think I was weird, something’s wrong with me, and she would break up with me. So I kind of hid that part of my life from her until one day that I couldn’t stand the conviction anymore and it was just right after a time of intimacy and I just sat up and said, “Kim, we got to stop.” I told her why. I told her God’s plan for sex and for abstaining until marriage. At that time I thought “Boy, this is it! She’s going to drop me and my reputation is ruined!” And I’m pretty much saying good-bye to her by telling her we have to stop.
Well, instead of leaving me, she became curious as to why a guy would share like this. She had never heard that before!
Dennis: Okay, let me stop you at that point. Kim, when he shared this with you, was the message so mixed because him pursuing you physically on one hand and then now he’s making a declaration of purity and chastity…what did you think?
Kim: Well, honestly, I got kind of excited about it because in my life I didn’t know very many boundaries. When he brought this up, I thought, “Wow! He literally loves God more than he loves me!” Because actually, Corwin didn’t tell you when he told me that, he also opened up God’s Word and began to read to me God’s plan for intimacy to be inside of marriage and not outside.
And so, in my crazy mind, I’m starting to think, “Wow, there are some boundaries in my life. God wants boundaries for me and these boundaries are not because He doesn’t want me to have fun but they’re there to protect me.” And actually, I felt protected for one of the first times.
Bob: Was it in that setting where you are convicted about what’s going on in your life and about the fact that you guys are being intimate and you sit up and say, “We got to quit this,” and you open up the Bible…was that where the spiritual turning point in your life, was that where you came to faith, you think?
Kim: Well, Corwin, you can help me out on this.
Corwin: It was before. When we first met, I did share the Gospel with her, I went through the Four Spiritual Laws and that’s when she understood to have a personal relationship with God and that you need to make that connection right. So she did invite Christ into her life at that time, but I didn’t share everything with her at that time.
Kim: About what it meant to live for Christ.
Corwin: About what it meant to live for Christ. God’s boundaries. His plan for intimacy. That happened about two months later into our dating relationship.
Bob: And in that setting, two months later, you were saying, “I’m convicted. We got to stop.” I just got to tell you I know people who have said that before and it didn’t hold.
Corwin: Yes. Well, we actually did stop the full act but there were about six times that we struggled going a little too far, and we actually broke up.
Kim: Several times.
Corwin: Several times over the past two years.
Kim: We break up for a month and then get back together, “okay, we can be strong now.” And then, when we messed up, we broke up again. It just happened over and over again.
Corwin: I didn’t handle that very well at all. We didn’t have the proper boundaries in our lives. It was just kind of us trying to do it on our own, even the team chaplain didn’t know we were still kind of struggling a little bit. We just kind of tried to get this area under control the only way I knew how. You get away from me. I’ll get away from you. Let’s get strong in the Lord, then come back together and see if it takes then.
Bob: So if you’re in the locker room today with a 19-year-old athlete who’s pretty good looking and strong and he’s got this girlfriend and he wants to be pure…how would you coach him, Coach? How would you tell him, “Here’s how you can do this? Here’s what’s got to be in place in your life.”
Corwin: Well, you know, when Kim and I got back together, we broke up for…
Kim: Over a year.
Corwin: What we thought was final.
Dennis: A year?!
Corwin: Yes. And this was my junior year, her senior year. We were separated for that entire year, and that was the first year of my life where there was no compromising at all in this whole area. That’s when I learned how to have a little more self-control. So we got back together and things were much better. It was like, “Thank you, Lord!” Then we ended up getting married.
The things that we learned during that period were you can’t do it by yourself. The power of this sin is in its secrecy and you really need to have people in your life that you love and trust that you can be real with. But there’s a lot in this world that is feeding the sexual appetites of men, especially.
And so, one of the ways I would council these young men is to guard your heart. Guard your eyes, guard your ears. You can’t just go and see any old movie just because it’s the next newest popular thing out. You really don’t know what the movie is about. Know what you’re going to be exposed to and protect yourself from feeding that hunger.
Dennis: Yes and a lot of guys mistakenly think that marriage is going to rescue them from all the feeding. That doesn’t necessarily rescue you from all the fantasies and lust that a man can still feed and feast his mind on. Take us to the end of that year when you had your sabbatical from each other, and then you decided to get back together. How long before you asked her to marry you?
Corwin: Wow. We met probably in August. I remember because I had just injured my knee. I was on crutches walking up to campus and she had already graduated. It was my senior year and she saw me on crutches and felt sorry for me and we struck up a conversation and we decided to…
Dennis: Now wait a second, I just got to ask her a question. Were you stalking him?
Kim: I was not stalking him! But I did feel sorry for him on crutches because I didn’t know that he had injured himself.
Corwin: Yes, well we struck up a conversation and decided to just get together and talk. We drove somewhere and parked and just began talking and reconnecting. It had been a year since we had talked and we began sharing with each other what was going on in our lives what God had been doing in our lives.
Corwin: So, you know, we ended up leaving that night thinking, “Wow this is…” I’m thinking, “Well maybe we’re going to get back together.” I’m not sure what she was thinking.
Kim: Yes, I wasn’t there yet. You know, I’m thinking, “He’s a great guy, and it will be good to have him as a friend.”
Corwin: Now her mom was thinking something else, which I found out about later.
But her mom was begging her, hoping that we would get back together.
Kim: So were my coaches! My coaches loved Corwin! He would be the only person they would allow into the gym to watch.
Dennis: You were surrounded by matchmakers!
Kim: Evidently, evidently!
Bob: So how did you pop the question?
Corwin: Well, we drove down to San Diego. We spent some with some close friends of ours and I went and bought the ring down there. I remember driving up Pacific Coast Highway in California, and we parked and…
Dennis: Did she you know you had the ring?
Corwin: No, she didn’t. She had no clue.
Kim: No clue.
Corwin: We started talking. I can be kind of a serious guy sometimes and be misread and so she thought I was breaking up with her because I began just to talk about our relationship. I don’t know, I guess I overdid it. I was trying to set her up, but she ended up crying and I got out of the car…
…I got out and got on one knee and proposed to her right on the beach at night.
Bob: And you were ready to say, “Yes?”
Kim: I was shocked! Honestly, I did not know that he would, but I had thought about it. I thought, “I wonder if, you know, we’re going to be together?” And yes, I did say yes right away.
But our relationship was a lot different than it was the previous years because we knew the boundaries that needed to go up. We knew that we should not be together after a certain time at night. We knew that we had to draw the line beforehand and not wait until we crossed it and try to backtrack. So, we were able to honor God in our relationship.
Bob: And you knew by this point that if you wanted a guy to continue to pay attention to you, you didn’t have to sleep with him, right?
Kim: Exactly. And Corwin was one of those people different from anyone I had ever met. So honorable, and one of the reasons why I married him was because I knew that he loved God more than he loved me, and if he loves God more than he loves me, then I’m going to benefit from everything that God wants him to do in a marriage.
Dennis: Well, we know from previous broadcasts that we’ve done with you guys that there was a drama that was really set up to begin to occur after you were married, but I want to say a work to the singles who are listening in.
You’re relationship needs to be according to the Book. The boundaries Kim has been talking about here are really needed today I think within the singles community especially of those who bear the name of Christ, who go to church, and who profess to follow Him.
I just appreciate your courage, Corwin, as a man, you know, to get control of your own passion, lust, and to put it on the table with a young lady to risk the relationship and to get honest about it, and ultimately, to conquer it and to make it a really a statement of redemption. I think men today need to see that and I just appreciate you doing that.
Bob: Yes, I think about the book that our friend, Randy Alcorn, wrote a couple of years ago called The Purity Principle that’s just a great challenge to men and women, to put into practice, to embrace God’s design for human sexuality. Not only is it best for you, but it’s what the Designer has in mind for you. It really is ultimately about whether you’re going to submit to what He’s called you to or whether you’re going to follow your own lust and passions.
Let me encourage folks: if this is a challenge for you, go online at FamilyLifeToday.com to get a copy of Randy Alcorn’s book and read through it. Pray through it and ask God to give you strength and to give you grace and to forgive you and to help you repent.
Again, the title of Randy Alcorn’s book is The Purity Principle. You can find out more about it at FamilyLifeToday.com. We also have copies of Kim Hamilton Anthony’s book, Unfavorable Odds. It’s her story of her life becoming a world-class gymnast against unfavorable odds.
Again, that’s the title of her book, and you can get more information about it online at FamilyLifeToday.com, or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY, 1-800-358-6329. That’s 1-800 F as in “family” L as in “life” and then the word TODAY.
As I was doing the math recently, just trying to figure out how many different guests we’ve had on FamilyLife Today. We’ve got this guestbook here in the studio where guests have signed it. We’re just about out of space in the guestbook where we’ve got, really, hundreds of names of folks who have been with us here on FamilyLife Today over the last 18 years, and it occurred to me while we’ve got some folks who have been listening throughout that whole period of almost 18 years now.
We’ve also got folks who have just started listening in maybe the last month or the last six months or the last year. If you’re new to FamilyLife, maybe you’ve just started catching the program or maybe you moved into a season of life where FamilyLife Today makes a little more sense than it did earlier. We’re glad that you’re along, and we’d love to let you know more about the ministry of FamilyLife. We’d love to introduce you to all that FamilyLife has to offer for couples, for moms and dads, and for extended families.
You can find out more about us at FamilyLifeToday.com, but we’d also like to introduce ourselves by sending you a free book. It’s a book called 99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget. It has some very practical ways to help you squeeze a little extra money out of the family budget, and the book is our gift to you. All you have to, if you’d like a copy, is call 1-800-FL-TODAY and say, “Send me a copy of that book on stretching your budget.” And again, we’re happy to send it out to you.
We’re looking forward to getting to know you, and we hope this book will provide some practical help for you and your family. Again, call 1-800-FL-TODAY if you’d like a copy of the book on how to stretch your home budget.
And then be sure to join us back tomorrow when we’re going to her more from Kim and Corwin Anthony. Tomorrow, we’re going to find out more about some of the challenges the two of them faced during their first years of marriage so I hope you can tune in for that.
I want to thank our engineer today Keith Lynch and our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our host Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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