Actor Mark Wahlberg has been vocal about his faith for years. But in interviews for his upcoming film Patriot’s Day, the star has revealed more than ever before about his gratitude and dependence on God.
Although he’s now enjoying the life of a settled family man and successful actor, Wahlberg’s life was not always so stable. Growing up in a rough neighborhood of Boston, the star dropped out of school at 13 and became involved in crime at a young age, which culminated in jail time at 16 years. But it was in the midst of this experience that Wahlberg, who was raised Catholic, began his journey back to faith. Confronted with the harsh realities of his choices, Wahlberg realized he had to make a change if he didn’t want to see his life play out in a violent cycle. The star has called that period of his life “A big wake up call.”
Once I focused on my faith wonderful things started happening for me.
“I had to make the choice personally, and then I had to focus on my faith. And my faith has really allowed me to overcome a lot of things. And hard work. You know, nothing comes easy, especially when you’ve got your back against the wall and you’ve got a lot going against you. But I wanted to prove to people through my actions, and not my words, that I was going to change.”
After this decision, Wahlberg committed to the process of turning his life around and over to God. The actor began on a path of hard work and diligence in pursuing his faith. Describing the transformation that began to occur, he said:
“Once I focused on my faith wonderful things started happening for me. And I don’t mean professionally—that’s not what it’s about. For me to sit down and ask for material things is ridiculous. It’s a much bigger picture than that. I want to serve God and to be a good human being and to make up for the mistakes I made and the pain I put people through. That’s what I’m praying for, and I recommend it to anybody.”
He went on to say, “Anything that’s good in my life is because of my faith. A lot of people get in trouble, go to jail and find God, and the minute they don’t need God anymore, they’re gone. But I spend a good portion of my day thanking God for all the blessings that have been bestowed on me. If it all ended today, I’d be happy. I’ve had such an amazing journey.”
Wahlberg and his wife of 10 years, Rhea, share a deep commitment to their faith and are raising their four children to share their values. Presently the actor practices regular devotions and prayer. Commenting on his prayer life Wahlberg said:
“What I do every day is pray for the strength to be a good servant, father and husband. I ask for the ability to raise my kids, to teach and protect them and to be disciplined and firm and loving and nurturing. It can be a fine line, so I ask God for the strength to not lose my patience with my children.”
Wahlberg is a testimony of the life-changing power of the gospel. And though he still enjoys great success in Hollywood, he knows where his priorities are. He credits his faith with allowing him to stay grounded through all the glamor and shallowness of his industry.
”My faith and my family are the most important things. Those things allow me to be successful in all the other things that I’m doing … The most important thing is to have been successful in my service to the community and to the Church and to my family.”