Getty images | Instagram/MarkWahlberg
Source: Getty images | Instagram/MarkWahlberg

Mark Wahlberg Asked Wife to Go to Church for Their 1st Date Yet Does Not 'Force' His Religion on His 4 Kids

Esther NJeri
May 25, 2022
06:30 P.M.
Share this pen

Mark Wahlberg is a firm believer in faith. However, he raises his four kids to choose their paths and never forces his beliefs on them. He hopes that his faith will rub off on them.


In addition to being an award-winning Hollywood star with blockbusters such as "Mile 22" and "Uncharted" under his belt, Mark Wahlberg considers himself a survivor.

By a whisker of luck, he not only happened not to take the 9/11 flight that eventually crashed into the World Trade Centre's North Tower, but he managed to turn his life around when he was younger and become a different person.

Mark Wahlberg announces the new Wahlburgers location coming to MGM Springfield in late 2019 on August 23, 2018 in Springfield, Massachusetts. | Source: Getty Images


Growing up in a rundown district of Boston, Wahlberg did not have a father figure as his dad walked out on the family, leaving Wahlberg's mother to fend for him and his eight siblings. Soon after, Wahlberg's life began to unravel.

Sadly Wahlberg became involved with a drug-dealing and robbery gang. By the time he hit the 13-year mark, he had stopped going to school and had developed a severe drug problem.

A young Mark Wahlberg | Source: Getty Images


At 16, he had a run-in with the law after attempting to rob and assault a shopkeeper and ended up in jail. He said of his 45-day jail time: "I'd ended up in the worst place I could possibly imagine, and I never wanted to go back."

That became his turning point. After serving his time, he realized his brother Donnie, who had also served time in prison, had taken a more committed approach to change his life and struck gold singing in the boy band New Kids On The Block.

Inspired by his brother, Wahlberg began his hip-hop group Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch, producing hit singles such as "Good Vibrations" and "Wildside." He would later transition to acting, which made him a worldwide sensation.


Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg), rapper and actor, circa 1991. | Source: Getty Images

He chose to turn his life around and today encourages and challenges people going through the same struggles to avoid his mistakes. "There isn't anything you can't accomplish by hard work." He says.



While Wahlberg had a resolve to change his life, he attributes his success to his faith. The "Invincible" star shared that while hard work has been a massive part of his journey, faith helped him overcome many things.

Actor Mark Wahlberg (C) speaks as Pope Francis (L) speaks during the Festival of Families on September 26, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. | Source: Getty Images


However, besides overcoming his challenges, his faith has also helped him find purpose and the discipline to lead a good family life and enjoy a beautiful marriage to Rhea Durham for the last 13 years.


The "Date Night" star and his wife met during Wahlberg's press junkets. Wahlberg asked the model if she would go out with him, and she said she would.

Actor Mark Wahlberg and his girlfriend model Rhea Durham attend the premiere of "Four Brothers" at the Clearview Chelsea West Cinemas August 9, 2005 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


He then asked her if she would accompany him to church, and when she agreed, they set their first date at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Shortly after their first date, Wahlberg realized that Durham was the woman for him.

When he found Durham, he not only found a wife but met his soulmate, a woman that would change his life for the best. Wahlberg revealed that while Durham still worked as a lingerie model, she had a goal to one day become a wife and a mother.

Model Rhea Durham at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 17, 2016 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


And while their physical attraction was evident, it was their mirrored values that kept them together. They developed an unbreakable bond long before they got married. Wahlberg would say of his wife:

"I owe a lot to my wife. She has helped me become the man that I am and created a beautiful life for our children and me."

Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham attend the "The Gambler" New York Premiere at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on December 10, 2014 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images



After their first date at church in 2001, Wahlberg and Durham welcomed their first child, daughter Ella Rose in 2003. They had two more babies, Michael in 2006 and Brendan in 2008. They were already living like a married couple but decided to make their union official anyway.

In 2009, the lovebirds walked down the aisle in an intimate and romantic ceremony held at a Catholic church in Beverly Hills, attended by their three kids and close family members. The following year, they welcomed their fourth baby, Grace.

Actor Mark Wahlberg with wife Rhea Durham and their children Michael, Ella Rae, and Brendan at the Ziegfeld Theatre on June 25, 2014 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


Like finding love, fatherhood has been a fulfilling role for the "Daddy's Home" actor, and it seems almost unbelievable that his first daughter is 19 years old and already dating.

His second child, Michael, is "obsessed with everything sports." His dad makes it his duty to watch his matches; however, he has to watch from the car, which, despite being necessary to help his son build his identity, he says is "difficult." He would disclose, as Closer Weekly reports:

"My kids want to have their own identity, you know? I'm not allowed to get out of the car at football practice or a game. I gotta sit in the car and watch."


Actor Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham with their children Ella, Michael, Brendan, and Grace attend Wahlberg's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony on July 29, 2010 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Brendan is Wahlberg's third child, and like his older brother, he is also obsessed with sports. Besides his love for athletics, he is also the spitting image of his dad and has taken after Wahlberg's love for fitness.


Wahlberg loves taking selfies with him and showcasing his son's abilities on social media. In 2019, the actor posted a video of him working out with his son, followed by another of Brendan doing a pull-up. He is a proud dad and does not shy away from showing it off.

Actor Mark Wahlberg with wife Rhea Durham and their daughter Ella Rae, at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 8, 2014 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


Fitness and athleticism seem to run in the family and are evident in their love for sports. Despite being only 11, the family's baby, Grace, loves the outdoors, is already a competitive horseback rider, and loves accompanying her dad to the golf course.


While Wahlberg is a man of faith, he prefers to impart his convictions to his children by living them rather than mandating them. He hopes his belief will rub off on his kids but is careful not to force it. He shared with Hoda Kotb:

"But they know that dad can't start the day without being in prayer, can't start the day without reading my Scripture or going to Mass."


Actor Mark Wahlberg with wife Rhea Durham and their children Ella Rae, Michael, Brendan and Grace at The Lot on April 26, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

The "Father Stu" actor hopes that by not forcing it on them, they will eventually gravitate towards it on their own, hopefully realizing that it will work for them as it does for him.