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July 31, 2009 / brockbruce

Tim Tebow: Virgin

If you pay even a little attention to sports, you know who Tim Tebow is: University of Florida quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner, led his team to two straight national championships. You may also know that Tebow’s very open about his Christian faith: He does missionary work (including prison ministry), and has been known to wear Scripture verses on his face. Which led a reporter at a recent press conference to ask him the sort of question people didn’t used to ask. Here’s one account of what happened:

You no longer need to wonder if the devoutly spiritual Tim Tebow is a virgin.

Now you know.

Responding to a question from radio reporters at SEC Media Days Thursday about whether he is saving himself for marriage, Tebow laughed initially and then said seriously, “Yes, I am.”

When another reporter stumbled through and couldn’t finish a follow-up question, the 21-year-old University of Florida quarterback laughed and said, “I think you’re stunned right now. You can’t even ask a question…. I was ready for that question, but I don’t think y’all were.”

Kinda makes you wish you were there, doesn’t it? (You can, at least, listen to the tape.)

It’s debatable whether a press conference was the place for that question. But the reporter who asked it insists that he wasn’t trying to play “gotcha.” On the contrary, he expected Tebow would answer that way:

Why did I believe this? Because Tebow lives his faith. And I believe that living his faith is not artificial, he’s not pretending to be something he’s not. Further, I don’t believe that saving yourself for marriage is something to hide from. Not in the evangelical Christian faith that Tim Tebow practices in a Southern church and not in the evangelistic Southern church where I was raised.

At my Southern Baptist church, proclaiming that you were saving yourself for marriage was considered an asset, something to be proud of. Mothers bragged about their daughters or their sons public proclamation of chastity until marriage. Saving yourself for marriage wasn’t something that people hid. They talked about it openly. In fact, people even wore tangible objects to reflect their purity, bracelets or rings that served as vivid evidence of their chastity pledges.

The reporter goes on to note that Tebow’s response is more than just a personal choice: It’s the sort of thing that can — and maybe even (*gasp*) should — influence other people’s choices too.

I guarantee you come Sunday across the South ministers will approach their pulpits and use Tebow’s virginity as an example to the flock. After all, if Tebow can resist countless girls throwing themselves at him on a regular basis, is it really valid for you or I or countless others to argue that preserving our virginity was just too difficult? Maybe. But I think it’s much tougher. Like many things in life, it all comes down to a choice. And Tebow controls his own choices better than most.

That’s the real story here: Tebow’s willingness to be an individual in a time when it’s easy to get lost in the crowd by making the popular decision. Good for him for standing up for his faith publicly, as he’s done countless times before.

The only thing I can think to add is: Let’s not make those Southern ministers do all the work. Let’s all pitch in to spread this story — and this message — around.



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