The Internet is abuzz with the news that Heisman Trophy-winner-turned-broadcaster Tim Tebow was allegedly dumped by former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo because he refused to break his vow to remain a virgin until marriage.
Whether or not this is true, what is indisputable is that the response to the “news,” particularly from sports media, has been disgraceful.
Rather than applauding Tebow for taking a moral stand and backing it up by his actions, the media made snarky quips to mock the former quarterback. I could list a host of mean comments thrown his way, but I’d rather not give any more attention to his detractors.
Instead, I want to applaud Tebow not just for choosing to live in a manner consistent with his professed values, but also for being willing to endure the ridicule of others rather than compromise what he believes. And, contrary to media presentation of him as some kind of freak of nature, he isn’t alone.
There are many men and women—some virgins, some who have had sex in the past—who have made commitments to celibacy for their future until marriage. While they may not have their commitment to abstinence sniped at on social media, they nonetheless face pressure from our culture to cave in when it comes to sex.
That’s why Tebow’s public stand is so important—because it encourages others who are on the same path. And the truth is, we need more Tim Tebows.
Sexual abstinence outside of marriage isn’t always easy, but it pays dividends. For individuals who practice it, saving sex for marriage can deepen one’s relationship with God and increase trust with a future spouse. It also protects the individual from the potential negative consequences of sex outside of marriage—from STDs to unplanned pregnancies to a higher level of regret at the end of a relationship.
But it isn’t just the individual who can be hurt by promiscuity. Our nation pays a high price for sex outside of marriage.
According to Pew Research, 34 percent of children in the United States live in single parent families. That number is a whopping 67 percent for black children according to the Kids Count research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Research has shown time and time again that single-parent families are more likely to be poor than are two-parent families. Children from single-parent homes are less likely to complete college, more likely to live in poverty as adults and more likely to face a teen pregnancy. And these are the lucky kids. After all, of the more than 1 million abortions that took place last year, it is estimated that 75 percent were performed on single women.
While I salute the hardworking single moms and dads who are doing their best to provide a firm foundation for their children, we must acknowledge that the cards are stacked against them and their children.
And so we come back to Tim Tebow, a young man who has decided that he will wait until marriage to have sex, regardless of what it may cost him in broken relationships and public mocking.
He won’t be contributing to the rise of unplanned pregnancies, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and the abortion epidemic. Instead, he will continue to live his life to please God and treat others well. That’s a good thing, right? Something worth applauding, right?
For those members of the media who have knocked him, I want to ask one question: would you prefer your daughter date a promiscuous “player” or a Tebow?
Jeff Kemp is a former professional quarterback in the National Football League. Jeff and his father, Jack Kemp (the former Vice-Presidential candidate and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development), were the first of only six sets of father/son NFL quarterbacks. In 2012, Jeff joined FamilyLife as a Vice President and national speaker.