He's the kind of man you pray that your son grows into and the kind you can only hope your daughter marries. Our household has had a major Tim Tebow crush for years and have watched him weather university and NFL drafts while marveling at his unabashed boldness for Jesus Christ through it all. When his Bronco jersey sold out faster than any current rookie or player before he'd even thrown a single pass as a pro player, it was a testament not only to his projected success but also to his eligibility as worthy role model for boys to men everywhere.
I just wrapped up reading his book, Through My Eyes. Written very much in his own voice, you can sense the intensity with which he approaches everything in life: his faith first, family, eternal legacy, and, if football happens to play a part in the latter one, his athletic career, too.
Personally, I took away and stored valuable insights for both my own life and for my role in shaping the lives and attitudes of my own children. Throughout the book you can see the fingerprint of his mother and father who were actively involved in helping him reach his God given potential while constantly grounding him on the truths and principles which would be the foundation for all his actions and decisions.
One seed of wisdom already enacted in our home is a reward system implemented by his dad who wanted his children to live by Proverbs 27:2: Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips. For every compliment given to one of the kids by a stranger, his dad would pay a dollar to the intended recipient. Turns out it's a great incentive for four little kids who often get wild stares and multiple comments from strangers when all are seen out and about with their mother! Makes 'em work to make sure the comment is praise worthy!
With hopefully little risk of plagiarism, here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
Tim's mom, paraphrasing Isaiah 64:4 "We haven't seen a god like ours who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him."
"That's a great blessing to give a child. To remind them, pray for them, and assure them thatGod has a great plan-in His terms and for His purposes-for their lives."
Lesson from parents to be a good steward: "They felt like it was always our responsibility to identify and fully develop the abilities, talents, and gifts God created within us."
"For as long as I can remember, this was instilled in me: to have fun, love Jesus and others, and tell them about Him."
"Our job as coaches is to love you guys; it's your job to love each other." (Twisting this one a little to remind my kids I will love them and they in turn should take what they have received and love each other.)
"People often seem to think that when you're following the Lord and trying to do His will, your path will always be clear, the decisions smooth and easy, and life will be lived happily ever after and all that. Sometimes that may be true, but I've found that more often, it's not. The muddled decisions still seem muddled, bad things still happen to believers. when it comes to making our decisions, the key that God is concerned with is that we are trusting and seeking Him. God's desire is for us to align our lives with His work and His will."
"They (parents) challenged me to win rewards in heaven and to compete for those, so God will say, "Well, done, My good and faithful servant." (A message some Christians aren't comfortable with. Yet the Bible tells speaks of an incredible incentive program heaven offers, not as collateral to be exchanged for our eternal security, but as a reason to press on, press hard, and press with all our hearts towards the saving of souls through any means God has given us. With a household of hot-headed competitors, they get it from their papa ;), this challenges us to run faithfully together in preparation for those good works God has prepared in advance for each of us.)
"The legacy God intended us to leave has to do with the impact our lives have had on the lives of others whom He calls us to serve...Our leagacy should be about building in the lives of all those others (around us), doing something for others that will not only last in their lives here, but for eternity."
One last note about Tebow and the impact he has had on the stage God has given him:
As a university player for the Florida Gators, Tim started putting bible verse references on the under-eye black he wore during games. The night of the 2008 national championship he chose John 3:16. Over 94 million people searched that reference on google during and immediately following the championship game. Lesson learned? There are those watching you whom you may never see eye to eye. Yet your life and testimony is lived out on a stage that impacts others, however unbeknowst to you they may be.