I can honestly say after meeting Tim Tebow he is as true as he seems. I remember two years ago watching his acceptance speech of the Heisman trophy and standing there with tears in my eyes thanking the Lord that there was a great athlete that my boys could look up to. Someone that loved Jesus more than he loved sports, someone that recognizes where his athletic ability comes from and gives thanks for it everyday. Ever since then our family has been following Tim Tebow. Several times I have used him as an example after Preston or Bennett have lost a game or had a poor sportsmanship attitude. But in the back of my mind I have always wondered, is this guy real? Is he saying all the right things, smiling, wearing scripture under his eyes, etc... but what is really in his heart?
Well, I met him firsthand on Tuesday night and what comes out of his mouth is due to an overflow of his heart. He is in love with Jesus and not afraid to share that. He was one of the nicest guys I have ever met and it was a joy to get to spend some time with him. When I met him I asked him to tell me two things that he thought his parents did to raise him well and for him to be the man of character that he has become. Here was his response.
"It is hard to narrow it down to two things. But if I could just give you two off the top of my head it would be to build confidence in your kids and to teach them to have their own faith." He went on to say that peer pressure was never a major problem for him or his siblings because his parents taught him from the very beginning that their identity comes from Christ. His parents constantly pointed out things that they saw that were gifts from the Lord in their children and instilled a sense of self worth and confidence in them that can only come from Christ. Tim said, "When other kids were doing things that were wrong, I would think, I don't need that or for you to think I am cool. I know who I am in Christ and I know what he thinks of me and that is all that matters."
He went on to say to make sure your kids have their own faith and can stand alone. Don't let them rely on your faith so much that when they get in the world they really don't know what they believe. Teach them how to stand up for what they believe in and make sure never to force them into a religion.
I have been thinking a lot about that conversation over the past few days. And I have started trying to point out to my kids what I see in them in as gifts from the Lord. Yesterday we were riding home and Bennett saw some run down apartments, he made a comment about how if we could help people take care of their property, cut their grass, pick up the trash that maybe they would feel better about where they live. I said, "Bennett you know what? God has given you a gift of great insight. That means that you see things that other people don't see. That you look through eyes that want to help people and see the good in things and what can be done to make it better, not the bad. We are so proud of you and love that you have great insight."
Bennett turns to me puts two fingers in front of his eyes. "I can see through my fingers too mom." Okay, so not the point but hopefully someday he will think back and understand what I was telling him. Preston who was sitting in the front seat looks at me after a few minutes of silence and says, "Can he really see through them mom?"
Wow, we have a long way to go.
Speak into your child today a confidence that comes from Christ. Let them know the gifts He has given them and guide them into making their faith their own. Tim Tebow's parents did and it has made all the difference.