Tim Tebow is still a winner, even though his team lost the game Saturday night. The whole world is getting a good look at what Jesus can do through just one person, committed to his faith. Why is that? The world can discuss his football stats and his strong Christian witness, but I want you to know about Tim's mom! People like Tim Tebow don't just happen. When I saw him interviewed after winning the Heisman Trophy I thought, "I would like to meet his mom!" Who is Pam Tebow and how did she raise such a fine son?
Pam Tebow raised five children, two daughters and three sons. Tim is her youngest. She and her husband were missionaries in Southeast Asia when she contracted amoebic dysentery. She was hospitalized and given large doses of strong antibiotics, unaware she was pregnant at the time. The heavy medications caused a significant problem with the placenta and the doctors encouraged her, for the first seven months of her pregnancy, to abort the baby for her safety, and because they were concerned the baby could be born with defects. Pam and her husband chose to keep their baby and instead of abortion, turned to God in prayer. It was a difficult pregnancy and Tim Tebow was born malnourished. He now stands at 6'3" and 245 pounds, a testimony to answered prayer.
Pam home schooled her children, tailoring their education to their personal interests and emphasizing strong Christian character. Tim was speaking about his mother and said, "For 25 years, she put her life on hold for me and my siblings. She invested in our lives — we were her No. 1 priority, and nothing else really mattered." Pam Tebow is now a sought after speaker and working on a book. Pam, in one of her interviews said, ""We have to be intentional about the way we mother and parent. We have to have a plan and a target, a goal for them, an idea in mind of how you want them to end up." Her children have each grown up to become successful men and women, committed to their Christian faith. Pam set high goals for her kids...we should too!
Abraham Lincoln said, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother." Mark Twain said, "My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." One of my favorite quotes is, "A mother of a boy works from son up to son down." I raised two boys and I can "amen" that one! People like Tim Tebow don't just happen -God uses faithful moms to raise up faithful children. What targets do you set for your kids? How do you want them to "end up?"
I have no doubt the Tebows were a normal family, with normal problems and normal kids. I'm sure there were wrestling matches, broken windows, hurt feelings and many moments of teenage angst. Kids aren't born Tim Tebows, they are raised to become that. I used to tell Jim that raising our two boys was like breaking wild horses. I wanted to get their behavior under control, without breaking their spirits. Jim and I just saw the movie "Warhorse" and it reminded me of how I raised my boys. It took patience, a lot of time, several tricks and buckets and buckets of food! I remember the conversation I had with Jim when we talked about raising our boys with the goal of who we wanted them to be at 30 rather than 13. It is amazing how often that one goal changed what we said or encouraged.
The generation that will graduate in 2030 is one of the most significant generations in our nation's history. If the current trends and cultural values remain, Christians in the United States will be a minority in 2030. We need a generation of "Tebows" who have been parented with high standards for their Christian faith. Have you set your goals high enough? Proverbs 22:6 says, "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." A Proverb isn't a promise, but a statement of general wisdom. No amount of parenting can remove your child's God-given free will. But those wild horses can become powerful workers in God's Kingdom, if trained and nurtured toward that goal. Pray for patience, spend tons of time teaching, learn a few tricks and use buckets of food when necessary. You might be raising the next Tim Tebow, Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain. And may those kids be your greatest accomplishment this side of heaven!