Tim Tebow is nothing if not a lightning rod for pop culture’s attention. From football to baseball to Super Bowl commercials, Tebow’s strong and vocal Christian faith combined with a big smile and “Aww Shucks” Southern charm have won him a lot of fans and controversy—but mostly fans, as evidenced by the overwhelming flood of positive reactions pouring into his Instagram account mere minutes and hours after announcing his engagement to former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
That’s right, Tim Tebow is about to be permanently off the marrying market.
According to a writeup from People magazine, Tebow set up the surprise proposal for Nel-Peters for Jan. 9, 2019. and since he made sure both his family and her family were able to be there for the engagement, it was a whole family affair.
Though Tebow told People that he wasn’t really nervous, it’s a good thing that Demi-Leigh said ‘yes’ since the Tebows included her in their big family Christmas pajamas picture.
What makes this engagement particularly notable is that Tim Tebow has navigated a lot of public attention about his relationship status over the years. This is common for many public figures and celebrities, but Tebow’s willingness to speak publicly about his commitment to saving himself for marriage (a common Christian colloquialism for remaining a virgin until married) has made his status as a bachelor of particular note to many who struggled to understand his desire to do dating and relationships differently than the culture around him.
Many cheered him on, some failed to understand his reasoning, and a few even offered $1 million to anyone who could prove that Tebow had violated his convictions. Regardless of what side of the debate surrounding Tebow’s purity one landed on, there was a time when it was almost impossible to avoid the cultural conversation his chastity generated. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world.
While it’s important for us to be intentional about not putting Christian personalities on a pedestal–they are only human, after all–we also shouldn’t avoid the good conversations that they can generate. Tim Tebow isn’t perfect and he’s never going to be, but that shouldn’t stop us from talking with others about the truth that drives his convictions.
Additionally, it’s good and healthy for us to rejoice with those who rejoice. So go ahead and give them a double-tap on Instagram if you’re so inclined.
Will all the attention about Tebow’s conduct and lifestyle choices go away now that Tebow and Nel-Peters are getting hitched? Probably not, but that’s OK. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly that can come from the choices Christians make in the limelight, we ourselves have ample opportunities to remember that 1) even celebrities and public figures are imperfect human beings in need of grace and 2) we each need to live in such a way as to be a joy and encouragement to the people around us.