“Tebowing” Impacts Culture, Language

Tim Tebow, quarterback for the Denver Broncos American professional football team, is impacting  his sport, our society and our language.

Tebow, former college football quarterback for the Florida Gators, prays during his games.  He hits a knee and bows his head after a good play, after a bad play, after a score, after a game, on the sideline while he’s waiting on his offense to get back in the game, when nothing else is going on. Tebow prays.

His prayers are genuine. During after-game interviews he rarely fails to give The Lord credit for any and all of his, or his team’s, game accomplishments. And his personal life also reflects his love the Lord.

He guided the University of Florida to two national championships. In the 2006 season Florida beat Ohio State. And in the 2008 season Florida beat Oklahoma for their second national title in three years. That same year Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, the most coveted recognition in American college football. As he prepared for each game Tebow painted Bible verses on the black strips under his eyes.

In addition to football, Tebow has affected our culture as well. Taking a knee and bowing the head has become a stance you can witness throughout the country, and even in some unconventional places. Many Tebow stances, however, some mean to poke fun at the iconic quarterback. You can see the stances on downtown sidewalks and in the streets. In malls. Actors and newscasters mock the quarterback and strike the pose to get laughs. Kids in groups on high school campuses strike the pose for cameras. In trees, on airplanes, with Santa Claus, and some other shameless ways and places I won’t mention.

Regardless of their intent, they are imitating a football player committed to giving thanks to God. Some are mockers.  Some are detractors. They criticize the young play caller, claiming he is calling attention to himself and distracting players and fans from the game. But some are people who pray, maybe now with a bit more conviction and courage after they see Tim Tebow’s prayers impacting so many players, broadcasters and viewers on a national stage.

Tebow is not only impacting people on a national stage; his praying stance is changing the language. “Tebowing” is becoming a verb.  It is now common to see someone on a street corner, or in a restaurant “tebowing”. People ask friends, “Do you ‘tebow’ in public?” It is also a noun. “I’m going to strike a ‘tebow’ in the break room today.” And as an adjective. “Are you going to do your ‘tebow’ thing in class?”

Despite all the attention, the critics and the admirers, God is using Tim Tebow and his courageous prayers as a witness to millions of people. God is using Tebow to call attention to the most intimate, personal relationship on earth, a man or woman with their God.

Will the league forbid him from striking his pose? Will the ACLU file a lawsuit and insist that if Tebow bows in prayer, the league must allow a Muslim to bow in prayer, or a gay person? Who knows? What I do know is this: today, in front of millions of people, a man kneeling to pray to his God on a national stage is impacting and witnessing to millions of people across the country.

I want the same kind of faith and boldness.

If you enjoyed reading this message I urge you to leave a comment.  We bloggers live and breathe by the comments we get. Better yet, why not subscribe to my blog? That way you’ll receive an email every time I post another message. Simply go to the top of the home page. On the top left corner click on “Subscribe“.

Are you a praying person? Do you know how much God wants to be in a personal, intimate relationship with you? Praying is our way of talking with God, getting our needs met and worshiping Him. Do you know how much God loves you? Do you know Christ as your personal Savior?  I’d like to encourage you to follow this link if you’d like to know more about God and know Jesus Christ personally.

Published by Steven Sawyer

God blessed me with the gift of writing. Mom told me I wrote paragraphs in second grade when others were learning to write sentences. I spent more than three decades in professional writing gigs. For the past eight years I've combined my passion for writing with my love for the Lord. He and I write a Christ-centered, family-friendly blog to glorify God Monday-thru Friday at https://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/. My wife and I have four grown children and two precious granddaughters we co-parent with their mom. I'm a Galatians 2:20 disciple of Christ seeking to allow Christ to live His life in me, through me, and as me.

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  1. Great article! Brought me to tears! I love Tim & his passionate standing he takes. He said in his autobiography that his dad prayed before Tim was born … asking God if He (God) wanted a preacher, let Pam (Tims’ mother) conceive. What a BOLD prayer!

    Is Tim preaching? You betcha! In the “normal” way? No way! Is God glorified? You betcha! Does everyone in America have an opinion about Tebow? Most, no doubt!

    Like

    1. Ron,
      I’m so grateful that you were blessed and that you let me know. Just between you and me, I even choked up writing it because I was so blessed by Tim’s witness. What a strong, devoted Christian he is. I wish I could be as bold about sharing my faith as he is. Maybe some day.
      Thanks again and God bless you.

      Like

  2. Amen! I want the same kind of faith, too. Tim’s prayer posture reminds me of the beautiful painting of George Washington praying next to his horse. I pray that you get a lot of comments and that the conversation on your blog brings wisdom to you and all who hang out here.

    Like

  3. Great message, Steve. I love seeing public figures openly express their love for Christ. There’s plenty out there who express their love for sin. So it’s nice to have some good role models in the media.

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    1. Thanks, Amanda, for your encouraging words. And thank you for your faithful support. I look forward to catching up on my reading and on your Monday blog today or tomorrow. Not enough hours in the day.
      Take care, tell Jay I said hello.

      Like

  4. Thank you Steven for this great article. I’m glad to hear and read this from someone as it has been on my mind more since last night.

    My husband called our boys downstairs and was talking with them about Tim and the 316 yards he threw and the significance of the scripture.

    To sum this up, a relative who grew up in the church steered away as an adult just living the party life and since this blessing of the Tim Tebow /tebowing thing /and all, it has turned him back to Christ. I didn’t get the whole conversation but to know that one man’s actions and stand for Christ can make the difference in the life of another whether he is being uplifted or mocked, he’s doing it because of his love for his God! Praise the Lord for using Tim and his ministry through his sport.

    I must say that I am a little slow the whole sports thing since I don’t watch much tv in general though I like football and my boys play. I rather attend live games than sit and watch it in tv! ( learning the prices and all and being a family of 7, I don’t mind watching the game @ home though it would be nice one day to attend a live game! 🙂 )

    Anyway, ditto to everything you’ve mentioned. I have become interested in this young man and his impact on the world for Christ. Great food for thought and a provoking reflection as to how I may increase my ministry all the the sake of Christ. Being an example and light will hopefully lead others to salvation and developing a relationship with him. Our God is an amazing God! He will use whomever as a vessel to reach many!

    Bless you always in Christ,
    Terra

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    1. WOW! Terra, Your wonderfully uplifting comments have made my decade! Thank you more than words can express. Your comments make all the time and effort I put into writing worthwhile. You have also encouraged me to keep on writing. You are confirmation that this is what God wants me to do. Thank you so much, and God bless you and your wonderful family.

      I am interested in following Tebow’s career as well. I hope he becomes a huge success in pro football and a bigger influence with his testimony and dedication to God. It is awesome to me to see how he praises the Lord unabashedly when he’s playing football.

      In Jesus’ precious name Steven Sawyer stevesaw@gmail.com https://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/

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      1. ( smiling ) Thank you for such kind words Steven. I thank the Lord for continually shaping me into the woman I want to be for him. The seeds planted within my being makes me who I am and all credit I give to the Almighty!

        Whatever part I have played in encouraging you to continue to write, I am humbled and thankful for being used by the Lord. You have inspired me with your writings since we have crossed blog pages, but this article…… THIS ARTICLE grabbed my attention and I felt it was something I needed to comment on!! Isn’t God’s timing orchestrated right on time?!! Not one minute less or more…… simply right on time! Hallelujah! Praise Him!

        My prayers are with you and your writings. Be encouraged in all you do for the sake of building up the kingdom, for the desires of your heart are seen by our faithful Father. No matter what happens, keep your focus and determination to succeed all for the glory and honor of Christ. God will bless you and prosper you and your ministry in abundance. So if the well starts to look dry and barren, disregard it! It’s not for the pleasing of mankind that you write but for the pleasing of the Lord that will add rewarding and substance to your life and everything that comes with being a faithful disciple through your stewardship.

        Be blessed and I am very happy for you! Keep pressing forward and running your race! Jesus will meet you at the finish line with the greatest treasure and rewards you’ll ever have!

        Your sister in the Lord always…..

        virtuouswoman73.wordpress.com
        Living Simply In Abundance

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      2. I just read Terra’s comment: “If the well starts to look dry and barren, disregard it! It’s not for the pleasing of mankind that you write but for the pleasing of the Lord that will add rewarding and substance to your life and everything that comes with being a faithful disciple through your stewardship.”
        I know that was for you Steve, but it also spoke to me and blessed me. Needed to read that today. Thank you both for your faithfulness! God bless:)

        Like

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