Faith

Tebow’s Choice to Stay Chaste

He sets a rare, refreshing example in an overly sexualized culture

No matter how he does on the gridiron, Tim Tebow does not always avoid a different kind of scrutiny — one that concerns his faith.

Tebow is back in the news after his apparent breakup with Olivia Culpo, former Miss USA 2012 and former Miss Universe 2012. She also is the ex-girlfriend of another famous purity-pledging celebrity, Nick Jonas, although he openly admitted to recanting on waiting until marriage during the time the pair were dating.

Tebow and Culpo were a different story. The relationship lasted about two months when rumors started swirling about their breakup and what caused the untimely demise.

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The New York Daily News broke the story of the split. A source close to Culpo said, “Tim’s super into her (and) he was sending her love letters and cute notes and professing his love for her.”

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Yet apparently, “she had to break up with him because she just couldn’t handle it. He still hits her up, but she just can’t deal with the sex thing. He’s pretty adamant about it, I guess.”

He’s “pretty adamant” and “she just can’t deal with it.” The bigger issue might have been they just didn’t know each other well enough — but all the conjecture about the dalliance filling up the gossip columns is missing the bigger picture.

Related: More Tebow, Less Kanye

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Tebow is fascinating to people partly because the culture cannot accept the fact that a professional athlete does not indulge in a wild, partying lifestyle, or at least a sexually active one.

It’s almost as if the public (and particularly the media) don’t believe that people who believe in God and actively, honestly live out their faith even exist anymore.

The Rev. Michael Sliney, a Catholic priest and the New York chaplain of the Lumen Institute, an association of business and cultural leaderssaid, “I deeply admire Tim Tebow for persevering in this noble ideal — a true witness of self-mastery and respect for the sacredness of the sexual act.”

It’s an interesting point, particularly when it comes to respect. And despite what either side of this argument believes, shouldn’t Tebow have the right to make his own decisions when it comes to what he feels is respecting himself and others?

Related: Dialing Down Our Pride

Although many think that abstinence until marriage is a fairly archaic custom, there are advantages to remaining celibate. One positive element is that waiting will lead to a more meaningful marriage, with a lower chance of divorce.

In a study done by Brigham Young University, those who waited until marriage to have sex enjoyed a 22 percent more stable marriage and a 20 percent higher relationship satisfaction.

The director of the study, Dean Busby, said that “regardless of religiosity, waiting helps the relationship form better communication processes, and these help improve long-term stability and relationship satisfaction.”

There are multiple viable reasons people, religious or not, choose to remain chaste until marriage. Tebow should not be publicly ridiculed for his decision to do so, and his example is rare but refreshing in an overly sexualized culture.

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