What Tim Tebow’s breakup can teach us
Tim Tebow got dumped. Again. This time, the girl is a former Miss USA who allegedly called it quits after a couple of months because she “can’t handle” Tebow’s sexual abstinence.
So last week, a New York Daily News gossip blog mocked the famous football player for his inability to “find the endzone,” and wrote that it isn’t the first time that his decision to save sex has caused him to fumble in his love life.
Which is ludicrous.
It’s not ludicrous because Tebow didn’t fumble. He absolutely fumbled. We all do. But he didn’t fumble because he decided to save sex. He fumbled because he decided to date a girl who thinks saving sex is a bad idea.
And I wonder why—why a person who intends to live life like God designed it decided to date a person who isn’t into that. Maybe for the same reason I did?
I was attracted to the dude I dated who doesn’t believe what I do. I also probably doubted that others existed who believe what I do. But neither is a prudent reason for a person who wants to save sex to pursue a relationship with a person who doesn’t.
1. Because we are not designed to bind ourselves to people who only “can put up with” our decisions to practice virtue.
If your vocation is marriage, you are not meant to bind yourself to a person who decides to “deal with” your decision to practice virtue but wants no part of it. No—you are meant in a marriage to practice virtue together, to be committed to each other’s sainthood, to help each other get to heaven.
A “burning interest in the eternal welfare of the beloved is the supreme intention of our love,” according to Dietrich von Hildebrand. If a person who only puts up with your efforts to live a virtuous life has a burning interest in something, it’s probably not your eternal welfare.
2. Because while we hate to have to wait to meet a person we ought to date, waiting is worthwhile.
The temptation is real for single Christians to date people who don’t believe what we do because the people who believe what we do are few and far between, or far away.
For the sake of the entire world’s welfare, please suck it up.
Despite how long it takes, or the hardships we have to endure, it is worthwhile not to date unless or until you’ve met a person who will commit to his or her future spouse’s sainthood, somebody who desires what is best for you: sanctification. That’s because when we date, marriage is a potential result. And marriage, according to St. Josemaria Escriva, is “a permanent contract that sanctifies (a couple) in cooperation with Jesus Christ.”
Do you know what Jesus does with marriage when the people in it involve him? Escriva will tell you: “He transforms their whole married life into an occasion for God’s presence on earth.”
The world needs more marriages like that. Desperately.
3. Because we have a good, good Father who knows what we need and will give it to us.
He sees your struggle—your struggle not to date the attractive person who only “can put up with” your virtue (or who will dump you because of it), your struggle to believe that anybody will date you if you expect a significant other to practice virtue with you. But if these are your struggles, he also sees what you can’t see: the reason it hasn’t happened for you yet.
The person you don’t know you’re going to meet. The circumstance you don’t know is going to change. The opportunity that is going to arise.
You are still in the dark about it, because we are bound by time. But we are loved by a God who is ever active, who is providing even when you think he isn’t, who “causes all things to work together for good to those who love” him (Rom. 8:28).
Arleen Spenceley is author of the book Chastity is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin (Ave Maria Press, Nov. 2014). She works as a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times, and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in counseling, both from the University of South Florida. She blogs at arleenspenceley.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.