(Photo: Focus on the Family)
The so-called controversial Tebow Super Bowl ad was not what people expected. There was no overt anti-abortion message, but only the demonstration of a loving and humorous mother-son relationship.
In the ad, Pam Tebow against a plain white background holds a baby photo of her now 22-year-old son, Tim, and calls him her “miracle baby.”
“He almost didn’t make it into this world,” Pam says. “I can remember so many times that I almost lost him.”
She then goes on to say her son is all grown up but she still worries about his health.
“[W]ith all our family’s been through, we have to be tough,” Pam says, when suddenly Tim tackles her.
“Timmy!” she scolds, popping back up as if nothing happened. “I’m trying to tell our story here!”
Tim pops up, joins his mother, apologizes and puts his arms around her.
The two disappear from the screen but their voices can still be heard.
“You still worry about me, Mom?” Tim asks.
“Well, yeah,” Pam says. “You’re not nearly as tough as I am.”
The 30-second commercial served just as a brief introduction to the "miracle baby" story.
Focus on the Family released its full interview with Pam and her husband, Bob Tebow, who tell the story of how Tim came into the world.
Pam and Bob, who heads the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, both describe it as a “God story.”
The Tebows already had four children. But in 1986 as Bob was preaching in the Philippines he weeped over the loss of millions of babies in America who were aborted and never given a chance. He then prayed, "God, if you want another preacher in this world, you give me Timmy."
“I’ll raise him to be a preacher,” he vowed.
The next day he shared with his family his prayer and then Pam, Bob and their four children together started to pray for “Timmy” by name to be conceived. Pam later became pregnant.
It was a high-risk pregnancy for Pam who was 37 years old at the time and living in an area without good medical care.
“We went to see a doctor in the town we lived in and she said it wasn’t a baby at all,” Pam recalled. “[She said] he was a mass of fetal tissue and that I needed to abort him immediately if I was going to save my life.
"She said he was a tumor."
But the couple said they did not have to think about their decision because years ago they already decided to “trust the Lord with the children He gave us.”
“If God called me to give up my life, then He would take care of my family,” Pam said. “And so we just trusted Him and I didn’t have any more medical care at that time or any time until we moved to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, at the very end of my pregnancy.”
On an almost daily basis, Pam thought that she would lose Tim. During Tim’s birth, his father said he saw a “clump of blood” come out where the placenta did not properly attach.
“We have reminded him (Tim) countless times that God has a special plan for him,” Pam said during the interview with FOTF President Jim Daly. “He spared him in the womb and spared him since; spared him laying on the field there at the University of Kentucky. And He spared him for a reason.”
“Of course we tell that to our other children as well,” she added.
“I think that has marked Timmy’s life," she noted. "He is very aware of his beginning and how God had spared him in the womb.”
Bob said that he prepared his youngest son all his life to be a preacher as He had promised God.
“I prayed for a preacher and God gave me a quarterback,” Bob joked.
But his wife gently corrected him, “He is preaching. And that is his goal. He takes accountability for all those kids that look up to him.”
Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, is known for painting Bible references on his black under-eye markings. He is also an outspoken evangelical and serves with his father’s ministry overseas every summer.
When asked how he raised his five children so well, Bob responded, "We are just ordinary people that trust God."
The missionary couple said they raised their kids to look at Scripture and taught them to aim higher than just graduating from college, getting a job and getting married. They raised their kids to aim to “live a significant life” and instilled in them eternal values, character and work ethics.
All five Tebow children began taking mission trips when they were 15 years old. The children learned about third world countries which gave them a “heart for people in other countries.”
“I think they also learned the power of the Gospel, that it is real and that it transforms lives right in front of their eyes,” Pam said. “You don’t see it as much in America compared to a country that is very responsive. That is a big part of their lives.”
The 30-second ad with Pam and Tim Tebow aired Sunday night during the Super Bowl which drew about 100 million viewers.
The exact content of the ad was not revealed until it was aired, but some pro-choice groups claimed it would attack abortion and tried to convince CBS to pull the ad. After Sunday's airing, the Tebow ad has been perceived as lighthearted and not controversial.
On the Web: www.focusonthefamily.com