Outspoken Christian athlete Tim Tebow has written a children's book in an effort to ensure children with disabilities that they are special, unique and loved by God.
Tebow, a former NFL player turned baseball player, co-authored a children's book titled Bronco and Friends: A Party to Remember with A.J. Gregory. The book, published Jan. 5, features animal characters that have various disabilities.
"Bronco the dog can't see very well, Ethan the bird can't fly, Alexis the goat can't stop sneezing and Chelsie the rabbit, her ears keep getting in the way," Tebow explained as he discussed the book on social media.
The premise of the book is that "Every single kid is special, is wonderfully made and is essential to God's big party."
Bronco and the other main characters in the book are self-conscious about their individual difficulties. They are invited to a party but Bronco initially decided not to go because he didn't think he was "special enough." Bronco encounters his friends, who are equally unsure about whether they will be welcome at the party, and they all end up going to the party together.
As the host of the party greets the animals, he declares: "Each creature is born unique. Our differences make us special. And someone special, like you, is able to do great things."
The book concludes with a passage from Ephesians 2:10: "We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
"This book touches on teamwork, it touches on purpose, it touches on value. But what I think means the most to me is it touches on worth, every single person's worth," Tebow said in a trailer for the book. "When we understand our worth, everything else changes: That we were created in love by love for love, that we are unique, that we are special and that makes you wonderful."
Tebow acknowledged that while the animals in his book have "some piece of adversity," they "find out in the grand scheme that their greatest disability was actually their greatest ability."
Tebow added, "I feel like that is true in life, that we need to understand sometimes the adversity that we go through is sometimes what can be the greatest joy in the end."
"I want every single person that reads this book or has this book read to them that they understand that they are unique, that they are special, but that they are wonderful and there is a great purpose for their life," he said.
The children's book is just the latest example of Tebow's efforts to make children who have disabilities feel loved and accepted. For the past seven years, he has put on "Night to Shine," a "prom centered on God's love for people with special needs held simultaneously around the world on the Friday before Valentine's Day each year."
"Night to Shine" is just one aspect of the Tim Tebow Foundation's special needs ministry, which also includes Shine On, "a resource to connect new and emerging special needs ministries with partners who can respond to their individual needs with customized programming, curriculum and guidance." The ministry is "rooted in the belief that everyone matters" and that "every child of God is uniquely created and inherently worthy of love."
Additionally, Tebow founded a hospital in the Philippines that provides "life-changing surgeries to children with physical disabilities."
Tebow's book comes at a time when the abortion of children who are diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth has increased dramatically in western European countries following the widespread implementation of prenatal screening.
In the U.S., several states have passed laws to ban the abortion of babies based solely on a Down syndrome diagnosis, and Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., has called on legislators in her state to do the same.
As she called for legislation banning the abortion of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome, Noem sat next to former Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., his wife, Rachel Campos Duffy, and their infant daughter Valentina, who has Down syndrome. The Duffy family described Valentina as "the favorite of our family," with Campos Duffy adding, "Valentina has given me so much joy and pride as any of my other little babies, and she's an American, and she has a right to live just like anybody else."
Bronco and Friends is available at major retailers and distributors including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, LifeWay, Target and Walmart.