Tim Tebow's comments about his ideal wife – someone who's sweet and has a "servant's heart" – have stirred discussion on the Web, with some concluding that he wants a "hot slave," as OpposingViews.com put it.
"He basically made it seem like he wants some hot woman who dropped straight from 50 Shades Of Grey and will do what he wants and not talk back and certainly not mention that he is currently sitting on the bench," the Los Angeles-based website stated.
Tebow, a devout Christian, is featured in the latest issue of Vogue magazine with the headline "Superman Returns: Tim Tebow Touches Down in New York." He was asked what he's looking for in a woman.
He answered, "I've been blessed to have an amazing mom and two amazing sisters-so they set a very high standard.
"Obviously looks play a big part. Being attracted to someone plays a big part, but there's also so much more than that for me. It's about finding someone sweet and kind – and that has a servant's heart. It's about finding a girl who likes me for me, and not because of what I do or who I am or the name."
That sound bite has been picked up by publications with the New York Post writing, "Tebow in market for 'servant' woman" and jezebel.com reporting, "Tim Tebow Tells Vogue His Perfect Woman Is Hot, Kind, and Servile."
One Christian leader came to the New York Jets quarterback's defense.
Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, tried to explain in a blog post that what Christians mean when they say "a servant's heart" is not exactly what non-Christians think it to mean. In other words, Tebow is not a chauvinist as some might view him.
"You hear this language and you assume Tebow wants a Stepford wife in a French maid's uniform, massaging his feet and refilling his glass of sweet tea. But this isn't what evangelical Christians mean when they say 'a servant's heart,'" Moore stated.
"In Christianity," he stressed, "a 'servant' isn't a slur."
He explained, "Serving is precisely how Jesus rules as king, and how he prepares his people, men and women, to rule with him in the reign to come. Husbands serve wives. Wives serve husbands. Children serve parents. Parents serve children. Pastors serve churches. Churches serve pastors. That concept might be demeaning in the world of Vogue, but it's not in a new creation where 'the leader is the one who serves' (Lk. 22:26)."
Therefore, when Tebow says he wants a wife with "a servant's heart," it doesn't mean he wants a doormat; it means he wants a Christian, Moore concluded.
Tebow has clarified what he meant when he made those comments.
"It's something that it's not all about them," Tebow said, according to ESPNNewYork.com. "It's someone that can put others first, someone that doesn't always have to be the center of attention and someone that's a helper. Someone that puts their family first, is loving, is caring, all those things, that's what I mean by servant."
He also posted the Bible verse Galatians 5:13 on his Twitter and Facebook on Sunday.
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love," the verse reads (NIV).