The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have become my ‘guilty pleasure.’ Yet every week I tune in wondering why anyone would think going on the show is a good idea. I’m flabbergasted to see so many men and women my age think they can actually find love, lasting love, while cameras are rolling as they travel across the globe in the most unnatural relational scenarios. And yet, I tune in every week. What is it about this show that keeps me and countless others coming back for more? What draws people to seek “love” in such an unloving environment? While I have my theories, I’ll leave you to ponder this for yourself. But I will say that I DON’T think it’s because we “just enjoy a good love story” and want to see a happily ever after.
A lot could be said about the shows’ shortcomings and poor track record of long-lasting, committed relationships. Yet for all its faults The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have taught me some valuable lessons. They’ve taught me about the culture I live in; we long for love and acceptance. And they’ve taught me about my heart’s condition; I am far too comfortable with watching others fail.
Culture of Love
While I suspect that not every person on the shows is there to find true love, the fact remains that the goal of the series are to “help” men and women find love, something which consumes our culture. We sell love as the cure for all ailments. All you need is love. Unfortunately love inevitably fails us. So we move on to the next love. Until that love fails too, and so we continue in an endless, vicious cycle. The love we rightly long for appears hopelessly out of reach. Why is that? Could it be that we are looking for love in the wrong place, or more likely, the wrong person? There is One who offers us the unconditional love we long for. Christ offers us a love that will never fail. He promises His love in sickness and health, in riches and poverty, for better or worse, until death calls us Home to His presence.
Failure of the Heart
I have discovered that watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette makes me feel better about myself. This season as I watched the shortcomings of Courtney and Ben I was the self-righteous Pharisee in the parable told by Jesus. I rejoiced that I was so much better than them. I was critical of their motives and decisions, basing my opinion of them on a few edited minutes of footage put together from hours upon hours of daily life. My attitude did not show the love I have been freely given by Christ. He sees my every thought and motive turned into word and deed; and He stays faithful to His loving promising to never leave me or forsake me. And He’s called me to share this amazing love that He’s lavished upon me.
While it’s debatable whether true love is found on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, finding true love is possible. It’s a love that promises to never fail you. God has not offered you a red rose that will eventually wither away. He has offered you something of infinite value that will never die; the crimson blood of His Son shed for you. Will you accept His love?