What does ABC's "The Bachelor" have to do with Leah from Genesis 29?
So all your fanciful ideals about me may be about to change: My wife and I watch the Bachelor together on Monday nights. We watch. We laugh. We eat popcorn. We talk about it. And we, in our best moments, wonder if there is anything to learn about our culture that can help us to help people.
And for the last several weeks since we have watched the show, we wonder why we feel sad toward the end of the show; and it’s not because it’s over.
Is it sad because rejection is coming at the end of every show? Perhaps.
Is it sad because of the decisions we see that will affect these young people for the rest of there lives and they don’t even know it. Yes.
Is it sad because these people remind of so many friends through the years who have loved and lost love? Yes.
Is it sad because it reminds us of our own relational brokenness? Definitely.
Is it especially sad when some people (I was tempted to refer to them as “contestants” rather than “people,” tellingly) after not receiving an invitation to stay break down and openly admit their greatest fears, that they have again been rejected by someone. Some of them go so far as to admit that they think they are the problem and they have sort of been “found out” again. “What was I thinking…that someone would actually choose me!” Ouch. That hurts to hear and watch.
But the show is very entertaining indeed.
At this point you might be wondering, “Kevin, what does this have to do with anything? Why are you bringing it up? Are you going to just hammer the bachelor because it is immoral or what?”
No, I’m not going to focus on many things I don’t like about the show.
I just want to say that God’s love is not like that. It’s not based on looks or “chemistry” or personality or what your family is like. It’s not based on money or how you look in a swimsuit, or whether or not you have a fear of commitment. It is based simply on his decision to love you and choose you and me for no reason other than His desire and His pleasure. He loves you.
If you’d like to read a story within the larger story of the Bible, which is all about God’s unconditional love contrasted with the cheap, shallow love of the world, I encourage you to read the story of Leah, Rachel's sister who was “hard to look at” in Genesis 29:15-35. And I encourage you to notice how God interacts with her, as opposed to her father and her husband, the men who were supposed to love her and treat her as a precious treasure.
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