Saturday, February 13, 2016

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on The Bachelor

It's getting close to midnight...looks like it might be a Sorry Saturday this week. I think I've been putting off my blog this week because I kept thinking about the topic I had chosen and I knew it could be a touchy subject.

I mean, you either love The Bachelor or you hate The Bachelor, am I right? I sure do. Which one? Both, actually. Let me explain.

Until about a month ago, I would have said I hated The Bachelor. Every time a commercial came on TV about it my kids would hear lots of negative comments from me. They knew I hated it. I would splutter on for a while about how terrible it was that people were trying to pick the person they would marry while they were on TV. It just couldn't work because people wouldn't be real in front of the cameras and there would be too much pressure, etc., etc., etc. I had lots to say about it at home.

Of course, I never said anything when I was around friends who loved watching it. I just kept my mouth shut and kept my opinions to myself.

Then I went to Florida. My mom likes to watch The Bachelor and I couldn't be rude and tell her how much I hated it, right? So I sat and watched it the first Monday I was there. I still thought it was a terrible way to find love, but I became interested in Ben and the girls (the many girls!) he was dating. One of them was especially intense and "interesting." (If you watch I'm sure you know the one.) The next week my sister was in Florida, too, so all three of us sat down to watch the show. We commented loudly on Ben's choices and what we thought of each girl. It was kind of fun.

I got back to Iowa and we had a couple of other shows to watch on Monday night, but Gary turned it to the last couple of minutes of The Bachelor. I saw who he gave his final rose to and who had to go home. I announced, "Now I remember why I hate this show" as I watched a broken-hearted girl ride away in a limo, but the next day I went to my computer and watched the entire episode because I was hooked. I just had to see what happened to Olivia and the rest of the girls. Plus, they showed upcoming scenes where Ben falls in love with two girls and he lets one go home, but then he changes his mind and lets the other one go home and calls the other one (I'm not spoiling anything for anybody, am I? It has all been on the previews for upcoming shows). Now I have to watch. I must know who those two girls are and which one he picks. Will it be Amanda? JoJo? I get it now. Once you watch, you have to find out how it ends.

As we celebrate Valentine's Day this weekend, I thought it might be good to focus on The Bachelor a little bit. I am hooked on this season, but I still think it's a terrible premise. As the show moves along, you can see everyone getting more and more stressed. The girls get jealous when Ben spends time with someone else. They get desperate for his attention. They cry during their little on camera interviews and whine, "I know I signed up for this, but it's just so hard when he's dating so many other girls."

I worry about everyone on the show. In the previews Ben cries because he's falling in love with two girls and can't decide. Everyone is crying because they're all falling in love and they know he can only end up with one of them. It was kind of fun to comment about one girl's crazy behaviors, but then I started thinking about her, too, and I worry for her. She is a real human being. What will that do to her as she goes home and watches the show and sees the comments about her. Will it ruin her for life? It's one thing to have fun picking apart a fictional character on a show or in a book, but what does it do to someone when they are ridiculed for being themselves?

We all know love isn't supposed to work this way. The best way to fall in love is to wait for one person God leads us to, get to know them over time (without cameras following our every move), and then make the decision to either look for someone else or love that person for a lifetime. 

Love is a choice, you know. I'm sure Ben could make love work with any one of the girls on The Bachelor. They all have really good qualities (yes, all of them). Love is a conscious choice to communicate, show love, forgive, and share life together.

If you're single, be patient as you wait for someone to come along that you can choose to love. If you're married, keep making that choice to really love your spouse each day. God will help us all to accept His love for us so that we can pour out love to everyone in our lives. 

So, now you know why I hate and love The Bachelor. I'm going to stop watching - right after this season is over.

[Note on March 4, 2016 - I'm back to just hating The Bachelor. I didn't realize that they had a fantasy suite and sleep together. This is so wrong, plus the heartache that everyone goes through as everyone's emotions are pulled in so many directions. Dating one person at a time is the only way to really look for true love.]

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (I Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV)

Do you watch The Bachelor? That's okay, but as you watch, think about the mistakes everyone is making as they "fall in love." How can focusing on God help you to really fall in love and choose to keep loving your spouse?

P.S. - Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband Gary on Sunday! We just celebrated our 26th anniversary on February 10. I'm looking forward to many, many more happy years together!

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