On being a woman, pt. 3: What I learned from watching The Bachelorette

I know what you’re thinking – really, Holly? Is this what things have come to?

Okay, so I’m the first to admit that reality TV is the last place to look for, well, realistic (or wholesome) inspiration, but leave it to me to find some deep hidden truth while watching a bunch of lovesick men fight over one dramaful girl on a Tahitian beach.

The truth is, after Season 1 (when Ryan and Trista convinced us that maybe one can find true love on primetime television), I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for The Bachelorette. And so, while I don’t agree with all the content, somehow I found myself watching it again this summer.

As I watched, I wondered, what does it take to win a girl’s heart on this thing? And as the number of potential candidates dwindled, I saw one element that every guy left seemed to have. The final contenders weren’t necessarily the most attractive, or even the most impressive, but they were the men who had the courage to open their hearts and just risk it. They didn’t know where it would take them, and there was a good chance that any one of them would be booted off by the next round of dates. But for whatever reason, these particular guys felt the freedom to love (if you wanna call it that) and to pursue the things they hoped for (in front of the whole world, mind you).

And then I started to think.

If these guys can do it, what about us? Shouldn’t we as Christians, more than anyone else, be people who walk in that kind of freedom? The freedom that takes risks and chases dreams and dares to love – even if it’s not returned? We submit to a sovereign God who prepares us for our dreams, who protects us from our own frailty. (Of course, I imagine our dreams won’t lead us to finding a spouse on a reality show… but still.) What does it look like to honor God with our desires – especially the desire to get married?

I think that people a while ago had this great idea of telling young women to stop chasing marriage. They told us that singleness is a gift. They told us that if God wants us to be married, it will just happen. And I’m not being sarcastic; people needed to hear those things. But this God-given grace to find contentment in singleness is the same grace that offers freedom to hope and desire. Either way, we’re in His hands. Either way, He’s the One who satisfies.

So as I sat there this summer, watching the Bachelorette break these poor guys’ hearts, I knew that my own newly-awakened desires just couldn’t be ignored anymore. That’s not walking in faith or freedom. That’s walking in fear. Sure, we may not end up where we planned, but think about it: even the runners-up on The Bachelorette often get their own follow-up show. …So can you just imagine what kinds of things God has in store when we open up our hearts and trust Him with our desires?

Related posts (though they don’t go together quite as well as I’d imagined…)

On being a woman, pt. 1

On being a woman, pt 2: the personal spin

One thought on “On being a woman, pt. 3: What I learned from watching The Bachelorette

  1. Or as Peter would put it (and I'm sure you can imagine him saying this): "A guy just needs to lay all his cards on the table, be clear about where he wants the relationship to end up, and if he gets rejected, chewed up, and spit out – he better take it and be a man!" I suppose that's what made me fall in love with him. 🙂 It's a Biblical kind of love – the kind of love and freedom God gave in the garden and the kind of love Jesus gave on the cross. Amen Sister! Keep thinking deep thoughts!

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