There are a few topics that I cannot help blogging about: youth ministry, parents of teenagers (though I have no personal experience I have seen lots), Christian apologetics…and popular media. I am not sure how it all fits together but one thing can be sure, you will find it all here! Keeping that in mind, here are my thoughts on last night’s season finale of ‘The Bachelor’.

Last night I was painting our kitchen while listening to the final results of this season’s ‘The Bachelor’ unfold as Mandy sat in the living room silently (and at times not so silently) cheering on Emily, her favorite. I’ve blogged about this show before because of the sometimes strange views on love that it portrays. Last night was somewhat different however as the final girl standing, Emily (much to Mandy’s pleasure), displayed real class in fighting for what she felt was honor, respect, true love and commitment from the guy that she obviously does care for.

Two things emerge from Brad and Emily’s relationship that I think our culture should pay close attention to. Let me take a moment to share these with you.

On her final date with Brad, Emily questioned him about his readiness for not only a committed relationship with her but also about his readiness for fatherhood. You see, Emily has a little girl whose dad passed away before she was born; it is therefore very important for Brad to realize he is not only getting a wife but also a family. Emily pointed out that life would not always consist of fun, games and travelling the world (as they have on the show). There will be times that are no fun and times that they will argue about many things. I love what Emily did here because she shattered the picture perfect world of ‘happily ever after’ that seems to be promoted by shows like ‘The Bachelor’ and many others by infusing a small does of reality into reality TV. Life and love are not always fairytales; they both take work and sometimes that work is not fun. This does not mean that life and love are any less worth pursuing.

Brad’s reaction to Emily’s dose of reality was a little shocking: he was offended that Emily would think that he was not ready for all of this. He came around eventually, however, I think Brad was a little too idealistic to assume that having never been married and having never had kids that he could just jump right into marriage and fatherhood without missing a beat. As one who has been married for almost 7 years and been a father for just over 2 years, I can say that you don’t really know what you expect until you get in the thick of it. Sometimes it is more wonderful than you could ever imagine and sometimes its more difficult than you ever dreamed. As the show drew to a conclusion last night we all saw that Brad was beginning to realize the truth of Emily’s reality speech and he handled it with true class: he is willing to do what it takes to make their relationship work. This is the substance of reality!

The second thing that I think was so classy last night was Emily’s reaction to watching the whole season of ‘The Bachelor’ from home (they tape the show prior to airing it…Emily knew Brad had picked her before the show aired). Her question to Brad was this: If you say that you fell in love with me early on during the show (and he did say that), there were many things I saw you doing with other girls that I think you should have saved just for me. Monday night because an incredibly difficult night for Emily as each week she watched Brad take other women on dates and share moments with them that she would rather have not seen. She said it best when she told Brad that she knew this would not be the “Emily and Brad falling in love show” but she did not realize that he was going to give the producers so much other material to work with.

I give props to Emily for standing up for her share of honor and respect. I also give props to Brad for not letting her go when it would be easy to find many other women whose standards for love are much lower than Emily’s. Despite the rocky path that their relationship has taken over the past two months the two of them indicated that they are willing to put in the time and work necessary to become a better person for the other.

Last night was supposed to be their wedding ceremony, but Emily said that they still had to work some things out before that happened. According to Brad, letting Emily go is not an option and so the two of them will continue to strive to become better people for each other and for the sake of their relationship.

It is going to take work; however, that is the nature of true love! Congrats to ‘The Bachelor’ for infusing our culture with such an honest reality of love. I pray that Brad and Emily continue to have the resolve to see this through until the end.

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