Tonight is the season finale of The Bachelor. Millions of viewers are expected to tune in to find out if the bachelor will drop down on one knee to propose to the one girl who survived another season of high drama, elaborate dates, and rose ceremonies.
I’ll admit it; I’ve been sucked into a season or two of The Bachelor myself. The promise of lasting love unfolding in front of our very eyes does make for interesting television. But there are pitfalls, which is why I’ve avoided writing about The Bachelor in the past. There’s plenty of junk associated with this show, and I’d never want to pique your curiosity about it and get you tuning in or Googling. So don’t do that. Promise?
But this year’s show has a twist. Bachelor, Sean Lowe, has declared himself a "born-again virgin." He’s been very vocal about his commitment to save sex until after his wedding. Blogs were buzzing when he chose girls to take to the "fantasy suite" while vowing that the focus would be on conversation not physical connection.
In a show that is constantly looking for the next way to create buzz and hook viewers, it seems this year that virginity is the subject designed to get people talking.
One blogger put it this way,
Sigh. Sean Lowe. You gotta love him. He’s so down-to-earth and sweet. He’s hot. Like really hot. And he seems like such a fiercely loyal, romantic, gentlemanly dude. He’s perfect as The Bachelor.
But then there’s the whole "born-again virgin" thing, which is pretty much a major buzz kill any way you look at it. Sure, the whole concept of saving yourself for marriage is kind of admirable in a really old-fashioned way, but come on. How can you vow to spend the rest of your life with someone without taking them for a test drive first?
She went on to say that failing to find out if he was sexually compatible with the girl of his dreams might lead the bachelor to a marriage that is doomed before it starts.
Her words remind me of something I’d rather forget. Mainly that the culture sees God’s standards for sex and marriage as ridiculous. It’s easy to shake my head or point fingers or simply ignore what’s happening in the culture. But the reality is, the media’s messages have a way of trickling into our own hearts and minds if we aren’t careful.
So squeeze the hype through the filter of God’s Word.
Hebrews 13:4 says, "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous" (emphasis added).
This is just one example of where the Bible makes it clear that sex is a gift that God intends to be opened and shared between a husband and a wife. But there’s more.
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the ways of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on this law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers (Ps. 1:1–3, emphasis added).
What comes when we walk away from the ways of the world? We’re blessed. What happens when study God’s Word and find our delight in it? We become firmly planted, deeply rooted, shored up, and prosperous.
Put these two passages together, and we get this formula.
God asks me to save sex for marriage – the culture’s view that virginity is ridiculous = what’s best for me and my future.
The culture can call it ridiculous, out of date, or unreachable. But God’s Word writes a different story. Saving sex for marriage is what’s best for you. Waiting may not help you win a reality TV show or wow critics, but God’s Word promises that sticking to His plan even when others scoff will help you prosper.
You don’t have to be the star of a reality TV show for this to be an important lesson. Even when no cameras are watching, it can be easy to fall for the logic that purity is ridiculous, impossible, or out of date. Or that God’s standards make you miss out. But none of that is true. The bottom line is that God asks us to wait because He has our best in mind. It’s an important reminder for all of us in a culture that can be clueless.
Have you noticed examples where the culture calls God’s standards ridiculous? When that happens, how do you stand for truth?
PS: Be sure to hop back on the blog tomorrow where we’ll tackle if "born-again" virginity is possible.