Nothing exemplifies our cultures attitude towards fairy-tale marriage as reality TV Show The Bachelor. A man (or woman in the case of The Bachelorette) experience a series of beautiful candidates trying to find the perfect match. Who is the ideal soul mate, the one person who will complete me?
Therein lies the problem. Our culture views marriage as a means of meeting our needs or desire for romantic fulfillment. It’s all about how the other person will complete you. It’s basically a consumer relationship; as long as you prove your daily value, I’ll keep you around. This is the antithesis of what marriage should look like. According to the Bible, marriage is a covenant between two people, a commitment to love and live sacrificially. As Tim Keller writes:
“When the Bible speaks of love, it measures it primarily not by how much you want to receive but by how much you are willing to give of yourself to someone.”
I find it remarkably telling that all but 2 (out of how many televised engagements?) have ended shortly after the finale. They can’t keep up the facade of sexual sizzle. The beauty of marriage is that it’s not about having to “sell yourself”, but in the laying down of your defenses.
Covenantal marriage, where two people can be completely vulnerable, is the very vehicle that protects and preserves romance in your marriage.
”It is covenantal commitment that enables married people to become people who love each other. Only with time do we really learn who the other person is and come to love the person for him- or herself and not just for feelings and experiences they give us. Only with time do we learn the particular needs of our spouse and how to meet them. Eventually all this leads to wells of memory and depths of feeling and enjoyment of the other person that frames and enhances the still crucial episodes of romantic, sexual passion in your married life.”
The Bachelor may tune in 7 million rapt viewers, but in my humble opinion, they’re missing the real thing.
“If love collapses after the first test, it is not worthy of the name” -Edmund Clowney