Wednesday, July 07, 2010

For Your Own Good

So last season's Bachelor and his fiance have broken up. And it's messy. If anyone cares, here are my thoughts.

I think Jake is probably a man of faith. It was hinted at over and over again and the word "faith" was used numerous times. In the first few episodes of The Bachelor, you could see a difference in how he did things. For example, there was one girl who was saying she wouldn't kiss him until she was the last girl standing. He seemed moved by her convictions, but when she just used it to tease him he let her go. Another time, one of the bachelorettes snuck down to his room at night (the one he picked in the end, actually) and he made her leave. I can't remember the other things that made him stick out to me, but I was convinced he was a Christian guy. Curtis vehemently disagreed with me. How could a Christian guy get on there and make out with a bunch of different girls? Well, I have done some idiot things as a Christian, but I assumed Jake had a plan to go through this show with his integrity intact. What about that little matter of needing to choose a partner who shares your faith? I'm pretty sure the producers of a TV show are not going to be trusted to pick contestants like that. There were a couple of girls on the show who appeared to share Jake's faith and I thought it might work out for him. But in the end he chose the woman who was constantly portrayed as a vixen. That was after the overnight dates that I hoped he might do differently, but didn't.

If there's a lesson here, it's that when Christians attempt to play the world's games with our own rules, it often ends badly.

I watched the interview between Jake and Vienna on Monday night. Oh my word, it was a train wreck and I could not look away! Jake and Vienna have been living together during their engagement. Apparently she is "demeaning" and he is "controlling." She spent a lot of time in tears and he seemed cold and angry. She says he started refusing intimacy, which, if he really is a Christian, is probably because he has been under conviction about it. Vienna said his reasons were wanting to wait for marriage or because he was fasting. At that point I nearly threw up in my mouth. Jake, please tell me you were fasting from sin, and not fasting from intimacy for the sake of prayer - which is a verse for married people (1 Cor. 7:5). Bleh!

The only reason I'm taking up the time and space to write this is because I saw myself in the train wreck. That was me 12 years ago trying to be someone I wasn't. I had the Holy Spirit living in me but I was living in a way that constantly grieved him. The horrible guilt and refusal to turn from my sin made me miserable. I was always angry and my heart was icy cold. I was trying to play the world's game but I lost. Badly. Satan tells us that God's ways are not for us, but against us. He never wants us to have fun, never wants us to be popular or important. We deserve to be free from his restrictions. But as we saw during that interview and on the cover of all the tabloids at the grocery store, Satan only wants to turn us into fools. He'll talk us into getting into bed with him and then be the first one to point the finger and accuse us (Rev. 12:10) to God.

God's commands are meant to give us freedom. Freedom from guilt, shame, fear, reproach, humiliation, and scandal. Glorious, abundant freedom. Believe me, it is so much better on the side of freedom. If you haven't been over here in a while, come back for a hometown date. Life is good here.

"And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?" (Deut. 10:12-13, emphasis mine).

51 comments:

Sarah said...

GREAT POST! I don't watch the Bachelor/ Bachelorette, but I can totally relate.

pinkmommy said...

I thought the same thing about Jake, and I have been in the same place as you described. Thank God he pulled me out and brought me to Him. I hope Jake finds the girl God intends for him to be with.

Laurie said...

Great post! It is amazing how fast we will sell our freedom for instant gratification and the things of this world. Oh the lies that we so easily believe.

Carly Winborne said...

love, love, love this. it probably rings true to me even more because I am right slap in the middle of "Breaking Free". In fact, in yesterday's video, your mom told the story about your husband teaching your son to say "gimme five" when tempted. i thought it was hilarious and perfectly appropriate in many situations!

i so enjoy your blog. if we lived closer, I'm sure we'd be good friends. (i hope i don't sound like a mad stalker!)

katie said...

Girl, I totally agree with you! Your insight is what I have been thinking all along while watching that show! And that verse was perfect. Thanks for connecting the 2... heaven knows so many girls/women (like me) are watching the Bachelor and it's nice to be able to tie some Christian lessons into such a non-Christian show! Ha! :) Man, if Jake truly began to act like we think he may believe, he could be an awesome guy with a lot of influence!

I love your blog! I'm a faithful follower!

Amy Bennett said...

Amanda, I completely agree! I think he is a man of faith and trying to play it the world's way and only looking foolish when he tries to backtrack when he realized what he did. I couldn't watch the Bachelorette this season after watching Jake and somewhat unrelated...I just heard on Twitter that Ed and Jillian broke up.

Amanda* said...

I totally agree with you. The world's games can look fun and tempting, but they're nothing compared to the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus. Well put. =)

Kodi said...

Thank you for your honesty. I needed to read this.

Bobbie said...

Great message, Amanda! I know a few young teens that need to hear what you just said. It seems they want to be like what they see on TV and in the movies.

Thanks for sharing!

Spicy Magnolia said...

A good word!

Becky said...

Awesome post! I totally agree with you, and have also found myself in that position before. Thank you God for grace,grace, and more grace!!

Little Steps Of Faith said...

While I am definitely not a "bachelor" watcher....I do love this post, and it hits pretty close to home.

Lauren Kelly said...

WOW, this was good Amanda! To be honest with you, after watching that interview between Jake and Vienna, I wanted to punch Jake and pity Vienna. But truly, they are both in the wrong and have fallen short. I couldn’t imagine living this out publicly as they are and pray they will show each other grace such as God has given them and move on and find happiness. But first find happiness where only truly happiness can be found, and that’s in Jesus.

JustJess said...

Love the post. So true and I definitely can relate. Not sure about Jake's faith but I can definitely see the correlation to my life!

Melissa Sue said...

I almost couldn't watch on Monday night because it was so painful! They were both obviously very hurting people, and it was sad to see.

I'm glad you took the time to write about it, though. I totally agree with you and am thankful for your words. It's a truly grievous thing when we, of our own design, cause ourselves so much pain, especially when we could be joyfully following God's plans for us.

Amanda said...

Lauren Kelly, I felt the same way!

Jess :) said...

Great post!! I also, agree with my dear friend Lauren. :) Well said, sisters! :)

Mrs. Jenk said...

I love the applicability you saw. I saw a life lesson on Love and Respect. It was a perfect example- he wanted respect and she wanted love. Don't we all struggle with that!

Amanda said...

Mrs. Jenk, that's so true.

HisTreasuredPossession said...

love it and amen.

Myriam said...

I do not watch the show but totally agree with the application part of it. I know it personally. Thanks for your honesty.

Myriam

Lisa said...

Annie Chapman writes in one of her books that Satan's goal is not to make us commit heinous crimes, or even turn to addictive behaviors, but to turn our faces from God. The ways he does this are so subtle sometimes that it's scary. I was in that same place you described yourself being, Amanda, and I know the enemy wanted me to stay there, because the longer I did, the more I forgot Who dwells in me. Praise Him that both His patience and His reach extend far beyond any of the enemy's schemes. Thank you for that much-needed reminder.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Awesome post, sister.


Walker and I do the exact same thing when we watch reality TV, we play "Who's the Christian." Right now we are in a dispute over Abdi on Work of Art.

Holly said...

For me, I guess it's hard to even see that they are real people and not characters in a play or acting out what the show tells them to do. I couldn't imagine-- even in my most sinful times, where I was not sitting on the fence, but jumping back and forth over that baby with a conscience that seemed seared from any shame from my sin-- anyone wanting to subject themselves to that kind of experience. Watching someone kiss and be with anyone and everyone would not fly with me-even then.

I am so thankful that God allowed me to feel remorse and sorrow for my sin. But in a million years, I would never want it played out for the world to see. It plays in my own brain enough--and I am not proud of that time. Here is where I am thankful for your mom's teaching on re-recording. I do believe those words alone saved me from a lifetime of not being able to stand up under the guilt.

Love your heart, Amanda. Really I think the world of you.
Holly

KacieB said...

I sat there and watched in horror. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. You are absolutely correct when you pointed out how miserable it is to grieve the Holy Spirit- which is what we all do...when we insist on doing things our way! Thanks for reminding us that God commands us to follow him so we can be free!

Poor Jake & Vienna, they need this post in their lives!

Jen said...

All I could think during that whole disaster is that they really need to read "Love & Respect". :)

I totally got the vibe that at some point in his life, he was a follwer of Christ. I hope he goes back to it.

bethany said...

I wish everyone could learn that "God's commands are meant to give us freedom" without having to suffer through life experiences to learn it. Unfortunately, we are human and often seem to learn from mistakes.. As a teenager, I too often felt tied down and prohibited by my church's standards--of course, they were meant to give us more freedoms-from addictions, from sin, from guilt--all things you really don't want to suffer through.

When I taught church youth camp, we would use the analogy of a kite. The only way that the kite can continue to fly is if someone is holding the string-tied to standards/rules if you will. Once the kite is let go, it tumbles to the ground. And we are the same way--we need commandments that sometimes seem to be tying us down, but really they are letting us fly.

That whole mess with Vienna and Jake is just terrible. I feel sorry for both of them...

Rebecca said...

Couldn't agree more! I've been there, too...it doesn't work. Unfortunately, some of us firstborn daughters have to learn the hard way. Praise GOD for forgiveness & perfect redemption in His Holy Name!

I haven't watched this season but did watch last season with Jake. And, the only reason I watched Monday night was to see the trainwreck for myself. I thought some of the same thoughts as I was watching with my eyes about to pop out of my head.

Enjoy reading you! Your baby girl's name caught my attention about a year ago as my second child & only daughter is Annabelle...something about those beautiful baby girls with Southern names that churns my soul! I somehow happened upon your blog and it has been such a blessing to me. Thank you for sharing your heart, Christian Sister!

spiritmom said...

As for your behavior 12 years ago (although mine was 20 years ago), I have two words...

ME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank You Lord Jesus, for redeeming, forgiving, and restoring me. You saved my life.

Marc and Charity said...

I was glued to it too. Then I felt sick.

amykat said...

I love it. Thanks for sharing. So true - I wondered if Jake was a Christian...but like Curt - I had my doubts, too.
It's amazing how skilled Satan is at lying to us...hitting our targets square in the nose and convincing us that life is better lived in sin. ugh. hurts me to think of how many times I have fallen prey to those lies.

Siesta OC said...

Great post! Your transparency was surprising to hear - but welcomed. I too know that feeling and now realize that the freedom I have even while healing from my past, is better than feeling lost and scared and hopeless.

Bless you

Amy Hammons said...

I do not watch Bachelor or any of the "reality" shows that are not reality at all. God means for you to stumble over the mate He created for you in real life not on a simulated environment. I have been where you have described and life is miserable there....only when you are walking with God are you free to love and live. Thanks for your posts and for letting us have a little glimpse in your world...they make me smile!

The Conservative Mommy said...

Preach on sista!

Alison said...

Great post...great words. I have been watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette since it started, and I had also hoped that Jake was a believer and would do all this differently! Sad for them that it didn't work out...felt sorry for Vienna when he was yelling at her. I really hope they both come to the Lord through all this!

Corrie's Blog said...

Great post! :)

Becky Kiser said...

You said it perfectly Amanda!

Chris and I had the SAME debate for half the season and both of us were glued to the episode of the aftermath.

Thanks for sharing a real life application.

Traci said...

Very well said. I don't watch those shows, but you totally used it to teach me. Are you sure you aren't a teacher??

Rhonda said...

Excellent post.

Dionna said...

Very eloquently said. And something that NEEDS to be said.

ocean mommy said...

I don't watch the Bachelor shows because, well...it just doesn't line up with Phil 4:8. Because I am totally sucked into the drama, the Holy Spirit will not leave me alone if I attempt to watch!

I too am so thankful that God is FOR US!

This was SO good, Amanda!
blessnings,
stephanie

Katie said...

I think you probably struck a chord with a lot of us. Thanks for that!

By the way, on Monday night, I couldn't look away from the interview, either. But if Jake had listened to me (and most everyone else, I think) from the beginning, he probably would never have ended up in a TV fight like that...

Callie said...

well said Mrs. Amanda! Proud of your courage to write how you feel! It's a joy to call you friend...and oh yeah, I couldn't agree with you more about all this Bachelor drama!

Laurie said...

I have been reading blogs for about a year now. This is hands down the BEST blog entry I have ever read. Period. I'm so thankful that God put this on your heart to share with us. Thank you!

Alana said...

Train wreck is right! I found myself being so disappointed in Jake's decissions too. I really thought they got a stand up guy this time.

balmingilead said...

Very well written and spirit-led. Excellent.

Fran said...

Girl...I get sucked into every last episode of all this mess. I really need help. I need to get those wasted hours back. I need to STOP. ;)

But, seriously....I hear ya on this one. I watched it too and it just about killed me. However, back in the day...I could have easily been her. EASILY. The whole thing just reminds me of what a broken world we are and how much we need Him.

Great post Amanda!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

oh, man, i don't have cable or dish or anything so can't watch tv, so i don't know who that is, but i can't believe he said that. People are so very misguided. i pray that his eyes will be opened to the truth of who Jesus is and what He can do in his life.

we have all been there Amanda. I read the book "the christian atheist" last week and it was just so amazing. really spoke truth about what we as christians need to wake up and realize! we say we are christians but don't live like we believe it!

Susy said...

Thanks AJ!! I will have to google that interview...

katiegfromtennessee said...

Inspiring post Amanda. Discernment does seem very important in these times. The subtlety of some of the temptations I face daily alarm me. In my attempts to be in the world, but not of it, I'm finding that to be Spirit filled is the only way to avoid legalism and libertinism-maybe to strong a word, too lax maybe in my activities, words, entertainment?? Each day, we absolutely NEED God's guidance to navigate through this world without playing the world's game. Bleh is right, I don't want to waste this vapor, no do overs!

Blessings to you today Amanda:)

katiegfromtennessee

Lindsee Lou said...

Okay, so you wrote this while I was in Colorado and I'm FINALLY reading it. SO good, friend! You said it perfectly. Though I'm not married, all I kept thinking throughout the entire interview was that they needed to read Love & Respect.