Greg Henning on “The Bachelor” Nation’s Normalization of Sin is Destroying Healthy Relationships and Marriages

It is that time again when people across the nation gather together, pick their favorites, and celebrate with viewing parties, the phenomena that is The Bachelor[1] The Bachelor has an incredible reach and impact on the culture worldwide. The original series, the Bachelor, has aired for twenty-three seasons. To put in perspective, the three main U.S. shows[2] averages ten million viewers per episode. That is 360 MILLION viewers each season, and over the 23 seasons of the Bachelor alone, over 2.7 Billion viewers. Sadly, this single show, simply by virtue of its reach and its normalization of sin, has done more to speed the destruction of healthy relationships and marriage in the culture than anything in history.

The Norm

God designed man to live in fellowship and community. God specifically designed male and female as reflective of his nature and image (Gen 1:26-27 NASB).  Because it was “not good for man to be alone…[God made] a helper suitable for him” (Gen 2:18).  Woman was taken out of man to be the ezer neged; [3] corresponding other to man. Marriage and sexual relations is idealized as the reunion of male and female counterparts; “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23), culminating in marriage and sexual union;

For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Gen 2:24)

Man and women were created and designed to be and work together, as helpmates and partners in reflecting the image of God, living in intimate relationship with him as stewards of his creation.

Twisted Reality

So, what is so wrong with this show that purports to be dedicated to helping people find this love. The problems are multiple, but the first is that rather than being fulfilled and made whole through relationship with God, these people are on a misguided quest to be fulfilled by another person, a role unintended, and a hope that will end in frustration. Whether the Bachelor or one of the 25 contestants vying for his affection, each is lost and looking for that soul mate to complete them. Because of the fall and man’s brokenness, each person has that god shaped hole [4] that only God can fill. These people (with a couple of outliers for dramatic effect) are the beautiful people who seemingly have it all together, but that inside are really “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev 3:17). They lack the shalom[5] of intimate relationship with God. They can never find or be that truly fulfilling soulmate until they are themselves complete in Christ.

Further, their pursuit of that life partner in this show is fraught with IED’s planted by the producers that all but guarantee good television but bad and short-lived relationships. Whether living in a Hollywood mansion, jet-setting around the world to exotic locations, or living in a Mexican resort paradise, the producers have designed a life Edenic in nature, with no toil and no cares for those selected for Bachelor Nation. Contrary to the Edenic norm; however, the Bachelor sets up and enables hedonistic and narcissistic relationships that are destined (designed) to fail.  Whether the bachelor himself or the contestants amongst each other, the producers promote a priority of ego – I need to do what I want to do. Whether in the house culture or the group date dynamic, people are pitted against each other for dramatic effect. Regardless of the oft-reported creative editing [6] and scripting [7], the show is crafted to inject people into highly emotional and high-pressure situations, pit them against each other and then televise the results.

Further, the show designs intimate ‘dates’ to facilitate bonding[8] with multiple people, with the design of forcing the breaking of the relationship and thus injury[9] to all parties involved. This culminates in the ‘Fantasy Suite’ episode where ‘sexual compatibility’ is voyeuristically promoted and facilitated.  The damage done by multiple and continual physiological bonding and then breaking of those bonds is hurtful and long term.[10]

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Greg Henning