Well, in case you missed it, The Bachelor ended Monday night.
And America’s boyfriend, Ben, got engaged.
I know. Pass the Ben & Jerry’s.
Ben’s popularity this season has been unprecedented.
He’s handsome. A former quarterback. Christian. Midwestern. Loves his mama. Wears his heart on his sleeve. I mean, I even found myself saying, “I want a Ben!”
But falling asleep that night, something hit me.
Yes, Ben was a great guy: he was kind, loving, open about his faith, had a good solid background, and a chiseled jawline to boot. But the fact is – he loved two women. At the same time.
All the fanfare and romance and showy drama of the production forces fans to miss that glaring fact: Ben’s “fairytale” love story is no fairytale at all.
The fact is, I do not want a Ben.
I want the furthest thing from Ben.
I want a man who would never put me in a position to compete for his love. I want a man whose love will never waver. Who will always be faithful. And will never cause me to doubt that.
That is the man I want to marry.
And I have faith that God is forming the heart of my future husband to be just that.
But the show is smart, with its choice editing, playing up this or that, flowering it with sweeping vistas, swelling music, and close ups of our brooding boy…we can somehow miss that giant elephant in the room. Or, at the very least, forgive it. We can even forget the fact that Ben sleeps with three different women, three nights in a row. The man I want to marry will not do that. The man I want to marry will stand up and say, “that is not right.”
And don’t get me wrong. I love me some Bachelor. I mean, I do not miss a show. I Tweet along. Read recap blogs. I am all in.
But I have to remember that it is just a show. And real love is out there, and handsome as it may appear — it’s not Ben.
You all have been on this journey with me. Having only just recently opened my heart to love and allowing another person to love me — It has been scary. It is the last step in my recovery from anorexia. A disease which annihilated my self love and self worth, and with it, the notion that I deserve love from another person.
But with God’s strength, I’ve chosen to open up that part of myself and test the waters.
Some failed attempts. Some learning opportunities. But none the less, I’m growing. *Still single,* but open to love.
But I’ll tell you this, attractive as Ben and his fairytale love may appear, I respect myself enough to demand a love that is real. A love that is honest. Faithful. Unquestioning.
1 Corinthians 15:6 “Love…rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts…”
Those words have a different weight when you read it thinking about The Bachelor, huh?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in recovery, it is that my heart is worth something. It was purchased at a price and belongs to the King. And its worth demands that it be cherished and treated as the precious gift it is.
My heart is worth protecting.
And unlike Ben, my future husband will do just that.