Jesus vs. Juan Pablo: He loves, he loves not

I'm doing it again. I'm blogging about The Bachelor. Maybe I should make this a thing that I do...but then again, maybe not.

 Creative Commons photo by   Peter Camyre

 Creative Commons photo by Peter Camyre

Juan Pablo's season finale was tonight. My goodness, this season. "MOST DRAMATIC SEASON EVER." "SHOCKING FINALE." "YOU'VE NEVER SEEN A FINALE LIKE THIS." Okay, okay.

It's a TV show. It's not reality. It's a fantasy, it's a few weeks for heaven's sake, it's all rainbows and roses and lots of making out. And at the end of it all, Chris Harrison spent the whole post-finale show grilling Juan Pablo about why he wouldn't say he loved Nikki, the girl who got the final rose.

His logic was this: how he feels is private. How he feels doesn't need to be shared with the world. How he feels doesn't need to be told to anyone but Nikki.

On one hand, I respect that. It isn't real life when you're flying around the world on a show with so many other women, and I have to respect and totally understand that he might not totally know if he loves her yet or not.

But if he does really love her? And he still doesn't want to talk about it or let the public know, because he thinks it should be secret and private?

I feel differently when it comes to love.

I'm a Christian. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ. And if you were to sit me down on a plush couch surrounded by candles and roses and a studio audience and ask me if I loved this person I'm in a relationship with, I would absolutely say yes. It would be a big, bold, resounding, exciting, passionate, whole-hearted, big fat YES. I would repeat it over and over, beaming from ear to ear, giddy and overflowing and full of uncontainable joy. I wouldn't hide it. I wouldn't say it didn't matter to anyone else. I wouldn't say it was something I should just keep between me and Him.

When you love someone deeply and truly, you love them out loud. You want to shout it from rooftops. You want to tell your mom and your cousins and any stranger who happens to look at you on the street. You don't want to be secretive about it, you don't want to be sneaky, you don't want to beat around the bush.

My point is not to bash Juan Pablo. He's had enough of that on Twitter already. My point is that love shouldn't be just in secret. Superficial "love" might be something you want to keep hush-hush, so when (not if) it fails, it's not a big ordeal. But real love? True love? The love of a gracious, good, glorious Father? That is absolutely one love that should never be kept inside or hidden from the world.

Reality television "love" may be glamorous, but real, sacrificial, go to a cross to give it all up for you love, that's extravagant. That's real. That's agape love.

Jesus came from heaven to earth to be crucified and buried to show his love for us, paying the ultimate sacrifice out of perfect love and redeeming us when He rose again so we could live in love with Him forever. We should shout that love out as loud as we can. Not on street corners with big signs and Bibles thumping, but in the way we love, in the way we serve, in the way we live. We should go the ends of the earth and every corner of our neighborhoods, proclaiming His name, sharing His heart, sacrificing much and worshipping in all. 

It won't be a free vacation around the world, jet-setting from one exotic location to the next, all-expenses-paid with a camera crew and lots of crazy dates. It will be hard, it will be exhausting, it will be lonely, and it will be so very worth itThere won't be a rose waiting at the end, there will be heaven. There won't be a man on one knee, there will be a Savior with open arms. There won't be interviews and front page stories, there will be worship and unending praise.

I want to love my Lord out loud. No secrets, no hiding how I feel, no skirting around the issue. That might be how a Bachelor would do it, but this believer is doing it differently.

#TheBachelorWedding and Jesus on TV

Okay, yes, I'm a little bit obsessed with The Bachelor. Call it a guilty pleasure or whatever, it's just a good old train wreck of drama and romance that I love to watch. Last night, past Bachelor Sean and his fiancée Catherine got married with an elaborate and televised wedding ceremony, and yep, I loved it. Not the extravagance of the flowers or her gown or Chris Harrison's classic host commentary...I loved that they talked about Jesus.

They are celebrities with an insane amount of public attention and scrutiny, and everything they say or do (and even things they never said or did) are broadcast to the entire world. And they talked about Jesus. Boldly. Unashamedly.

Sean and Catherine waited until marriage to have sex and become one, and they talked about it a lot. Boldly. Unashamedly. They didn't skirt around it or try to hide it or make excuses for it. They made it known that it was part of their faith, that they were excited for their wedding night (as they should be!), and that they had been waiting to live together and truly be together until they were married. Mad props to them.

In the light of all the drama with other celebrities getting into trouble with the law and causing scandals and rebelling in all sorts of ways, it was so refreshing to see two people use their fame to make the name of God known.

Sean's father officiated their wedding, and it was all about their faith and their love. The name of Jesus was proclaimed, it wasn't hidden, and it was beautiful. Bold. Unashamed.

ABC didn't hide their conversations about how they waited to have sex, they didn't avoid broadcasting the name of Jesus, and they didn't show any of it negatively. Mad props to them, too. So often, Christianity is shown negatively on television, and last night had none of that. Every Christian girl I know was swooning and probably crying and mostly just loving everything about their wedding. It was just so good, people. Yeah, it was a TV wedding, yes it was the couple from that dramatic reality show, but it was the real deal.

It was a sweet, romantic, beautiful wedding. It was everything a wedding should be about: the couple's love, the Father's love, and unity both together and in Him as the new Mr. and Mrs. begin their new life together as a married couple seeking to bring glory to His name. It was just so good.

Sean and Catherine, thank you. For being bold, for being solid, for being real, and for being a light for Christ in the world through your fame. I give you props. You're using the fame God has given you to glorify Him and be real about it. And that rocks.'re really cute together and I can't wait for you to have adorable little babies someday.