after 15 seasons, 14 bachelors, and at least 350 angry women, the bachelor continues to dominate prime-time television (although fox just broke the world record with 111 million viewers during super bowl XLV, and top spots dominated by american idol and jersey shore right behind, which sums up current american television into the categories of pride, idolatry, and lust).
the plot of the “reality” television show (as if vampire girl from this season wasn’t put there for a reason) is to give 25 or so lucky ladies a shot to convince the star, the eligible good-looking bachelor, to fall madly in love with them. it is basically a romantic version of the book series the hunger games, where 24 children are thrown into an isolated landscape with tools, weapons, and hunting skills where the last child standing, is declared the winner. survival of the fittest.
obviously, this is how we fall in love in america.
as i minister to people, i am often asked the same question, because for most it always comes down to the same question. it isn’t a theology question, or even a bible question. it is usually a very simple, yet very profound one.
“how do i fall more in love with Jesus?”
now when you think about it, the concept of the bachelor is not for the women to necessarily fall in love or more in love with the bachelor, but rather to do everything in their power to convince him to choose them, and love them. if the bachelor was the standard by which i was to base my answer to the question “how do i get Jesus to fall more in love with me”, then i would say, show Him some more skin, cry a lot, and tell him all the other women are whores.
now for some people i talk with, possibly even you, this is important: there is absolutely nothing you can do to convince Jesus to love you and more than He already does. “for while we were still weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. for one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would even dare to die-but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8. so stop trying to impress Him with your church attendance, your good works, and your religion. He loves you.
for the rest of the people i get the opportunity to minister to, the question is the opposite. they are greatly aware of His love, His grace, His beauty, His compassion, His kindness, and His mercy. for them, they want to know how to fall more in love with Him.
asking somebody for the steps of falling in love is impossible, because falling in love just happens over time. there is no formula. no “to-do” list. no “falling in love for dummies.” the very term we use constantly, “falling” in love, does not allow for it. what is the definition of falling?
falling-move downward, typically rapidly and freely without control, to become detached accidentally and drop to the ground, to occur, arrive, or become apparent as if by dropping suddenly.
we rapidly, freely, quickly, drop into something we find beautiful and amazing to the point of becoming completely detached from what we once were and once held on to so tightly. and that is nothing that you can set up to occur on a television show each week for 2 hours.
falling into love, and more in love with the One we were created to love, happens only as we spend more and more time with the One who is love. in spending time with Him, we learn more about Him. in spending time with Him, He reveals more of Himself to us. in spending time with Him, we see more, hear more, enjoy more, desire more, want more, and love more of Him, and His glory…and we find ourselves suddenly more detached from ourselves, our idols, and our sin.
the psalmist simply says it this way: “delight yourselves in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart,” Psalm 37:4. we delight in that which we love. we love that in which we know. we know that which is revealed to us. “the LORD has made known His salvation. He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations,” Psalm 98:2. “for I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. for in it, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith…” Romans 1:16-17
we are not contestants on God’s show, trying to win His favor and love. we are part of His show, His story, and He has sought a relationship with not just one, but every-one who has ever existed, even to the point of sending His Son to reconcile us all back to Him.
14 of the 14 (not including this season, as it is not over) relationships from the bachelor have all failed, every single one. but one guarantee for those who believe in Jesus and put their faith in Him for Christ’s imputed righteousness regarding His covenant of love and grace with us: “for i am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
He offers you a rose, because He endured the thorns. Accept it.