For many, the new year marks a time to break away from unhealthy habits, but for others, it marks the long-awaited start of a new Bachelor season. The Bachelor is a show about a single man who dates 30 women (all of which are automatically smitten with him) in hopes that one of them will be his “soulmate.” The final episodes then end with his proposal to the final contestant, who he has fallen in love with.

Whether or not this method is emotionally healthy or morally right for either party, it is clear that this is the type of entertainment our country craves. I say this as one who is guilty herself of falling into the pit of tuning in every Monday at 8. I started watching this show as a skeptic of the concept and found myself quickly becoming emotionally involved with the people and relationships in the show.

The bachelor himself and the contestants are real and not just characters. Although they choose to do this emotional damage to themselves, it breaks my heart to see them base so much of their worth in a broadcasted and rushed relationship.

Your motive for watching this show is beside the point, but it is important to identify what you are consuming and how it influences you. If you are basing your idea of a stable romantic relationship on what is portrayed in this show, you are being deceived. The perfectly-planned dates and heartfelt conversations are planned and edited to give the viewer what they want to see, which is an easy and passionate illusion of love. Although some moments on the show might be genuine, they make it hard to tell what is real and what is a product of the producers taking advantage of the entertainment value of the show.

As with any media you consume, be aware of what messages you are being sent and how they will influence you. It is important to understand what culture broadcasts as truth and how that compares to the truth of the Bible. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” So whether you watch it as a time to socialize with friends or just to make fun of it, know what is true and what isn’t so you can guard your heart.

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