I know a few things about women, given that I am one. Of course, there could be some things that I assume are universal to women that could be specific to Robbye. However, I also have some friends who are women, so I think I can safely say that the following is a list of things that most, if not all women want:

  • To be loved/accepted/secure
  • To be found beautiful

From what I understand, men have a desire for respect that rivals a woman’s desire for love.  I used to be slightly offended that men are wired to be so visual, but then one day it occurred to me that a man’s need to find a beauty fits quite nicely to a woman’s need to be found beautiful. Similarly, when a woman is found beautiful and loved, she feels secure and will deeply respect a man who loves her. Funny how those things fit together so well – you’d think it was designed to be that way or something!

I am not a fan of the show, “The Bachelor.”  It was only because I was reading my mail that I didn’t immediately flip the channel when I turned on the TV on Monday and realized the rose ceremony was taking place. Yet, by the time I finished reading my mail, a gal on the show caught my attention. She was one of two girls who did not receive a rose from the bachelor in the ceremony. She was crying, as they all do, and in her exit interview she said something like this, which I’ve paraphrased, “I came here wanting to fall in love with <the Bachelor>. I kept trying to put myself out there and I just didn’t fit. Now I feel like I’ve been rejected….”

The bachelorette caught my attention because she expressed that she didn’t feel she was a good fit with the bachelor, but yet she was still upset that she hadn’t won his love.  The show, “The Bachelor,” turns “love” and romance into a competition. It’s unlikely that every girl in the 15-20 women who start out each season will actually be compatible with the bachelor that is chosen. Yet, because he is setup as the prize in this sick reality game show, they are all fixated on winning his love at any cost. That cost apparently includes their own standards since they seem to want to stay and win even when they sense it’s not actually a good fit.

After contemplating the low that this show stoops to, and the havoc it wreaks on the individuals involved, I realized that this is all too common among women. Women are often devastated by breakups even when they logically know that the man was not a good fit for them. We all know women who continue to date a man who doesn’t quite meet previously stated standards. We even know women who aren’t interested in a particular man (or aren’t sure) until he moves on to someone else or until another woman shows interest in him! Why? Because she doesn’t want to be rejected, overlooked, or chosen against. If the man does not choose her, or chooses someone else instead of her, the message that she hears is, “You’re not loveable. You’re not accepted. You’re not secure. You’re not beautiful (enough).”

So, I was thinking through all of this and I wondered what the larger lesson is that I should be learning from this.  My counselor used to say to me all the time, “We’re not a good fit with everyone, and that’s okay.”  I know that’s true and it would be quite scary indeed if we were a good fit with every person of the opposite gender around us! Since that wasn’t new information to me, I didn’t think that was the lesson here. I sensed that I needed to grasp some truth that was just beyond me, but I couldn’t quite connect the dots. I wondered if I was supposed to learn something about the way God loves us. Then I remembered my theme for the year (see also “Worship”) and I said out loud to myself, to God, or to anyone listening: “Maybe this isn’t about how God loves us, but a lesson in how I need to love God?”

I wondered aloud what was wrong with the way that the bachelorette was approaching love and it occurred to me that her “love” or her attempt to find love was motivated by fear. She was afraid of being rejected (not chosen) and she was afraid of being overlooked and chosen against. She was desperate to love and be loved by the bachelor, but because she feared not being found beautiful, acceptable, and loveable.

So how is that different than being God’s lover? We love God not in fear, but because He first lavished His love on us. He loves us until we are capable of seeing His love clearly and returning love joyfully, not in fear. I read the book “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers a few weeks ago. It’s taken from the book of Hosea and it’s a moving reminder of how God loves us, pursues us, and yet lovingly allows us to have free will and walk away from Him. In the end, it’s also a moving reminder of how freely and wholly we can love God in return when we feel safe and secure in His love.  So perhaps this was a lesson about both God as lover AND me as God’s lover in response. It’s reasonable to think that that two would go hand-in-hand.

As I watched the girl cry on “The Bachelor” and lament about not being chosen in the rose ceremony, I wanted to take her by the shoulders and say, “You said yourself it wasn’t a good fit! We’re not meant to fit with everyone we meet. This just wasn’t a good fit and doesn’t mean that you aren’t loveable or beautiful. You want someone who desires you fully!” I would now add to that, “You want to love him because of his love for you, not out of fear of losing him!”

Oh that I could see God’s love clearly and respond in love, as lovers should! I would never have imagined that a scene from “The Bachelor” could be used to teach me more about how to love God. What does He have in store next?!