Which Harms Marriage More, “The Bachelor” or Pornography?

Let us begin with the following statements, which are undoubtedly true:

Men are visually stimulated.

Women are emotionally stimulated.

Men are attracted to the explicit: pornography.

Women are attracted to the bachelor and other implicit romance flicks.

Now, what is odd is that among Christian circles it is not acceptable for men to watch pornography, but it is alright for women to watch the bachelor or some other “harmless” romantic flick- be it a movie or television series.  I assume because no one has given it any thought.  Rather it is accepted because secular society does it and since it is not explicit it somehow is acceptable.  In society abroad however, it is acceptable for men to watch porn and it is acceptable for women to watch the bachelor.  I will use the bachelor as a blanket term here for all romance flicks.

Basically what happens is that pornography arouses in men a desire to have sex, or sometimes simply to masturbate in a self serving way.  Some men might say that seeing a scene in a movie or that catching a glance of pornography does not impact them that way.  Douglas Wilson puts it like this in “Reforming Marriage“, and I paraphrase, men who say they are not affected are lying or so hardened that they need something more extreme to get aroused.  It is a simple fact.  Men are designed by their Creator to be visually wired!  I would be lying to you if I said I did not like seeing pornography.  There is not an ounce of my body that does not lust to the full extent of the word after visual stimulation like that.  But you know something?  I hate it with all of me!  Its like what Paul says in Romans 7.. “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.”  It is a real struggle to remain pure and faithful to my wife when even at the checkout isle at the market sweaty flesh is staring at me.  The struggle involves discipline on the part of the man.  Job reinforces this further by saying, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.”  Consider also the words of Jesus in Matthew, “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  Don’t even look men.  Don’t even go to the movie that has that scene in it.  It is not worth it.  It takes a real man to stay at home or go out and romance and gaze deeply at his wife instead.

The Bachelor and all of its clones both past and present arouses in women a desire to be romanced.  This is not particularly bad except the men in the bachelor are idealized as are the outings, the unlimited romance, and the scenarios and venues.  How can any man possibly compete with that?  How can a man compete with a woman’s imagination and idealized romance?  The same issue arises among women as it does with men who watch pornography.  For example, how can she compete with porn that has unlimited sex drive?  After years of marriage her body will have developed wrinkles and gray hair.  How can she possibly remain as young and fit as the image on the screen, men?  How can he possibly romance you to the extent of the Bachelor if he is working a 70 hour work week to provide for his family, ladies?  You know the feeling the screen invokes in you, women.  You are taken back to the wonderful past honeymoon period of your marriage and are not able to find contentment in the current situation.  How can you possibly be content with the single rose your husband brought home tonight or the 72 minutes he is spending with you during the children’s nap time?  The Bachelor creates the very same problem in women whether you like it or not as pornography in men.  Discontentment and destruction in marriage.

Their are phases in life that come and go in as much as their is passion in marriage that has its seasons.  Deuteronomy puts it like this, “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.”  The Bachelor however, puts an unrealistic expectation on a man and romance in that all the woman has to do is turn the television on at 8 o’clock and she can feel romanced and pursued with candle light and a dinner out in front of an audience.  Realistically, a man may be tired when he comes home from a long day of work and do something more subtle like a back rub and quiet words for his wife before heading to an anticlimactic night of sleep in bed.  In America we have this unrealistic pursuit for the perfect orgasm, the perfect kiss, the ultimate.  It follows that watching the Bachelor creates the same problem as it is the television that is stimulating the women viewers not the husband making a conscious effort to romance his wife over a period of months and years.

A woman’s perspective of The Bachelor:

“The men and women who engage themselves on the Bachelor, or Bachelorette, give no inclination that they are committing themselves to a covenant, made between man, woman, and God for life.  In fact, the sole relationship is based on whether or not they “make each other happy or not.” “If she makes me happy then she must be the one.”  The woman viewer may be tempted to analyze her own relationship with her husband, find him lacking in the romance department or some other area because he is not measuring up to The Bachelor’s pursuit of his woman, and decide she too is “not happy.”  This leads to a void that needs to be filled and therefore can place unrealistic demands on her husband. Love is freely given.  Not demanded.  Love is something that over the course of years uplifts and supports the other, unconditionally, whether or not one is “happy.”  Love is a choice.  You choose to love, honor and cherish your spouse in those hard times.  When a husband is working long hours and may not be able to put in the amount of effort (which is not even The Bachelor’s own effort, but the effort of his producers), she needs to turn around and pour into him…to respect him and his work effort and in turn, will unknowingly result in the husband pouring his love back into his wife.  In a sense, watching the bachelor leads a woman to “feel” that a relationship based on feelings is the desired relationship, or one to be coveted.  Therefore, this kind of a show is actually a harmful thing to the Christian Marriage because it belittles that life long committment…one that has romance, but also longevity and solid committment… something reality TV shows do not support through their actions.  Romance is indeed important, and I certainly need romantic attention from my husband so that I can whole heartedly respond to him and his needs, but it is not the sole driving force of our relationship.” “There are ups and downs in marriage (something reality TV shows to not exemplify) and during the downs, both man and wife need to serve one another.

Consider the following secular sources, who oddly enough are feeling the problem while Christians are out of the loop:

Counselors say reality TV shows harm image of healthy marriage: Some marriage counselors claim shows like ‘Newlyweds’ and ‘The Bachelor’ exploit the institution of marriage. http://www.dailyemerald.com/2.2409/counselors-say-reality-tv-shows-harm-image-of-healthy-marriage-1.215323

Which Harms Marriage More, Gay Marriage or “The Bachelor”?: “One of the often repeated, but never substantiated, claims in the debate over gay or same-sex marriage is that such unions harm the institution. I’ve yet to see any opponent of same-sex marraiges/civil unions explain what harm is done or how it is done. On the other hand, I do not ever hear any moral outrage of how pop culture seemingly harms the institution and the process of getting their on reality TV shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. It seems to me these shows trivialize the process of selecting a partner by conducting the search under contrived and unrealistic circumstances for the purposes of entertainment. So, here’s my question: Which do you think is worse for the institution of marriage . . . same-sex marriages or reality TV?http://open.salon.com/blog/chris_b/2008/06/23/which_harms_marriage_more_gay_marriage_or_the_bachelor

The Porn Myth: In the end, porn doesn’t whet men’s appetites—it turns them off the real thing. http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/trends/n_9437/

5 Ways Porn Makes Men Bad In Bed. “If you believe porn, men need only do two simple things to send a hot blonde like Jenna Jameson into orbit. In reality, we women know better.” http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-5-ways-porn-makes-men-bad-in-bed/

Men as Victims: Porn Addition Brain Damage to Men. http://www.netnanny.com/learn_center/article/153

The issue is one and the same.  The conclusion is one and the same.  The bachelor is as bad for women as porn is for men.  So which harms marriage more?  The television, the romance novels, the computer– man’s undisciplined nature and willful ignorance.

~ by Majestic on February 10, 2011.

One Response to “Which Harms Marriage More, “The Bachelor” or Pornography?”

  1. […] have our favorite sports teams we follow.  We have our favorite television series with all of the fairy tale romance.  We have our favorite hollywood films.  Christianity is as plugged in to the secular beat as […]

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