Faith and Life: A reality TV show held in low esteem

I was recently sick with bronchitis. But the doctor said I was no longer contagious, so I decided to continue seeing patients treating my symptoms. Before and after appointments each day, I rested more than I have in a long time, and I did what I haven’t done in years: I watched a lot, I mean oodles, of television.

While my kids were awake, I sat bundled up with them in the evenings watching their favorite shows. It was great quality time. Once they went to bed, I found I could not lie down without hacking, so I propped up in bed and turned on my TV.

This is when I came across “The Bachelor.” I had been reading many of my friends’ posts on Facebook about their “Bachelor” addiction, so I tuned in to an episode.

As I snuggled up for some entertainment, I was simply appalled. I am not old-fashioned or judgmental of people’s lifestyles. What dismayed me was the lack of value these young women put on themselves.

Never in even my wildest of teen years when I wandered from the Lord would I have dated a male who was seeing other girls. As a young adult, it would have been unheard of for me. I just have too much self respect.

And that did not come from being raised in some kind of a perfect, Christian home — far from it. I just put value on myself on many levels. I was saddened by these girls fighting, crying, getting depressed and kissing a man who was dating and eyeing other women. Why would they even want him?

My thoughts went immediately to my own girls. I am by no means an overbearing mom — cautious and attentive — but not overbearing. I do not love my kids conditionally and expect them to make the choices I want them to in life. I lead, teach, love and direct; I do not lord over them.

However, there are a few very bad choices they could make that would wield my strong instruction to them — one being how men should treat them and what they should expect in the dating experience. Those choices and behavior will lead to a life of how they allow others to view, care for and love them. It will shape their self image, value of themselves and self insight. And there are too many women out there allowing men to treat them poorly, objectively or subjectively.

So as I watched this particular episode and witnessed women crying, startled and wounded, manipulating one another and the gentleman, passing out, saying their hearts were broken, feeling rejected, I had to ponder their self value and esteem. Most did not appear emotionally healthy to me — except maybe the young lady that got the heck out of there and went home.

Women should never “fight” to get a man. They should not be desperate and have to beg, manipulate, lie or slander others. They should be themselves, who God created them to be, realize the incredible value of who they are — not what they do or look like — and wait for the right man to come their way.

A man worth marrying is a man who pursues a woman, doesn’t look to the right or left at other women, knows who he is in life, and treats a lady with the uniqueness she possesses and deserves. I understand the entertainment value in this show, but it deals with the lives and presumed value of real human beings.

And although these women may not have a deep sense of self worth and emotional insight, it does not mean that the show’s developers should prey on that weakness. But then again, the entertainment field and men and women do so in other areas as well. Look at pornography and prostitution. This issue is as old as mankind.

I simply hope that we as Christians can teach our children, teens and young men and women how to treat those they hope to marry and how to view the opposite sex in general. My prayer would be that they too learn to be appalled at bad behavior.

As Christians, we really are supposed to have a different and higher standard from the secular world. The Bible is full of guidelines on how to treat young ladies, men, our children, parents, employees and authorities. It is with respect.

As for me, this is just not something I can watch for entertainment. I feel women are just too valuable.

KIMBERLIE ZAKARIAN holds a licensed marriage and family degree and can be reached by email at, or by mail at Kimberlie Zakarian Therapy, Inc. 2233 Honolulu Ave. Ste 310, Montrose, CA 91020.

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