Two completely different shows.  The Bachelor and a Very Duggar Wedding.

The first, which must be in its fiftieth or sixtieth season now, involves several women all vying for the same man, doing everything they can to be noticed and stand out from the rest.  Intimacy … in an oxymoronic way… abounds.

A Very Duggar Wedding involves the marriage of the oldest son in the now-famous family of 20, a simple homemade affair where love abounds and intimacy is saved for the wedding night.  (all forms… even the first kiss)

Two very different shows.  And while TLC does manage to make the Duggars look a little eccentric (I know, hard to believe), I appreciate that the “other side” is given some air time.  Josh spent some time explaining the difference between courting and dating and why he chose to court Anna the way he did.  He spoke about the fact that each time you date someone, you give a piece of your heart to that person– so by the time you are ready to get married, you don’t have your whole heart to give, even if you wanted to give it.  He didn’t want that to happen to him.

Juxtapose that with the girls on the Bachelor, who are all simultaneously dating Bachelor-man.  While they know this in their heads, their hearts are still affected by it.  They complain that it feels like they’re being cheated on or get upset when Bachelor-man kisses another girl.  You know they don’t want to take their hands off of him– because another pair of hands will take over.  I’m sure it’s truly heartbreaking when they don’t get a rose– because they’ve given so much of themselves to him.  They’ve put themselves out there and made themselves vunerable, only to be insecure about where they stand.

Is that what falling in love is about?  Giving of yourself, making yourself vunerable- absolutely.  But in such a way that you’re selling yourself to someone like a product?  Making an object of yourself and hoping he picks you off the shelf? 

Tonight, Anna couldn’t stop holding Josh’s hand… because she was in love… not because she was insecure.

What if, just for kicks, they put someone on the Bachelor who had the courtship mentality?  It would never happen, but boy, would it make for that drama that the networks are always craving.  Courtship-girl wants to talk to Bachelor-man to get to know him- not to show him what a good kisser she is.  In fact, she refuses to let him kiss her.   She’s not willing to backbite or trash-talk and she wants to be treated with respect, not as an object.  Modestly clad, she’s not willing to hang out in a hot tub with Bachelor-man or prance around in her underwear.

You know what?  I think that in the end, if Bachelor-man gave her a chance, he would give her the final rose.

But she may just turn him down.  ’cause she’s in this for love, not a rose.