ABC’s “The Bachelor” concluded on Tuesday night with Bachelor Peter Weber proposing to 23-year-old model Hannah Ann Sluss. Soon after, Weber revoked his proposal to Hannah Ann and decided to pursue runner-up and religious sweetheart Madison Prewett, despite strong objection by Peter’s over-protective mother.
“Bachelor” host Chris Harrison told Bachelor Nation this season could not be spoiled, not even by reality TV guru “Reality Steve.” Harrison was correct when he said no one can guess the ending. That’s because none of us would have guessed the beginning.
On the very first night of the season, Peter offered his “first impression rose” — the rose given to the woman who impresses him the most on the first night — to Hannah Ann. Bachelor Nation could have guessed Peter would fall for Hannah Ann the moment she exited the limo. What took Bachelor Nation for a wild ride was watching Weber fall head over heels for a devoted Christian woman from the south.
Madison stoked controversy among Bachelor Nation for directly expressing the very reasonable fact that she would struggle to say “yes” to a proposal if Peter had sex with another woman just six days before his scheduled marriage proposal. Many saw this as an ultimatum, and one Peter ultimately failed. To Madison, it was holding her future husband to higher standards regardless of whether they were unprecedented in Bachelor history.
During the finale, Madison said she was unequivocally herself and knew it would ruffle some feathers.
It’s painfully obvious everyone in Peter’s direct sphere of influence, whether it be his ex-girlfriend Hannah Brown, his family, or the reality television producers, do not hold him to the same high standards that Madison does. These are the same people telling Peter his relationship with Madison cannot work because she’s too different and too religious.
When Madison met Peter’s family, they were shocked she would dare ask him to not sleep with other women, they questioned whether Peter could wait for sex until marriage, and reminded Peter their lifestyles were vastly different because he likes to go to the “club” while Madison prefers to attend church.
Despite breaking off his engagement with Hannah Ann, Peter’s mother Barbara said Peter was destined to fail in his relationship with Madison.
“He’s going to have to fail to succeed, that’s it,” Barbara said.
Yet Peter claims he wants to make a relationship that seems to make no sense work. He had the opportunity to marry a woman who posts pictures of herself on Instagram in bikinis everyday, but he chose the reserved, religious girl in the end. Maybe he’s just in pursuit of another reality TV contract.
Or maybe he is fascinated and attracted at a life that calls him to something higher than letting his private parts make his life decisions. Weber is experiencing what many Christians experience living in an increasingly secular culture. Everyone around him is judging his situation and jumping to conclusions about him. His sphere of influence is urging him to go in a different direction, but Weber is being called to live a life more prosperous than the one he is now.
In Madison’s Instagram biography she posted Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Madison has spoken up for Christian women who feel silenced by living in an increasingly secular, sex-trivializing, and judgmental culture. Now, it’s Peter’s opportunity to consider what that might mean for him. We can only pray he rises to the challenge.