We don't have network TV of any kind (you can't have it unless you pay for cable or satellite and I'd rather pay for fast internet and a few dinners out!) but I can get my mom to tape stuff for me sometimes that I might want to watch. So I was watching The Biggest Loser weight loss reality TV show the other night and there was this commercial for a new reality show called The Baby Borrowers. If you don't know what this is, let me give you the gist of it:
Teenage couples agree to take care of someone else's baby 24/7 for three days straight. One of them must get a job, the other is the primary caregiver. Then, they get a toddler, and so on. Apparently, this is suppose to really prepare young people for what life is really like if they decide to stay together and start a family. REALLY.
I suppose this is just a glorified version of the high school experiment where you have to take a baby doll or a sack of flour home and pretend you're a mother. It's intended to be a form of birth control, but here's what the show is really communicating:
Having a family is a terrible experience, full of wiping butts and noses, fighting with your partner, cleaning, cooking, staying up all night, no time for yourself--in a word: miserable.
This TV show (and don't misunderstand me, I think TV can be lots of fun and perfectly fine) basically says that young people shouldn't have children. The logical follow through would be that if you have an "oops" you'd better get an abortion because you're obviously not ready (at 18 19, 20 years old) to care for a baby and be a responsible parent.
Here are my problems with this show and how UNrealistic it is:
As far as I know, these couples aren't even married. They've made no commitment to stick it out no matter what happens. Having a new baby is hard on anyone, but the season is short. The boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is often based on, what Voddie Baucham calls, the Greco-Roman myth of love: it's a feeling, something you can fall in and out of at a whim, can't help who you fall in love with, based on lust basically. Now tell me how THAT'S going to survive being a parent. When I was first married, I had a baby about 5 months afterward. 1 month after I was married, I was put on total, head on a pillow bed rest. How did we make it? But for the grace of God, and the fact that we had committed to each other for LIFE, making promises we had to keep even if we ate pizza all summer and watched baseball on the sofa every night. THEN came the new baby.
These couples are being exploited for TV ratings. Of course, I can say that about every other stupid reality show out there.
The show reveals the anti-children culture we live in. And this attitude has even crept into the church, as I've had friends who, when they tell other Christians they are pregnant again, get looks of distain.
There is nothing in the world like caring for your own baby. If the baby is biologically yours, there are 9 months of nurturing it and dreaming about what he or she will be like. There's the pain of labor, and the wonderful pay off at the end of a baby made in the image of God who is a physical representation of the love between a husband and a wife. These couples can't even fathom what this means or how it feels. It's what enables you to make it through the difficult aspects of parenting.
These kids don't have the tools or structure set in place for successful, fulfilling parenting. It's just going to be a side show where young people will be indoctrinated into the culture that hates marriage, children and families.
And that's scary.