The Christian Bachelor: My Exploration of Christian Dating Culture

Savannah and Maggie go with Caleb to church on Sunday. Caleb is asked to speak at his church during the evening worship service about the process of the show and what to look for in a relationship. There’s a Q&A at the end and Caleb is asked if he’s made a decision yet. He chuckles and shakes his head. “I’m not going to answer that,” he says. “Both Savannah and Maggie are wonderful sisters in Christ. It’s not an easy place to be. I’ve got a tough choice to make.”

Some of the congregants want to take pictures of Caleb with Savannah and Maggie afterwards. Caleb complies, but later, as he talks to Savannah, he’s not sure that was a great idea.

Caleb: “I just wonder what that means. Am I putting myself on a pedestal as a celebrity through this, when really I’m just trying to see if I can find the person I want to spend the rest of my life with?”

Savannah: “I understand, Caleb. Was there anything about it particularly that bothered you?”

Caleb: “I became a celebrity. And I don’t want to be a celebrity.”¹

I recently finished the eight-episode run of The Christian Bachelor, my first foray into Christian satire. That part of it was a lot of fun. But really, I wanted to poke fun at while explore the ramifications of reality dating shows as well as Christian dating culture.

Here are some things I wanted to hint at through the story.

The celebrity culture of reality TV meets Christian culture.

You know those trashy magazines in the grocery store aisle? I know this is a cliché, but I often see Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants gracing the covers and some of the stories teased on the cover. Sometimes, contestants do something so nuts and so crazy that it makes national news. For instance, Sean Lowe, the 17th Bachelor and self-professed Christian, stirred conversation when he announced he was saving sex for marriage and was labeled the “Virgin Bachelor.” There’s a sense of celebrity that’s attached to the central character of Bachelor/Bachelorette shows.

In the scene I shared at the top of this post, there’s a glimpse of that in the church Caleb attends. Anytime a Christian makes waves in some mainstream culture institution, the church goes nuts over it. “It’s one of ours! Look at the platform! Look at the opportunity for the Gospel!” There’s a lot of pressure on those people that is not necessarily fair.

But that’s the Christian celebrity culture. Those people in the spotlight have to be perfect. They have to do everything right. If they slip up once, there’s an instant judgement.  And we see all their slip-ups because they’re in the spotlight. It’s unfair. It’s unrealistic to expect that people will be perfect. The best ones admit their weaknesses as part of their growth in faith.

Christian dating is chock full of rules and expectations.

Let’s go over the format. There are six dates planned over a period of five weeks, and Caleb will also spend time in the houses with the women as well as go to church every Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night during those three weeks to help determine who will be the blessed woman he will pursue.

Two women will be eliminated after dates 1-5, which leaves two women for the final date, a trip to Israel to walk around the Holy Land, walk where Jesus walked. All the dates will be in public. No bachelorette will be given alone time in a room with Caleb. Caleb must leave the Bachelorette residence by 10 p.m. during the week, 11 p.m. on the weekends.²

The rules of Christian dating have a stronghold on evangelical culture. I can’t tell you how many lists I’ve seen that describe rules for dating, things to look for in a husband, five kinds of girls you don’t want to marry. That kind of attitude towards dating puts a lot of pressure on relationships.

If we look at Scripture, there are no clear rules for what dating is supposed to look like, the speed, the timeline, the “steps.” Just about the only rule that applies to dating is that you save sex for marriage. That’s it! Yet in Christian culture, we outline all the “requirements” for a good relationship. The fear then becomes for some that, if we do one thing “wrong,” we’ve screwed up the entire relationship and there’s no hope and it must be ended.

Dating is a huge risk! Laying your feelings and your desires out there is a risk. “Guarding your heart” is mostly done, I think, out of fear instead of some righteous desire. So what if you feel really strongly about someone, or you really like a lot about someone? Feel it! Express it! What’s wrong with taking the risk?

We date in ways similar to the world. And that’s perfectly OK!

I think the world dates a lot better than we do sometimes. Are there differences that are destructive? Sure, the sexual freedom being the biggest one. But the world has set up the proper, in my mind, blueprint for dating. Long phone conversations, double dates with other couples, dinner and a movie, all of those things aren’t in and of themselves Christian.

For instance, the first one-on-one dates during The Christian Bachelor. Caleb gets dinner and has an after-dinner activity with the prospective bachelorette. That’s such a normal dating thing to do. Sometimes we get so obsessed in Christianity with doing things so differently than the world (a good motive) that we completely rule out everything the world does (not good). The world came up with a lot of awesome things that we rip off! I mean, I ripped off The Bachelor concept for this blog. The world is often a lot more creative than Christians.

So don’t ditch things the world came up with just because it’s from the world. They’ve got some good ideas. Also some bad ones, but not everything they do is awful.

Chick-fil-a would be the best sponsor for a Christian television show.

I mean, seriously, come on. Not even close.

I hope you guys enjoyed this look at Christian dating and reality TV cultures. If you want to see the full “show,” just click here!


Josh Duggar, Christian Celebrities and Misguided Choices of Idols

So here we go again. Another Christian celebrity is in the spotlight for something, and the Christian army is going to war to fight for him.

Josh Duggar, one of the “19 Kids and Counting” on TLC, was investigated in 2006 for inappropriately touching minors when he was a teenager. In Touch magazine reported it recently. It was all over Twitter. It was all over television. It was a big deal.

In a statement of response, Duggar said:

I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.

The response from the Internet was vitriolic, blasting Duggar, his family and TLC for covering it up. The network has since pulled the show from its schedule.

Of course, the Christians had to come save the day. Mike Huckabee, in a Facebook post:

Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’ He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story.

There’s more, but I want to say what most people aren’t going to say about this. A couple things.

First, Christians betray their self-proclaimed “moral high ground” by supporting Duggar and bashing every other celebrity who does something bad.

The guy that comes to mind first for me is Justin Bieber. Oh how many Christians I’ve heard that have very negative things to say about Bieber and every other young guy that has made a fool of himself in public. “He’s a terrible role model for the children!” “What a shame and a disgrace!” When we get so defensive about Duggar and his actions and refuse to offer others the same type of second change we’ve given him, there’s an incredible hypocrisy.

And I think it’s a symptom of Christianity in general. If it’s a Christian who’s repented and their life has changed, it’s OK! He’s changed, so there’s nothing to worry about. But if the person is still in the middle of the issue, BASH BASH BASH. We refuse to let grace and the possibility of grace permeate every situation. We’re forgiving of Christians we agree with and unforgiving of everybody else. We hesitate to give the benefit of the doubt.

Jesus loves Josh Duggar just as much as he loves Justin Bieber, Robert Downey Jr., and Michael Phelps, all celebrities who have been in trouble with the law, whether or not they have professed any connection to Jesus.

Second, Josh Duggar is just like every other Christian out there. He’s messed up. And he still is. We shouldn’t idolize him.

A lot of the Christian blogosphere will probably tell you – and rightly so – that Duggar is an example of the power of Christ to change someone and that mainstream society just doesn’t get the Gospel. And they’re right.

But what they won’t talk about is that Duggar is a Christian who has done some bad things in his past and still does. I don’t know him. I’ve never watched the show. I’ve never thought twice about watching the show. OK, maybe I did once. But I’m pretty darn sure that he’s not the best poster child for Christianity. Here’s the thing: there is no poster child for Christianity except the one who lay in a manger over 2,000 years ago. That’s the problem when we prop up sinful people as our idols. Jesus is the only idol we should have.

As human nature, it seems that we are searching for people to look up to. That’s why we follow people on Twitter, buy their books, listen to what they have to say, watch their movies/TV shows/sermons/messages/music videos, etc. But our idols are often the wrong ones. And situations like this expose our flaws in choosing our idols. Can we look up to people? Yes. But we should never see any man as the pinnacle of Christian obedience. And anyone who paints themselves as such is lying.

So before you rush out to defend Duggar, please keep these things in mind. And maybe perhaps I don’t need to be so cynical. If he’s a Christian, he is forgiven. He is loved. He is a new creation in Christ. And the Gospel is so unbelievable to society that they do miss it.

But let’s try to treat everyone the same. Just like Jesus did.

The Christian Bachelor: Episode 7 – Down to the Wire

Last Week on The Christian Bachelor: Rebecca was eliminated after family dates, and Caleb got a brush with fame at his church, which threw him off a little bit. This week, it’s time for the final dates. It’s crunch time.

Date 6: Day Dates in Ottawa – Ottawa, Ont., Canada – Tuesday and Thursday, week 5

The trio arrives in Ottawa with Caleb’s brother and girlfriend and Phil. Caleb says it’s important that he travel with dudes he can trust, and with a big decision coming up at the end of the week, it’s important that he’s got guys he can bounce ideas off of.

A coin flip determines who goes Tuesday and who goes Thursday. It’s heads, which gives Tuesday to Maggie.

Caleb: “I’m really looking forward to spending time with Maggie in Ottawa. It’s a beautiful city with some great sights. And we’ll get to see a Hillsong concert, which will be a lot of fun. The benefits of going on dates like this is I get to spend a whole day with her. So that will really, really help.”

Maggie and Caleb start their day by meeting outside Maggie’s hotel. Caleb brings Maggie’s favorite coffee from Tim Horton’s, a Canadian version of Dunkin’ Donuts. The two spend the morning walking around the city and doing some shopping. They eat lunch together and then take a car ride to Toronto to walk around that city too, visit the Hockey Hall of Fame and cap off the evening with dinner at Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant and a Hillsong United concert.

One of the bigger conversations Maggie and Caleb have is about personality differences and what they can and cannot live with.

Caleb: “Personality differences can be really helpful. There’s ways in which people balance each other out. But there’s also some ways in which the differences can pull people apart. With Maggie, there’s some crucial differences that may or may not be a breaking point. That’s one thing that these dates are about. We got some alone time to really talk some things through as I see if this is the girl I’m going to pursue.”

The Hillsong United concert was a particular highlight for Maggie, who has sung many of the band’s worship tracks in her church. She also enjoyed getting to see Caleb in a free-reign worship space.

Maggie: “He’s got the hands-raised idea down, and he’s actually not too bad a singer. Wouldn’t be a bad idea if we decided to sing a couple duets together.”

The next day, a Wednesday, Caleb, his brother and Phil go play a couple rounds of golf outside of Ottawa and get away from the busyness of the show. We talked to Caleb when he got back.

Caleb: “I think the best part about getting away is just being able to relax and not take things so seriously. But at the same time, I got to have some really good conversation with my brother and Phil, who’s like my brother. We discussed Maggie and talked about what was coming on Thursday with Savannah. I’m really excited to see what happens on Thursday.”

On Thursday, Caleb pulls up to Savannah’s hotel and she climbs in the car. There waits a couple donuts each from Tim Horton’s as well as a cappuccino for Savannah (Caleb doesn’t drink coffee). The two drive an hour to Outaouais (pronounced oo-doo-eh), where they enjoy a scavenger hunt in the small towns of the area. Lunch is served at the same golf course where the guys played on Wednesday.

After a drive back to the city, Caleb and Savannah walk around Ottawa. Caleb reaches for Savannah’s hand at one point but then he pulls back. The pair attends an Ottawa Senators hockey game that evening and Caleb takes Savannah back to her hotel and walks her inside. The two chat in the hotel lobby for an hour before Caleb leaves.

Caleb: “I think there’s something special about Savannah. Can’t really put it into words. She’s just so caring and understanding. She’ll ask hard questions and she’ll challenge me when I need it, but she also listens and cares. She’s also a lot of fun and is goofy as I’ll get out. Her love for Jesus is really evident. She lives out the Gospel, and that’s what you really want in a girl.”

Savannah: “I love his heart for truth. Caleb really cares about what God’s Word says and wants to follow it. Plus he’s super-caring about people. He loves Sienna and, well, maybe he loves me too. I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out.”

Next Episode on THE CHRISTIAN BACHELOR: Caleb makes his final decision. One girl is sent home, while the other gets to embark on the journey of dating Caleb Christian.

Who’s going to win? Comment below with your opinion?

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The Christian Bachelor: Episode 6 – All in the Family

Last Week on The Christian Bachelor: Anna left the show after Carrie and Hayden were eliminated, shaking up the whole process. So there’s just three left: Rebecca, Savannah and Maggie. This week, family dates.

Date 5: Family Dates – Sanford, N.C. – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, week 4

First up, Rebecca. The group has a delicious dinner of honey-baked ham with mashed potatoes and green beans, one of Caleb’s favorite combinations. The family thinks Rebecca is a swell girl, but they’re concerned that she might be too serious for Caleb. Caleb is a serious fellow, yes, but they’re afraid there’s no fun there. Caleb debates this with his parents the next day in the reflection time.

Caleb’s mom: “I know Caleb loves having serious conversations, especially theological ones. We’ve had some of those ourselves. But I feel like he doesn’t have real fun with Rebecca.”

Second on the docket: Maggie. Caleb’s brother Aaron is an accomplished musician himself, and the pair lead the family in some music selections. This is an attractive thing to Caleb. As Jack told us before, Caleb is all about musicians or people with musical skill of some sort. Maggie also strikes Caleb as a really fun girl. He thinks back to the picnic date and claims that as one of his favorites.

Caleb’s brother Aaron: “I think Caleb has got a keeper in Maggie. I know how much he loves to sing, even if it’s not all that great. Maggie seems to enjoy it though. And enjoy him. And that’s all I want for him.”

Third: Savannah. Savannah brings Sienna to the dinner on a Saturday night, as Caleb’s dad cooks steaks and grilled asparagus. Caleb’s younger sister Kaitlynn gets along splendidly with both Savannah and Sienna as they play games. The dinner is wonderful and Savannah and Sierra seem to fit in quite nicely with Caleb’s family.

Caleb’s sister Kaitlynn: “I really like Savannah. She’s a great mom and I think she’d be a great wife for Caleb.”

With this elimination round, since Anna left, there only has to be one elimination before the final week trip to Israel. But there’s been a change of plans. Security issues in Israel leave the team scrambling. The trip has been moved to Ottawa, Canada, one of Caleb’s favorite destinations. Caleb has a tough decision to make, but it seems to be one of the easier ones.

Caleb: “I’ve really grown attracted to Savannah and Maggie. I’m really kind of stuck between those two. I hope that the trip ahead will help decide it. As for Rebecca, great girl, but you can’t build a relationship solely on agreed theology.”

Rebecca is eliminated. Remaining Bachelorettes: Savannah, Maggie.

Savannah and Maggie go with Caleb to church on Sunday. Caleb is asked to speak at his church during the evening worship service about the process of the show and what to look for in a relationship. There’s a Q&A at the end and Caleb is asked if he’s made a decision yet. He chuckles and shakes his head. “I’m not going to answer that,” he says. “Both Savannah and Maggie are wonderful sisters in Christ. It’s not an easy place to be. I’ve got a tough choice to make.”

Some of the congregants want to take pictures of Caleb with Savannah and Maggie afterwards. Caleb complies, but later, as he talks to Savannah, he’s not sure that was a great idea.

Caleb: “I just wonder what that means. Am I putting myself on a pedestal as a celebrity through this, when really I’m just trying to see if I can find the person I want to spend the rest of my life with?”

Savannah: “I understand, Caleb. Was there anything about it particularly that bothered you?”

Caleb: “I became a celebrity. And I don’t want to be a celebrity.”

Savannah nods and puts her hand on Caleb’s shoulder. He turns and smiles at her.

While discussing things with Maggie later, she decides to push him a little bit.

Maggie: “Did you really want to speak on this?”

Caleb: “I want to help people understand what relationships and romance within the Christian context is really all about.”

Maggie: “Do you think this was the wrong context to do that?”

Caleb: “I don’t know.”

It’s nearly time for the final dates. Maggie and Savannah pack up. Savannah spends a few hours with Sienna playing at a park. Maggie plays guitar in her room at the house. Each woman has a house to themselves now that the rest of the girls have left.

Savannah: “I’m really hoping to find someone who cannot only be my husband, but who can be a father to Sienna. Caleb has been really good with Sienna, and he’s been an awesome partner with me so far. I’m hoping that he picks me. What do you think, Sienna?”

Sienna nods and smiles.

Maggie: “I think that Caleb and I have a lot of fun together. I love his heart for the Lord and what he values in life and in other people. I think it’s a good match!”

The camera talks to Caleb one last time before the trip to Ottawa.

Caleb: “Despite all the mess around everything that’s gone on, this has been a refreshing experience. I’ve made some friends, I’ve had some great experiences and I’ve been able to really have some great conversations. I think I’l be friends with people like Monica and Anna for a long time. It just goes to show that you don’t have to be in a relationship with a girl to have a solid friendship. The point is that the friendship is all based around Jesus. I want to find someone who is going to be my best friend. Someone I can share anything with and they’ll be understanding, they’ll give grace, but they’re also willing to challenge me on things when I’m wrong. But in a graceful way. I’ve got a ton of growing to do, a ton of maturity and sanctification. I want someone who will push me towards the cross, not away from it.”

NEXT EPISODE on THE CHRISTIAN BACHELOR: Caleb spends full days in Ottawa and the surrounding areas with Maggie and Savannah as he gets the last chance to get to know them before making his final decision. Tune in on Monday for the next episode of THE CHRISTIAN BACHELOR.

Who has your vote? Which girl has stood out? Did Caleb make a mistake in sending Rebecca packing? Comment with your thoughts below!

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The Christian Bachelor: Episode 4 – Dance the Night Away

Last Week on The Christian Bachelor: The group went on a big date to see Christian rapper Lecrae perform in concert. After the concert, two bachelorettes were eliminated. The girls also got to spend time with Caleb’s mother, who cooked them a surprise dinner. This week, the contestants let their guards down a little bit.

The Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday pass by with small talk, Caleb just spending time hanging out with the girls informally. But there’s also conversation with Monica about her future. The difficult moment comes when Monica mentions her deep passion for going overseas, something Caleb isn’t all too sure about. He’s open to the possibility, but not 100 percent sure. This is one of the more difficult conversations Christian couples have, exploring different options for the future.

Date 3: Swing-Dancing – Greensboro, N.C. – Thursday night, week 2

Caleb takes the eight young women to a swing-dancing class and three hours of music. Caleb is not the best at it, which makes Savannah chuckle. She helps Caleb with a couple of specific moves. He nearly falls over himself with one of them, and Savannah catches him.

Rebecca is all into the swing-dancing. She is clearly experienced with swing-dancing, and impresses Caleb. They have a fun time dancing together. Maggie and Caleb talk about the musical merits of swing, with artists like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Sonya is also skilled at swing-dancing. Carrie and Hayden struggle a little bit with the dancing part, but Caleb finds dancing with Hayden funny because of the struggles.

Later that night, the group gets fro-yo together. Once again, Caleb and Monica begin chatting about future ideas. It doesn’t go well.

It’s time for the eliminations. Caleb: “I really enjoyed the swing-dancing, even though I’m pretty bad at it…I’m eliminating Monica and Sonya. Sonya, I think we’re just too different in our personalities. She’s awesome, but not what I’m personally looking for. And Monica, I love her heart for the nations, but I don’t really see moving overseas anytime soon. I don’t want to hold her back.”

Monica and Sonya are eliminated, leaving six bachelorettes into round 4.

Remaining Bachelorettes: Savannah, Rebecca, Maggie, Anna, Hayden, Carrie

The next dates are set for the next week, all of them one-on-one dates for the first time, Monday through Saturday nights. In the meantime, the remaining girls get together for a day without Caleb as he hangs out with the guys in his small group to talk about the process.

The girls talk about the different dates so far. Carrie and Savannah talk about how great a father Caleb seems to be. The girls find a lot of positives in him. Hayden is afraid that Caleb isn’t as “indie” as she is, and that might be an issue, but she’s willing to be ahead of the curve and look past it.  

Caleb is a pretty chill guy who loves hanging out with the dudes and needs that time every now and then. He also wants to discuss the girls with the guys. Among the group is Phil and Jack, who have been with the girls a few times. Caleb mentions Anna and Savannah prominently in the conversation with the guys. Jack really encourages Caleb to check out Maggie too.

Jack: “Caleb isn’t really that talented musically, but he’s always liked girls who were musical in some way, whether that was with singing or an instrument. Obviously Maggie fits the bill very well in that regard.”

Caleb leaves the conversation ready to keep Jack’s advice in mind. Because of that, he picks Maggie as the first one to go on a one-on-one date with the next Monday.

NEXT EPISODE on THE CHRISTIAN BACHELOR: The first one-on-one dates take place, which allows Caleb to get to know the girls on a more personal level. Also, a favorite begins to have reservations about the whole process. Tune in on Monday for the next episode of THE CHRISTIAN BACHELOR.

Who has your vote? Which girl has stood out? Did Caleb make a mistake in sending Monica and Sonya packing? Comment with your thoughts below!

If You Missed An Episode…

The Christian Bachelor: Episode 3 – Jesus Muzik

Last Week on The Christian Bachelor: Caleb Christian and his friends Phil and Jack hosted theology discussions with the bachelorettes and eliminated two possibilities. This week, date two takes the group to a Christian hip-hop concert, after which there will be two more eliminations.

Date 2: Lecrae Concert – Charlotte, N.C. – Friday night, week 1.

Caleb goes to a Lecrae concert in Charlotte with the remaining 10 bachelorettes. He invites Phil and Jack and their wives along to the show so they’ve got a nice big group. He also wants to get the wives’ opinion of the girls.

Caleb: “It’s super important to me that these girls know how to have fun and can bring me out of my shell a little bit. I’m a little reserved and introverted naturally, but I love Christian hip-hop. Going to a concert like this where we can have fun and just relax for a little bit while listening to some awesome music will be a good experience for all of us.”

The group arrives and it quickly becomes clear who is into the music and who isn’t. Monica and Rebecca are all about it. Betsy and Kimmy are a little uncomfortable. Carrie, who had never heard of Lecrae before, found a great deal of similarity between the music she plays for her children’s ministry and what Lecrae does, so she’s excited. Hayden, once again, begins to display her knowledge by talking about Christian rappers no one knows about, which excites Caleb, who’s a bit of a nut about it. They discuss Reconcile, Beautiful Eulogy’s first album and even Princeton’s “Headlines Remix.”

Meanwhile Anna, who hasn’t really said a whole lot during the show so far, sidles up to Caleb during the DJ set and asks him to take a walk to the merchandise table. Caleb nods, and they walk to the table talking about their college degrees. Caleb’s was in English, which excites Anna. She got a History degree with a concentration in academic writing. When they reach the table, they run into Savannah who’s looking for a shirt for her daughter. The trio has a great conversation, and Caleb begins to think he might be falling for both of them.

Caleb: “I love the attitude that Anna carries into life because of her academic background. She’s thorough and thoughtful in all of her conversation and discussion. Savannah is really, really sweet, and she really cares about her daughter. I love that nurturing nature that she has. To be honest, I’m a guy who’s looking to settle into a marriage where there’s encouragement and affirmation from my spouse. Savannah provides that.”

Caleb buys Anna a Lecrae CD, the first time he’s bought something for someone this week. Anna is quite excited about this.

Anna: “Caleb’s a really sweet guy. I think I’m starting to develop some real feelings for him. And I think he is for me too.”

The group comes back from the concert and they drop off the Bachelorettes at the houses. Caleb goes with Phil, Jack and their wives to a Waffle House for a late-night snack and discussion. Jack’s wife really hit it off with Carrie and Maggie, while Phil’s wife made quick friends with Kimmy and Monica, despite Kimmy’s discomfort with the music.

Caleb faces the camera: “Over the last few days, I’ve spent a good deal of time with this group, and I really feel like I’m getting to know everyone quite well. There are a couple girls that are making themselves stand out with their love for Jesus and their ability to have a good time…It’s so nice to have Phil and Jack and their wives going through this with me. As a Christian, you’ve got to have people to bump thoughts off of, and those four are crucial for that…I’ve decided to eliminate Betsy and Kimmy. Betsy is great, but I think she didn’t really find the music fun. The girl I marry doesn’t have to love Christian hip-hop, but I just don’t really see that working out with her in the end. Kimmy seemed a little squeamish at some of the things said, and she just came across as really uncomfortable. Real nice girl. But not for me in that way.”

Kimmy and Betsy are eliminated, which leaves eight bachelorettes heading into round 3.

Remaining Bachelorettes: Savannah, Monica, Rebecca, Maggie, Anna, Hayden, Carrie, Sonya.

That following Sunday, the Bachelorettes attend a full Sunday morning and evening service with Caleb at his church. The whole group is treated to a surprise lunch made by Caleb’s mother, who surprises everyone by showing up. There will be a “meet-the-family” date later in the month, but Caleb’s mom wanted to meet them a little earlier.

Caleb: “My mother has one of the biggest inputs into this whole process. As a woman who knows me probably better than any other woman, she’ll know the kind of girl I need as a wife. So I’m excited to see what she thinks of the women we’ve got here.”

It’s a good lunch. Caleb’s mom is a gluten-free cook, so each of the pieces of the meal are without wheat. Sonya is on board, as is Hayden, who was gluten-free before people knew what the word “gluten” meant. The two strike up a great conversation with Caleb’s mom regarding the positives that come with eating like that.

NEXT EPISODE on THE CHRISTIAN BACHELOR: Get your dancing shoes on, because next time, Caleb will show off his dance moves, or lack thereof, on another group date. Also, one of the girls drops a serious bomb on Caleb that forces him make a game-changing decision. Tune in on Friday for the next episode of THE CHRISTIAN BACHELOR.

Who has your vote? Which girl has stood out? Did Caleb make a mistake in sending Betsy and Kimmy packing? Comment with your thoughts below!

If You Missed An Episode…