I’ve had my share of boyfriends over the last few years, but none quite on the level of Bristol Palin’s ex-boyfriend, Levi Johnston. Poor Bristol. She’s made her fair share of mistakes, but she’s had to publically endure what most of us girls go through without the paparazzi: being blinded by “Ricky Hollywood.”
Apparently, Levi’s latest narcissistic attempt at staying in the news is to bless – ahem! – the good people of Wasilla, Alaska, with his name on the ballot for mayor. I wasn’t even voting for him as Bristol’s boyfriend. Sure, this slick Ricky is attractive, charming (enough to convince Bristol to accept his marriage proposal, twice!!), and seems promising. But somehow, we girls keep getting blinded by the glamour of the Ricky Hollywoods in our lives instead of running as fast as we can in the opposite direction. We keep tolerating the bad behavior in hopes that he won’t disappoint us again when, in reality, slick Ricky only has his own best interests in mind and will happily use us for as long as we permit.
Ephesians 5:25-29 describes the example that Christ gave to us to follow:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church” (emphasis mine).
The sacrificial love and commitment in that verse is poignant when you consider the depths of agony that Christ endured for our sins on the cross. Jesus Christ did not have to die on the cross for our sins. He was without sin. Blameless. Perfect. Jesus could have proudly declared that He was above redeeming the fallen human race and He wasn’t going to endure the agony of taking on every single person’s sin, from the past, present, and the generations yet to exist. But He did. He willingly chose to become the spotless Lamb, take on our sins, and endure the previously unknown separation from His Heavenly Father. He became vulnerable, instead of prideful. His love is consistent, not fleeting. His offer of reconciliation is longstanding, not backhanded.
Relationships take openness and trust, not pride and self-promotion. Ricky Hollywood can be glamorous when we first meet him, but he leaves us feeling oh-so-used and exploited by the time the last act is over. I really do hope that Bristol Palin, and each young lady with a Ricky Hollywood in her life, finds her leading man and doesn’t settle for the stunt double.