Sean Lowe from Season 17 of "The Bachelor" recently shared his testimony on "I am Second." Nicknamed "The Virgin Bachelor" for his commitment to purity, Lowe is grateful to have honored Christ and to have found his wife Catherine on the show.
Sean Lowe's sister was the one to set him up to be one of 25 contestants on Season 8 of "The Bachelorette." Lowe initially had no desire to be on reality television, especially on a show which promoted partying and sexual attraction - "It just didn't seem like something that represented me," he says.
At the time, Lowe was working in the family's insurance business, wishing that he could pursue other ventures. He had previously taken a risk starting a financial services firm, but it closed down because of federal regulations. "Not only did I lose my money, but I lost investors' money ... they threatened to sue me," he says. It was a very dark season for Lowe, and his anxiety made him determined to pursue a less risky career.
After working at the insurance firm for some time, Lowe called out to the Lord in prayer, expressing his desire to be somewhere else. "You know I don't like this, and You know my heart's desires; if You want me to be here, I'll be here ... but You know I'm not happy," he said. He soon received the phone call from "The Bachelorette" casting director, who enticed him to be on the show with a free vacation. After thinking about it for some time, he decided to give "The Bachelorette" a try.
Lowe enjoyed hanging out with the other men on the show and getting to travel to places like Bermuda, London, and Croatia. Despite being surrounded by cameras, he began taking an interest in the Bachelorette, who had a young daughter. "I could see myself becoming her husband ... I thought, wow, God has used this reality television show to introduce me to my wife and to my future daughter," he says.
Lowe made it to the top three, but was sent home with his heart broken just before the season finale. "I can't understand why God opened the door for me to be on this reality show, to fall in love, only for it to end like this," Lowe remembers thinking - "I cannot understand why He's lead me to this heartbreak."
Lowe returned home to Dallas and soon found the Bachelorette's phone number through a mutual friend. He called and left her a message, but she never returned his call.
Six weeks later, Lowe received a phone call from the producers of "The Bachelor." They invited him to become the next Bachelor, and Lowe went to his parents for advice - "My family is such a wonderful, God-centered family, and I value their advice and their opinion," he says. Lowe was pretty sure his parents would advise him not to be on the show, but to his surprise they told him that they thought God was opening up another opportunity for him. Lowe accepted the invitation to become the next Bachelor, and soon had dozens of women hoping for his affection.
"It's unnatural to date 25 women at one time, and it felt wrong - a lot of the time it felt wrong," Lowe says of "The Bachelor" concept. He wrestled with whether God had truly opened this door for him, or if he was actually harming his testimony as a follower of Christ by being on the show. Lowe especially feared that people would think he was a hypocrite.
In the season finale, Lowe proposed to Catherine. "I've always said that I want to marry my best friend," he says - "Catherine is just that. She was the one that I just couldn't see myself saying goodbye to, ever."
Someone later asked him whether he and Catherine were having sex, and he answered honestly that they were waiting until marriage. "From that moment forward, it was just a firestorm ... every tabloid had me on the cover, and they labeled me as the 'Virgin Bachelor,'" Lowe says. He was ridiculed on late-night television, and felt like an outcast.
With regret, Lowe shared that he had been intimate with women after graduating from college. "I would feel extremely guilty afterwards, but after that guilt faded, then I would ... go down the same path of destruction," he says.
Lowe reached a point where he could not reconcile his beliefs in Jesus and the way he was living his life, and thankfully, this lead to repentance - "[At] the age of 24, I think I finally became a man. I said, 'Alright, Jesus - let's do this again.'"
Lowe has since grown in the Lord, and is grateful that his life is now centered on Christ. "I don't know who I would be without Jesus in my heart. He shapes the way I think, He shapes the way I see the world, He shapes the way I interact with everyone I come in contact with," he says.
Though it was a little embarrassing, Lowe is glad that he was labeled an outcast as "The Virgin Bachelor" - "I love Jesus, and I'm different because I love Jesus," he says. "It doesn't matter what I go through ... I know that I've got a God Who loves me, Who's right there next to me, saying, 'It's going to be ok. I've got plans for you. I love you.'"
Lowe and Catherine's wedding was the Bachelor's first-ever live TV wedding. They were married in January, and Lowe is grateful that they honored the Lord by abstaining from intimacy until their wedding night. "As long as you stay in constant communication with God, He's going to get you through anything," he says.
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