Sean Lowe, former star of "The Bachelor," opened up about his faith in a video for Christian nonprofit I Am Second. He admitted he was worried that he could be harming his testimony as a Christian by going on the reality TV dating show.
"I wrestled with it quite a bit thinking, 'I'm pretty sure God opened this door but what if He didn't?' ... What if I'm harming my testimony by going on a show and dating multiple people at one time, and kissing multiple people? What if people look at me and they say, 'This is what is wrong with Christianity?' Look at this guy. He's professing one thing, and going on TV and doing the opposite. That was a big fear," Lowe said.
Before becoming "The Bachelor," Lowe first went on "The Bachelorette" in 2012 after his sister submitted his application without him knowing. He initially refused to participate in the "cheesy" show.
"I said, 'Listen, I have no desire to be on reality TV and I certainly don't want to subject myself to all the public criticism that comes along with being on a show like 'The Bachelorette,'" Lowe recalled. "Guys go on there, get drunk, and there's the fantasy suite and there's sex and nudity. It just didn't seem like something that represented me."
The call to be on the show came after his business venture of starting a financial services company failed and he entered the family business of insurance, which he swore he'd never do. Miserable on the job, Lowe eventually agreed to appear on the show, thinking it would be more of a free vacation, and he flew from Dallas to North Carolina.
He found himself enjoying hanging out with the other contestants, but soon found himself falling in love with the season's bachelorette, Emily Maynard.
"I'm actually developing feelings for this girl when there are all these cameras around," Lowe revealed. "This is kinda nuts. I can see myself being her husband, and she had a young daughter and I thought 'Wow, God has used this reality TV show to introduce me to my wife and my future daughter.' And after about six weeks of being on the show, I knew that I loved her."
He was eliminated a week before "The Bachelorette" finale, however, when Maynard chose Jef Holm and Arie Luyendyk, Jr. instead.
The decision left Lowe heartbroken, and he said that he questioned why God would open such a door for him only for it to close again. A few weeks after he returned to Dallas, however, he was approached from the producers of "The Bachelor" to be the next star on the show.
"I'm getting over a broken heart and I'm still trying to mend. The first go around wasn't the greatest experience for me. I said, 'I don't know,'" said Lowe. "On the show, bachelors traditionally get raked over the coals. It's not easy to maintain that good guy image when you're the star."
His parents, whom he described as "God-centered," surprisingly encouraged him to go on the show. He accepted the opportunity and a few months later he found himself flying to L.A. to start filming for the show.
The pressure of being the show's star was overwhelming at times, he noted, and he felt unnatural trying to date 25 women at the same time, which felt wrong to him.
As the show went underway, however, he grew closer to Catherine Giudici, labeling her "his best friend," and ended up proposing to her.
Lowe recalled the time he told the media that he and Giudici decided not to have sexual relations until marriage. The media was all over the story, with many labeling him "the virgin Bachelor."
In his "I Am Second" testimony, he revealed that though he remained a virgin through college, he began having sex after graduation for five to six years.
"I would start feeling extremely guilty afterwards, but after that guilt faded, I would start talking to some other girl and go down the same path of destruction," he admitted.
Lowe said that he reached a point where he knew he was failing to live the way a Jesus follower should.
"At the age of 24, I think I finally became a man and I said 'alright, Jesus, let's do this again.' I don't know who I would be without Jesus in my heart. Jesus shapes the way I think, the way I see the world."
He concluded that regardless of all the ups and downs in life, however, he has held true to his relationship with Jesus.
"I don't know if anyone has found Jesus through me talking about not having sex, but I think it's now certainly more evident than ever that I love Jesus, and that I'm different because I love Jesus."
Lowe and Giudici married in January 2014. He became the first "Bachelor" to marry the woman he proposed to.
"I didn't give in to my sinful nature. As long as you stay in constant communication with God, He's going to get you through anything."