Have you been enjoying the Bridgerton series on Netflix? Last year, when I was pregnant and sick in bed, I downloaded Netflix and was keen to watch the show, since I’d heard such hype about it. In fact, it was actually recommended by another Christian person I saw on Youtube! I’m a senior English Literature teacher. I studied literature at university – including an entire course on the works of Jane Austen. I’ve worked for years as an actor and I’m a sucker for period drama. I also grew up with a father who is a Classical guitarist. Bridgerton is, quite simply, right up my alley. I began watching it and was delighted to hear one of my musical heroes, Julie Andrews, narrating the drama. But as I continued to watch the series, I became surprised that such a cultured woman would actually be associated with a show with these explicit themes.
The costumes, the British accents, the classical appropriations of modern music – guys! There is a lot I like about this show and right here on my ‘Christian blog’, I’m going to confess, I did in fact watch the first two series. So when I write this article – I actually know what I’m talking about. I want to let you know that if you’re a Christian, watching this kind of thing is not healthy. It’s not helpful. It’s not God-honoring. It’s not renewing your mind or fixing your gaze on the things of Christ. Even if you skip past the sex scenes – I’m frustrated that the entire premise of the show, especially Season 1, revolved around the concept of sex. From what I’ve heard about Season 3, it is the same.
If you’re single. This won’t help you. If you’re in a relationship and trying hard to keep yourself for marriage, this certainly ain’t gonna help you. And if you are married and you think, ‘It’s okay, I know all about sex anyway now’, this series is only going to cultivate dissatisfaction in your own life.
Because that’s how they write these TV series. They quite literally write the scripts to leave you feeling dissatisfied so that you WILL watch more.
So in saying all these things from my humble and regretful experience, without further adieu, I would like to give you a little more background on some of my reasoning for why I stopped watching Bridgerton, and why I think you should too.
The Dangers of Watching Bridgerton
Firstly, watching shows like Bridgerton can open the door for evil spirits to enter our lives. That’s right, let’s cut to the chase. We’re going deep here. As Lisa Bevere once said, “The media we consume opens portals into our soul.” When we watch shows that glorify sex, adultery, and other forms of sin, we are exposing ourselves to spiritual danger. We are allowing these negative influences to take root in our minds and hearts, which can lead to sinful behaviour and attitudes. It’s choosing our own way instead of God’s way.
Furthermore, shows like Bridgerton can be damaging to our personal relationships and self-esteem. They promote unhealthy expectations of love and relationships, with an unhealthy balance between physical and emotional connection. This can lead to unrealistic expectations of our own relationships. It also is just a simple misrepresentation of reality. If you are watching this and thinking this is what marriage or sex is supposed to be like, then you are wrong. Unfortunately, a lot of heartbreak in marriage comes from false expectations. Set yourself up for success and don’t look to the world to teach you how to live as a godly wife. It’s like trying to fly an aeroplane and reading a manual for a microwave. This is television, it’s fiction and it’s not what’s going to help you. I urge you to prayerfully consider what you allow into your heart and mind.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Our hearts are the wellspring of life, and what we allow into them affects everything we do. Watching explicit scenes or consuming media with inappropriate content can desensitize us to sin, and we may start to justify behaviour that goes against God’s will.
Moreover, as a Christian, I strive to live a life that glorifies God and reflects His character. Watching shows that portray immoral behaviour or promote values that go against God’s Word can cause us to compromise our beliefs and conform to the world’s standards.
Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.“ We are called to be set apart and to live according to God’s will, not the world’s.
It’s also important to remember that what we consume through media affects our thoughts, emotions, and ultimately our actions. The Bible teaches us to guard our hearts and minds, and to focus on what is pure and lovely (Philippians 4:8). When we choose to fill our minds with entertainment that glorifies sin, we are neglecting our responsibility to pursue holiness and purity. We are becoming more like the world than the way Christ designed us to live. We think what society has to offer us is better, but the feeling never lasts and only leaves us hollow and wanting more.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” We are called to be holy people, set apart for God’s purposes. Watching shows that go against God’s Word can hinder our spiritual growth and distance us from Him.
Making the Decision to Stop Watching Bridgerton
I know that it can be difficult to give up shows like Bridgerton, especially when they are so popular and widely discussed. In my circle as an English teacher and actor, watching television shows such as Bridgerton can be an easy way to find something in common to discuss over the lunch table. However, as Christians, we are called to live differently from the world. We are called to be a light in the darkness, to set ourselves apart from the sinful patterns of this world. This means making difficult choices and sacrifices for the sake of our spiritual health and growth. Maybe it means you’ll be the odd one out. People might think you’re strange or tell you you’re missing out. People said the same thing to me when Nic and I refused to move in together before we got married. Friend, you’re not missing out. Stick to your guns. There’s a reason we live differently from the world and there is a blessing that comes with being obedient to God.
For me, giving up Bridgerton was a personal decision that allowed me to refocus my mind and heart on the things of God. I found that by filling my time with uplifting and wholesome entertainment, such as Christian books, worship music, and sermons on Youtube, I was able to draw closer to God and live out my faith more fully. I no longer had this niggling feeling of dissatisfaction that these television shows were cultivating. If I’m honest, they really made me feel depressed. I just want to share honestly, in the hope that I can help some other people out there to make different choices from what I did.
As Christians, we must be mindful of the media we consume and its impact on our spiritual lives. While it can be tempting to indulge in popular shows like Bridgerton, we must remember that our ultimate goal is to honour God with our choices and pursue a life of holiness and purity. Let us be intentional in what we watch, read, and listen to, and seek to glorify God in all aspects of our lives.
I love this quote:
“Entertainment is not harmless. What you watch, what you listen to, what you read, it’s all programming you for something. It’s either programming you to hear the voice of God or it’s programming you to hear the voice of the world.” (Lisa Bevere)
This quote emphasizes the importance of being mindful of what we consume and its potential impact on our spiritual lives.
It’s Never Too Late For a Fresh Start – You Can Join Me in Saying ‘No’.
If you’ve already watched shows like Bridgerton and feel convicted by the Holy Spirit, it’s not too late to turn away from them. Repentance is a key aspect of the Christian faith, and it involves acknowledging our wrongdoing, confessing it to God, and committing to making a change. I could easily say, ‘Well I’ve watched the first two series, what harm could come from watching the third?’. You could say, ‘I’ve already started the series and I want to find out what happens, so I might as well finish the series and I can stop there’. If you’re feeling convicted, just stop now. You’re not a quitter. You’re awesome. My sister did the same with the series ‘Outlander’ and I really respect her for that.
As Lisa Bevere said, watching certain TV shows can open the door for evil spirits to influence our lives. That’s why it’s crucial to be intentional about what we consume through media and entertainment.
If you feel convicted about watching Bridgerton or shows like it, I encourage you to take the time to pray and ask God for forgiveness. Ask Him to give you the strength to overcome the temptation to give in and watch these things again in the future. Remember that God is gracious and merciful, and He forgives us when we come to Him with a repentant heart.
Would You Delete Netflix?
What’s a practical thing you can do if you feel tempted to watch shows like this in the future? Now, I know this sounds counter-cultural, but hear me out. You can delete Netflix. What!?! Yep. I did. I noticed this pattern in every show I watched that was only cultivating dissatisfaction in my own life. It wasn’t adding anything beneficial for me. Now, if I want to watch a show, I can proactively watch it, rather than just watching whatever is advertised on the platform that week. Maybe ALL your friends have Netflix. You can tell yourself now, ‘Nicola doesn’t have Netflix – I won’t be the only one’. I remember when I was a teenager at parties. I never drank alcohol, and it was SO much easier to have other Christian friends around me who were also sober. It’s hard being the only one, but you can start a trend. You can be the reason someone else finds freedom and has their life changed by the power of God’s love and the light of living in accordance with his design.
It’s never too late to seek forgiveness and make a fresh start. You have been designed for great things. Athletes don’t eat junk food. If you want a healthy soul, healthy relationships and a thriving life, don’t spend your time-consuming television shows like Bridgerton, which will only weigh you down and hold you back.
Let me leave you with this advice from Paul in the Bible:
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”
What’s your perspective as a Christian watching shows like Bridgerton?
Is this something you have thought about or experienced in your own life? Have you ‘quit Bridgerton’? Share your thoughts on social media with the hashtag #IQuitBridgerton. I’d love to hear what you have to say and I know others would like to hear your thoughts too.
Much love always,