Should You Watch the Super Bowl Halftime Show?

Last year I wrote a blunt blog about the Super Bowl halftime show. It was reactionary, partly written in frustration that so many people complained about the highly sexualized nature of the event when we should have seen it coming. That blog was also my most read piece of 2020, probably because it had the word “sex” in the title.

This year I would like to take a more thoughtful, proactive approach to the Super Bowl. The Weeknd is slated to sing, and I can honestly say I have no idea what to expect. It doesn’t really matter to me if the artist is a man or a woman. I simply am not interested in getting close to any form of entertainment that has a history of tempting people sexually. Here’s why.

In Matthew 5, Jesus explains the sin of lust to his disciples like this:

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.'
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
- Matthew 5:27-30

Jesus is speaking about physical externals in hyperbole to make a radical point. He wants his disciples to zealously guard their hearts. In the Bible the heart is the very core and center of a person’s being. Your heart is what makes you tick; it is what makes you do what you do.

And according to Jesus even a look of lust is heart-adultery. Whether it be the performer’s scintillating suit or their sensually sounding song, any stirring of lustful passion outside of marriage between one man and one woman is wrong. Why? Because God created marriage for himself, not for us.

That may seem like a strange reason to you, but in Ephesians 6 we are told that the profound mystery of marriage “refers to Christ and the church.” Paul’s point in that passage is that the faithful union between one man and one woman together for life is actually a picture of Jesus Christ’s covenant love for his bride, the church. Faithfulness in marriage is not about us; it
is about reflecting the faithful love God reserves for those who love him. The principle applies in singleness as well; married, or unmarried, we live for the Lord.

We like to talk about exceptions, so much so that we drown out the significance of the rule. When it comes to marriage, Christian debates about divorce have all but suffocated the message God is speaking to us through marriage. God wants us to be as committed to him as he is to us. In the Pollock household we try to remind ourselves many times (especially in this year of pandemic), “This family is not about you. It is not about me. It is about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

When Christ is the center of the home everything changes. The Great Commission subverts the American Dream. Family time becomes a cherished gift, not a hoarded right. The home becomes a haven for gospel conversation, not just with your children but with the many you get to welcome in through the revolving doors of hospitality. Marriage serves as a means to a greater end. Many marriages have ended because people have nothing greater to live for than themselves. But when a married couple commits to truly exalting Christ, God showers his joy and power and blessing and grace and mercy on them. God does not make marriage easier; he makes it better.

So it’s no big deal to skip the Super Bowl halftime show. We have so much more to live for than a few minutes of fleeting pleasure. If Christ is truly all in all, he will be totally worth the “sacrifice.”


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