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I only recognized how much I had bought into our culture’s pervasive false romance meta-narrative after 12 years of marriage. My self discovery came courtesy of Michael Knight and his tricked-out Trans Am, KITT.

For those who were living in a nuclear bomb shelter throughout the 80s – or who weren’t yet born – Knight Rider was the family television drama to watch, or so I thought at age 11. It starred Baywatch’s David Hasselhoff as high-tech crime fighter.

When I got the first season on DVD a couple years ago, I thought I had died and gone to 80s heaven, but then I put the first disc in the player. For starters, for the first time in my life I had to face this embarrassing truth: my favorite childhood television drama lacked anything worthy of admiration.

  • The plots were pathetic
  • The dialogue dismal
  • The acting atrocious and…
  • The special effects phony

After five episodes I gave up. I could not bear to watch anymore. I didn’t want to let myself believe it. I kept thinking,

“It really wasn’t this bad.

It’s going to get better.

It can’t get any worse!”

But it was…

it did not…

and it could (and did).

I was as disappointed as the day I found out Santa wasn’t real. I almost hated myself for being taken in so easily; for being such an immature kid, when I was an immature kid.

However, along with the digital clarity I watched with a clearer understanding of myself and what I was picking up from this show back when I first watched it as a “tweenager.”

You see, in addition to saving the day, Michael also got the girl – every week.

Not the same girl, mind you. A different one – every week.

Each episode introduced a new chica. She might be the cute girl-next-door or she might be drop-dead gorgeous, but Michael won them over – every week. Some fell for him at first glance or after a couple of insanely immature pick-up lines. (And who could blame them? He wore half-unbuttoned shirts tucked into tight jeans pulled up past his navel.) Some of them were initially put off by his bravado, but after he beat the bad guys, they’d finally realize he was the bomb-dot-com – before there was a dot-com.

And seeing this 20+ years later, I realized that when I was a kid I wanted to be Michael Knight.

I wouldn’t have said that back then. I would have proudly told you I loved the show, but I wouldn’t have said anything as silly as “I want to be like Michael Knight.”

I wouldn’t have said it because I never made the connection between his romantic escapades each episode and my inner longing to have every cute girl at school fall for me…

Perhaps you wouldn’t be as gullible as me, but it is a fact that your contentment is under siege by our media-saturated flavor-of-the-month culture.

And it’s even more true that the media messages we’re exposed to today (and the images and stories designed to sell them) are far more sophisticated and enticing than Knight Rider.

In fact, Disney delivers more compelling programming to kindergarteners. By the time kids enter their “tweens” today the assault is oppressive. [See the DNA series on the Hidden Danger of Stranger Things.]

You may be able to withstand more intense barrages than I can, but you’ve likely bought into a couple lies. Maybe one of them is, “If you had that special someone…”

[This is but a taste of the first book in our discipleship series: Beyond Sex & Salvation. It presents three critical life lessons for relational success; lessons best learned BEFORE you fall in love. Find out more or purchase the e-book book at this link.]

Date Night Advice (DNA) series: What Marriage Vows Cannot Vow
Part 8: Marriage Vows Cannot Vow to Ensure your Happiness
Click here for the next post in the series.