One of my subscribers asked me about writing romance into one’s story. More specifically, what was acceptable in Christian fiction. I originally wrote this post back in February 2020, lol! I’m gonna go ahead and post it as is since I just really liked the opening! Enjoy!
It’s February (😉), and for a lot of people, the one thing at the forefront of their minds, as far as holidays go, is Valentine’s Day. It’s cute and fun, but I have to admit, it’s pretty low on my list of favorites. But today, I want to talk about something associated with the holiday: Romance. Specifically, is it okay to include Romance in your Christian novel? Now, these are my personal preferences, so please don’t get angry with me if you disagree. These are my observations, and I hope these are helpful to you. Let’s dive in.
Full disclosure: I’m not a huge fan of romance in books. Let me clarify exactly what I mean. I don’t mind a couple getting married in a story. I don’t mind a brief kiss between a married couple, as long as it’s not detailed. I don’t mean people saying I love you (if they are engaged or married). I don’t mind seeing a relationship develop through the story. But most “romance” books don’t line up with that. I can’t stand characters holding hands/kissing before marriage, a story solely focused on the relationship (unless it’s a courtship story), you get the idea.
The Bible says, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Corinthians 7:1, King James Bible) unless they are married. Because of this, I don’t have my characters holding hands, etc. if they are not married. (I mean, sure siblings might but you know what I mean 😉)Most romance books draw attention to physical attributes and set young people to thinking and desiring things that God doesn’t have for them at this time in their life. It’s wrong to let your heart wander into areas that, for the time being, God has put a keep-out sign on.
But is there a way to depict a relationship in a way that is good, proper, and Christ-honoring? After all, Marriage is a part of life. I’m happy to tell you that there is!
Surprise! It’s a Wedding!
I love when I find a book that does this. Isabella Alden often informed her readers that Characters had feelings for each other by merely throwing the wedding right into the middle of things! No hints, or minimal at best.
This is a side storyline. A passing mention that Joe and Missy are courting, but not making it the focus of the story. It’s just a side detail. Not a lot of page time. Just a fact of life, these two are in a relationship. Or mention they are praying about it. The best way is to always draw the focus back to God, seeking His will and the sacred responsibility of marriage. It’s not something flippant and shouldn’t be treated as such.
So How is a Godly Relationship Conducted?
This is referring to a specific series of books that every young person should read. Called The Courtship Series, there are 4 books written by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Castleberry, and they are soooooo good! It’s not lovey-dovey but God-centered and family-oriented. I highly recommend them. They compass many different situations that may come in the life of a Christian life person. Three are about young ladies, and the second book is from the young man’s perspective. All 4 are five-star reads.
First and foremost, pray about your story and what God wants you to do. Read over your scene. Imagine Jesus reading your book. Are you blushing at the thought? Better do some editing! Secondly, remember who your readers are. I have a lot of young ladies and young gentlemen who read my books. I am not about to be responsible for leading them to think things they shouldn’t be, such as someone else’s appearance. In the confines of marriage, some of these things are acceptable, but if it’s not your spouse, why do you care? I personally don’t want to know everything the couple in the story thinks of each other. It’s none of my business!
So, in short, I don’t have a problem with wholesome relationships being included in a story, but romance…not a fan.
Hope this was helpful to you!
Have a blessed day!
I haven't gotten a chance to finish the two books in this series yet, but I've started Promise's Prayer and I'm looking forward to the finish!
A new Christian kingdom adventure fiction novel hits the shelves! Victory's Voice by Erika Mathews, an indie author of Christian fiction and non-fiction for all ages, is book two in Truth from Taerna, and this post is part of the virtual launch tour. You can pick up the paperback and ebook on Amazon here.
JOIN THE FUN ||
About the Book ||
When an extroverted bookworm discovers the hidden power of spoken words, death and life tremble in the balance on the tip of her tongue. But not only figuratively.
At seventeen, Ellisia’s passion for learning and books dominates her small-town existence. No wonder she’s elated when an opportunity to attend Academy arises: she can finally fulfill her lifelong goals to further her education and see the famed Palace BookHall. But as she begins to discover the true power of the spoken word, she faces a choice: join forces with a foreign physicist or relinquish her dream to someday work in the BookHall. Loyalties and ambitions war within Ellisia once the scientist’s projects begin to threaten her family's safety. When impending crisis brings a clash of spiritual kingdoms, Ellisia must once for all choose how she’ll harness the power of words. Spoken words transcend her reality, uniting heavenly with earthly and commanding the forces that drive the physical world, and Ellisia’s voice will be the catalyst for sure defeat—or decisive victory.
Add to Goodreads
About the Author ||
Erika Mathews is an author and editor who lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband and children. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s not working with books, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, organizing, and using the Oxford comma. You can connect with Erika at restinglife.com.
Visit the Tour Kick-off Post on Erika’s blog.
Blog Tour ||
3/15/2021: Victory's Voice comprehensive book review by Chelsea at Sheep Among Wolves Publishing.
3/18/2021: LAUNCH DAY! Read Victory's Voice on Kindle today!
+ Character spotlight on Caeleb (27-year-old friendly elder-brotherly friend), shared by Abigail Kay Harris at Read Review Rejoice.
+ Character spotlight on Jolyn (an Academy student) shared by Tara at Tower in the Plains
+ Book spotlight & excerpt shared by Jenavieve Rose at Living Outside the Lines
+ Special release day post at Resting Life
3/20/2021: Book review by Katja at Old Fashioned Book Love
3/22/2021: Character interview with Carita (Ellisia's older sister who is devoted to God) shared by Chelsea at Sheep Among Wolves Publishing
3/25/2021: Character spotlight and interview with Aethelwyn (Wyn - a bubbly Academy student who plays cello) posted by Katja at Little Blossoms for Jesus
3/26/2021: Promise's Prayer and Victory's Voice book reviews by Jenavieve Rose at Living Outside the Lines
3/31/2021: Last day to enter the #VictoryContest
Have you ever read Mrs. Matthews? If so, what book?
Hope you have a blessed day!
God Bless America!
Hello everyone! So today, I’m back with more of my ramblings and a much-requested blog post… How I met my Husband! So this rambling will fall under the Life category! Without further ado, let’s hop in!
I always prayed that my relationship would move quickly... I didn't exactly mean 12 hours from Hello to Can I Write You...
So it all started a year ago today! On March 10th, 2020, my dad took two of my sisters and me with him to the Capitol Connection in Washington, D.C. One of my sisters wasn’t feeling well (not the virus that shall not be named *halo*), my other sister decided to stay with her at the hotel, so I was the chosen one who went with Dad that day. We walked toward the Capitol Building for our group photo on the steps when a tall, blondish/reddish-haired man with a beard walked up and struck up a conversation with us. I was a little gun shy… he was obviously from up north, though he didn’t come off like a yankee, and his accent wasn’t irritating to me. And for being from Maryland, he sure knew his conservative politics!
He talked with my dad and me and offered to meet up with us at the Supreme Court to get pictures later if his group didn’t go straight to lunch. Which they did. I figured I would never see him again.
And I was surprised that this bothered me. I realized I found him interesting and attractive, and I immediately prayed and asked God to help me NOT think about him. I wasn’t there to meet guys. I was there to be a witness and encouragement! I didn’t need a distraction. So could You please help me not think about him? Thank You!
Only… He didn’t.
Seemed like every time I turned around, I thought about our talk and wished he would just show up. I prayed hard for God to take it away from me. But He just wouldn’t! And who just happened to be there when we were waiting for our bus to pick us up?
During the rest of that day, he just kept popping up! He even went on the midnight tour with us that evening. And I figured he wanted to talk to my dad about our ministry! I didn’t know he was interested in me until he asked my dad if he could contact me to “see where God might lead this”!
Long story short, my parents and I prayed about it, and about a week later, I got my first email! Dad and Mom read it first, then my mom got me off to the side and handed me dad’s phone. I was elated!
Then the virus that shall not be named struck and quarantine happened.
My mom still hadn’t met Jacob, and I hadn’t met his parents. I knew there was no way our relationship could move forward until we had. But God had plans!
In May, I was allowed to receive one chaperoned phone call a week. And in June, God worked it all out for our families to meet! We spent the first day at their house, and the next, we went to Gettysburg for the first time since 2011! We crawled all over Devil’s Den, and Jacob and I got plenty of time to talk and get to know each other better. The next day, Sunday, June 28th, we were given our parents’ blessing to officially begin courting.
He came down in July to visit, and we came up in August, where I got to meet his extended family! Then in September, he came down for Labor Day weekend.
Mom suggested we finally get some pictures since we forgot the last time we saw each other. I put on a little makeup and curled my hair.
He left to freshen up, and I went out with my sisters to pick a good spot in our wooded area. Jacob came out and surprised me with a dozen roses. Then he told me he would only give roses to someone he really liked… someone he loved.
Now in our family, you can’t say I Love You until you are getting engaged.
I busted out crying, then finally told him yes, I would marry him!
The next few months were a blur as we wrestled with the perfect date, location, and attendants. We were married on December 19th, just nine months and 9 days after we met!
Is that how things typically go in our family? Do I recommend people just getting married willy-nilly?
But this wasn’t anyone else’s story. This was our story. This was God’s plan for us. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world! God makes no mistakes!
A few more fun facts, though…
About two weeks before I met Jacob, I prayed and at last gave up the struggle over being single at 23. It was hard. I referred to it as my Jacob wrestling with the Angel moment. I had no idea I would marry a Jacob 😉. One week before I met Jacob, a close family friend encouraged me to pray that I would meet my future spouse this year. Not get in a relationship per se, just meet them. It was a week to the day before God had our paths cross! Then I found out on my wedding day that my sister had explicitly prayed that I would meet my Husband at Capital Connection. God is so good!
I’ve been thinking about the Founding Fathers a lot of late. What a statesman John Adams was; How much I despise Alexander Hamilton (is he even a Founding Father??); Wishing George Washington had stood up to the Muslim Corsairs; How grateful I am that Thomas Jefferson did stand up to them; How inspiring Patrick Henry’s speeches were. And it got me to thinking… what other stories don’t we know about the Founding Fathers just because they aren’t as famous as Benjamin Franklin? I have no idea who Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, and John Penn are, and they signed for North Carolina! Have you ever heard of John Jay? How about William Floyd? May I encourage you, reader, in this day and age who wants to erase even the famous from history, that you take a little time to read about the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? To research the ones who ratified the Constitution? To read up on the men who lead our people on the field of battle? Who stirred up the people to see what was happening right in front of them? Who are the Sons of Liberty? Was the Boston Massacre really a Massacre? Where they all honorable men? Well, no. Did they make mistakes? Yep, they were human, just like us. But how will you even know who these people are if you don’t take the time to care? How can we lose our history if, in our ignorance, we never had it?
Pick up a book on the Founding Fathers today.
So y’all know I love to read! Today, I want to share about a book I finished last month! A full review is coming, but people! The Color Red by Katja L. was. So. Good. If you ever get the opportunity to read it, you really need to! The style is charming and full of words to expand your vocabulary, and it’s written in such a way that it just sucks you right into the main character’s head! Like I said, a full review is coming, but please, add this book to your Goodreads TBR!
Well, I need to wrap this up! I hope you are all having a lovely day in the Lord!
What’s going on in your life? Share about your favorite Founding Father! Read any good books of late? Comment below and fill us in!
God bless you, and God bless America!
Hello! I’m happy to be back with another post for y’all today! Our church’s theme this year is “On Bended Knee,” emphasizing the importance and power of prayer. So I thought it would be appropriate for us to rejoice in the blessings of a conversation with our Heavenly Father (for those who are Born Again! Not sure what this means? Please contact us!)!
Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Sometimes I’m afraid we forget about this portion of prayer time. I’m just as guilty as the next person, but I try to make a point and praise God for something about Him. His goodness. His love. For good weather. For a roof over my head. For just about anything you can think of. Give it a try! It’s an excellent way to start the day 😉
This cannot be overstated. Even as Christians, that doesn’t mean we won’t still sin. And as soon as you have, confession must be made. It’s hard sometimes. It’s humbling. But that’s the only way we can come before God, in humility. And believe me, there is no better feeling than getting the obstacles out from between you and the Father.
When nothing is standing in the way of your relationship with God, it’s time to make your requests known unto Him. Whether it’s for wisdom, health, a request for you, or for a friend, know that He is ready and eager for you to share with Him whatever is on your heart, even though He already knows.
Ever just talked to God? Like, just told Him about your life and your plans? Asked Him for advice? Just had a conversation? And don’t tell me that’s weird, ‘cause you know you talk to yourself *halo* If you’ve never done it, just try it. Trust me. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Sure, He knows it all. But that doesn’t change the fact that He cares. Just do it 😉
Sorry, this isn’t an intense theological discussion, but who said prayer has to be complicated? I definitely want to study more about prayer, but sometimes, it’s nice to just get back to the basics!
What is something about Prayer that God has taught you recently?? Please share them with us below!
Have a Blessed Day, and God Bless America!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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