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!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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