I attended a ladies’ retreat this past weekend. It wasn’t a sleep-away retreat, thankfully. Those of us who are introverts need some down time in-between all that socializing. Even so, there was a lot of peopling that occurred.
When you get a group of women together and discuss the things of God, some truths come to the surface.
For example, we each have a story. In fact, we each have many stories that have impacted our hearts and lives in big ways.
Most of us don’t want our stories out there for the whole world. Sometimes, we feel that our stories make us vulnerable, that sharing our stories makes us vulnerable. The truth, though – at least as I see it – is that our stories, by God’s grace, have made us strong. Sharing our stories is sharing that strength.
People sometimes ask me why I write Christian romance. Sometimes that question comes from somebody who wonders why I write Christian romance, and sometimes it comes from someone who wants to know why I write Christian romance.
The former is easy to explain. I write Christian romance because what other kind would I write? I’m a child of the King, and I belong to Him, so what other kind of romance would I ever consider writing?
The latter is a little bit harder to explain, though. When someone asks why I write Christian romance, their question can sometimes come from a place of looking down their nose at me. They think romance is somehow trivial. That fiction is somehow unbiblical. That there’s something inherently wrong with what I do. Maybe they even think I’ve sold out and gone after the big bucks. (Give me a sec. I need to get my laughter under control…)
Is there something wrong with writing Christian fiction? I don’t believe so. Jesus spoke through story all the time. He, better than any other person who’s ever lived, deeply understood how to convey spiritual truth – and He often conveyed those truths via story. He didn’t use only story. Certainly, He spoke plainly, too. But even when He spoke plainly, He often peppered those conversations with little stories.
Story is powerful. We can connect with stories in a way that we don’t necessarily connect to a sermon or someone explaining a passage of Scripture to us. I know it’s different for every Christian author, but for me – Scripture is at the heart of what I’m doing. We listen to stories a little more easily, though, than we do Bible reading. Our guard is down when it comes to stories. We’re more receptive. Those biblical truths can sneak in through the words, and God can use them in our lives.
I’m not saying that Christian fiction should ever take the place of going to church (it definitely shouldn’t!) or that reading a Christian fiction book is the same as reading your Bible (it’s definitely not!). I’m just saying that Christian fiction has its place in the world and that God can use it in beautiful ways in people’s lives. When we’re true to the Savior who first showed us what a powerful tool storytelling can be, then our stories will reflect Him in all of His glory. Amen!
Now…as for why I write romance specifically…well…it’s kind of simple. People are complex and exciting and wildly entertaining – especially when you put together two people that don’t have to be together. They’re not family. They’re not (usually) coworkers. They’re often people who might not necessarily cross paths outside of whatever circumstances I contrive for them. And simply put – that’s fun. People bumping up against each other, learning from each other, disagreeing, sometimes fighting, growing together, exploring life, living the ordinary moments and the extraordinary moments together – being able to create those worlds and explore those experiences through the characters I write is fun. And romance is the perfect little melting pot for making those things happen. There’s something deeply rewarding about writing a story where two people grow in their faith and seek to glorify God as they get to know each other and find that special spark that turns a passing fancy into a lasting relationship.
So, why do I write Christian romance? Well, I write Christian romance because I enjoy a good story as much as the next person. But I also write Christian romance because I believe that storytelling – with all its complexities and richness – is a good way to teach and learn about how our thoughts, feelings, and lives are touched and shaped by our Savior. But I also write Christian romance because I believe that when people see strength in the stories of others’ they will start to see the strength in their own stories, too – and it’s there that they decide to share themselves with others and to let God use their story for His glory.
Now that you know some of the reasons why I write Christian romance – tell me why you read it. What makes Christian romance your go-to genre? Why is it the book you pick up and don’t want to put down?