Monday, February 20, 2017

A Case for Inspirational Romance

When people ask me what I write, I usually say historical fiction -- not historical romance. Why? Because a good Christian girl shouldn't be interested in that sensual kind of earthly stuff. Right?


Granted, romance has some negative connotations, but there is a flip side. Think about it for a minute. God is the author of love. He's the one who created it and put into motion an everlasting romance between Christ and the church. Stories about heroes loving their heroines are a dim reflection of that. Is it any wonder we love a happy ending?

We all have an inner craving to be loved. Deep down in everyone's heart there is a desire to be cherished. Reading/writing about that desire (note: not talking about sex/erotica here) reminds us that feeling is but a shadow of what will be some day be fully consummated.

We cannot out-imagine God when it comes to things that delight our souls. When you enjoy a romantic story, imagining wonderfully awesome things, let it put you in a spirit of worship via 1 Corinthians 2:9 ~ "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."

What's more lovely than love? Philippians 4:8 says, "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable." Am I taking that out of context? Maybe. But thinking on grander concepts such as mercy, grace, justice, or yes indeedy, love fit that bill.

Even God uses romance via story in the Song of Solomon as a picture of a desirable romance. Inspirational romance stories provide the same sort of picture, of a beautiful, overcoming love. A turning point for my faith that gave me a greater sense of God's love for me was via just such a story. Streiker's Bride, in case you're interested.

All this being said, of course you can take this to the dark side. Lusting after a fictional character, becoming dissatisfied with your "real" relationships, using inspirational romance as a springboard to erotica (giving in to the hey-that's-just-a story-too mentality) are not only ill-advised but are outright rebellion against God's plan.

Personally, I'll probably still say I write historical fiction instead of romance. Not because I don't believe in it being perfectly acceptable. It's the slanty-eyed looks of of condemnation that I'd rather not endure.


Southern-fried Fiction said...

Beautifully said, Michelle! And I'm going to get Streiker's Bride.

Michelle Griep said...

It truly is a fantastic modern day parable. It's one of the few stories that's left a deep, deep mark on me.

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