Friday, May 20, 2011

Ask Elnora--Are Christian Romance Novels bad for us?? Lenora Worth


Hello, my lovelies. Elnora has had a good week. I can see the end of the tunnel on the work in progress. It's all downhill from here. Whew. I'm pushing through the black moment and into my happily-ever-after. And we do still believe in happily-ever-after, don't we? Let's be honest, when we read a love story and reach the end, we HOPE the couple will be happy for a long, long time, right? But we leave them at a good place. We can't predict what will happen the day after we close the book.

But we can hope. Elnora so believes in hope, faith, and love. If we don't hope that a couple will make it, then alas, all is lost. When I married my dear Big Daddy right out of high school, I was scared and unsure of my future. But I HOPED that we'd make our marriage work. That doesn't mean every day was like a fairy tale with flowers blooming and animals chirping and following Elnora around the house. No prince put a shoe on my foot. No, darlings. My prince went to work in the car factory and came home tired and smelling of industrial paint. My prince made sure we had food on the table and a roof over our heads. And in return, I tried to be the princess he could admire. I grew strong and found my own style and ... I followed my own dreams so I wouldn't have to be so dependent on him for the things only I could make happen. I followed my dreams, but I was settled in reality--the reality of a marriage with ups and downs and all sorts of adventures. So I ask, dear darling people, is it so very bad for women to read Christian fiction? Or are we as smart and capable as Elnora believes us to be? Are we smart enough to know that novels are good clean fun (but the real world is still there when we reach The End?) I believe Christian women are smart enough to know ... in a happy marriage a prince can sometimes seem like a frog and a princess can easily turn into a diva, but we love each other, flaws and all. Most of the women I know have no illusions about life and what is required of them. They love their husbands and their families and ... they have the fairy tale, they accept the adventures, good and bad. They have someone to love, they have faith, and they have hope ... always. And they have these values even if things in real life go terribly wrong.

Please, someone tell me I'm not wrong? 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 states: "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

That is why we write love stories. How can that be bad for anyone?

11 comments:

  1. Dont forget some of us are single never married (never been in love for that matter) But while I say that I still know a real marriage takes time and give and take and commitment.
    I read the books cos they are inspiring! ok thats corny but I read them cos I like them. They are a break from reality. Also I learn things but I know reality life isn't as simple.

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  2. I'm new on Christian Novels but I haven't seen, so far, such a pinkish atmosphere in them that would sent a reader to Nirvana believing only in Princes, Princesses and Glass Carriages.

    Quite the opposite. I've been taking inspiration from them to trust and learn more of God's ways in our lives.

    I'm also delighted with the helping and charitable people that are pictured in them but it doesn't give me the surreal sense, because I know that world is full of them.

    One thing has been growing in me though, after reading the Love Inspired Novels, how easy, lovely and romantic is a wedding ceremony at home with your close friends and immediate family, with flowers from your own garden.

    Being Europe (I live in Portugal) under a tough financial crisis and with some people being put off from wedding because of the obscene cost of ceremonies, clothes and whatnots, I would like to see more people reading these books and understand that none of that is important to start battling for your Happy Ever After.

    I guess by now you realised I'm a huge fan of the genre that started with Marrillee, moved with Missy , just finished reading Lyn Cote and started this morning with Ruth Logan Herne... I'm also happily (well, most of the times ;)) married for 22 years.

    For me they're definetly not bad, they're good. Awesome. Inspiring. Healing.

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  3. Thanks, ladies. I feel the same. That's why I love writing them.

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  5. Hi Elnora:

    “Are Christian Romance Novels bad for us?” One might as well ask: “Are vitamins bad for us?”

    I guess they could be but you’d really have to abuse them.

    Thank God for Christian romances. I just read the saddest post where the author is writing a book about a couple who lost a child through their own negligence, divorced, and is now trying to get back together again.

    The story is about how the HEA may be not so happy and that life happens.

    I replied that this has happened to many couples and with faith in God they can go on and survive in their marriage and find peace and happiness.

    She wrote back that she was an atheist and would never write something like that. Her characters face a bleak future at best and I think that is sad in so many different ways.

    That was yesterday. I actually needed to read this post today.

    Vince

    P.S. This is the same message I just deleted. Sorry.

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  6. I couldn't agree more. Thanks also for quoting my favorite passage from the Bible. Love rules!

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  7. I agree with Vince. Unless you have a problem (like some sort of addiction), reading fiction is good for you! :)

    Teresa, thanks for reading!!
    Jenny, I also think they're inspiring!

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  8. And Vince, that is so sad about the story that blogger told.

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  9. Vince, I so appreciate your comments. Thanks so much. You explained exactly how our stories give readers hope. Thanks everyone. Elnora loves this discussion.

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  10. In just over a week my dear hubby and I will celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary. When I read a Christian romance I am sometimes reminded of why I said "yes" to start with, I am reminded of the troubles that we have not had to face, and I am reminded of the troubles that we have overcome without them overcoming us. Christian romances and a blessing. One that I even share with my husband by reading them out loud to him. (Makes a good time for a snuggle.)

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  11. Beemama, what a beautiful post. Thanks so much.

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