Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why do you read Christian Romance?


Sandra Orchard here.

I recently had my first radio interview and was asked how I answer those who might criticize me for writing romance.

 

I thought this would be a great topic for us to discuss here.

The way I see it the Lord has endowed us with creativity and imagination to tell stories that inspire, illustrate principles, minister to hurting hearts and refresh and renew spirits.


Jesus himself taught using parables.


Naysayers of romance argue that it sets up unrealistic expectations in women, perhaps creating discontent.


This hasn’t been my personal experience with Christian romance, in particular Love Inspired romance, whose mission is “to inspire women to better guide themselves, their families and their communities toward purposeful, faith-driven lives.”


Seeing characters overcome challenges and make Biblically-based decisions inspires me to work harder at my own personal relationships. I believe that the stories offer role models worth emulating.


My college-age daughter has had a number of young women tell her that they have no idea what a healthy relationship looks like. They’ve never been in one, nor seen one modeled in their own family, let alone the TV shows they watch or books they read. 


Unfortunately, this is becoming a bigger and bigger reality even within our churches. 

Readers such as these, whether teens contemplating their first relationship, or older women in various situations, will hopefully be challenged and inspired by the choices they see characters in Christian fiction make.

Your Turn: Why do you enjoy reading Christian romance? 


P.S.  If you'd like to hear the interview you can find it here: http://www.selawministries.ca/

14 comments:

Teresa said...

That might be the Million Dolar Question ;) - WHY?!

People tend not to understand and accept what they don't practice so they ask those who do, "why?".

Christian Romance is soothing.

Those who trust The Lord know He'll Come and Rescue, Mend, Resolve things in the end and to read that trust in Crafties books is like witnessing stories of Preserverance, Faith and Hope and that heals some pains we might have in our lives; somehow by reading their happy endings we're reconciled with Him even in areas we didn't know we were bothered.

That's a pretty good reason for me - to get back that Trust, that Faith.

Yes, there are cases of youth like the one mentioned by your daughter but there are also thousand who do live by His Ways and follow His Path. I've witnessed that in Cathechesis and my Scout Groups.

Be Blessed, in your Life and your Gift,
Teresa

Ausjenny said...

Good question I read Christian romance firstly because I want to read clean books without bad language or sex scenes (or as one book said books with the romance left intact).
The stories are real they show that life isn't easy and people have problems but they also give hope of finding someone special. In saying this books now also show the struggles of a relationship and that it takes time but it it gives hope.
I am single never married but so cant say they give me an unrealistic outlook but I love reading of the happily ever after ending.

I would also rather be reading a Christian Romance knowing its a G rated book than many of the shows on tv or books out now where nothing is left to the imagination. I really don't know how people can read or even write erotica which seems to be a huge market. Its these books I think that cause more problems for a relationship than the Christian fiction.

Sandra Orchard said...

Teresa, I especially like your observation that "somehow by reading their happy endings we're reconciled with Him even in areas we didn't know we were bothered". I've found that to be so true.
Jenny, what a great point that showing overcoming the struggles of a relationship take time. We need hope more than ever these days to invest our time in making relationships work, when the world tells us to just move on and find something better.

OLUFISAYO ALABI said...

I read Cristian romance because I feel safe, pure and intact after reading. My Spirit man remains connected to God, not tuned off to please the flesh.
There are people, especially men, who don't like reading romance books but that's simply because THEY HAVE NOT READ CHRISTIAN ROMANCE. If they read christian romance, they will have a change of outlook.
Before I got married, my manager at work told me to stop reading romance books as it would make me feel disappointed after wedding. He was right about non-christian romance. I did feel disappointed. I thought it would be like they described the love scenes and in the films but it wasn't.
But christian romance is wholesome and total in nature: it talks about ALL aspects of the relationship with less emphasis on sex. I read them and re-examine my life in the light of the Bible.

Beautiful women, keep on doing the good work!

Sandra Orchard said...

Thank you Olufisayo.

PamelaTracy said...

I read Christian romance because often it betters me. The focus is on the relationship not on the bedroom. And, in the last ten years, the books in Christian romance have dealth with issues I'm dealing with LOL but mine never end in 295 pages ARG

Sandra Orchard said...

So true, Pamela. That's probably one reason I like books like Critical Condition coming out in October, where the hero is a widower. Many, many years have passed since his wife's death and I get to show a bit of the process of how that changed him and eventually prepared him for new love, while giving hope to those somewhere on that journey that second chances do happen in God's perfect time.

Merrillee said...

I love to read romance because I can count on a happy ending. It's nice to read about people finding a special someone and falling in love. I especially like to read Christian romance because the characters either have a relationship with the Lord or come to have one.

Missy Tippens said...

Sandra, I've heard similar complaints that it sets women up for unrealistic expectations. I think it shows the kind of love we can dream about having. And sure, real life may not have such a happy ending. And real romance takes work. But shouldn't we aim high? God is good!

Sandra Orchard said...

Aim high. I like that, Missy. :) On the flipside of raising expectations, I think the novels often positively raise our own standards of the quality of women we aspire to be.

Ausjenny said...

I wonder what types of romance these "professionals" who say it gives a unrealistic view of romance etc.
I do know that we have a church library which is mostly christian novels and the main borrowers are non christians who now say they cant read the other romance books cos they are so trashy and full of sex etc.
I have actually heard the same at the town library that people are asking for the Christian romances and this came from a non christian Liberian.
I dont think you can lump all Romance together. The inspirational romance is rated G and I cant see how its unrealistic (except some fall in love so quick and then get engaged quickly but this happens). You also have the other rating in romance books. I have to say besides teen romance I have mainly only read Christian romance.
I actually think some of the so called professionals who say these books are unrealistic and setting readers up for a fall are actually selling readers short. They act like all readers are dumb! I think readers are quite intelligent myself.

Heather said...

I read Christian fiction, and more specifically Christian romance because it gives me hope. I'm in my mid-20's and have never dated. Never been in a relationship. Reading Christian romance gives me hope, faith and trust.

Faith that God has a hand in everything. Hope that someday I may have a chance to have a love like that. Rooted in the Lord. Trust that God is in all things and that through the good, the bad, the magnificent and the ugly, that God resolves all in ways we may not imagine.

Books always seem to have a perfect ending, which so far in my experience doesn't always happen. So I agree with someone who mentions unrealistic expectations. I think it puts a little pressure on women to find that perfect novel ending. Sometimes I worry that I read to many books and give myself high expectations. But I like that Missy said we should aim high. If we don't aim high, we can never hope to reach it.

That's my rambling initial reactions to your post.

Debby Giusti said...

Great discussion today. Sorry I'm stopping by so late. Thanks for the topic, Sandra.

I love to see how the characters work through their problems and handle the various struggles in life. Although there's always a happily-ever-after, the journey is often difficult.

crossromance said...

I read Medieval Christian (and sometimes non Christian within certian parameters) because I am a geeky Medievalist.

Some is excellent and some not so. Personally I find some people's idea of what constitutes 'realism' in such books rather interesting.