Wandering Wednesdays – Christian Romance – Part I

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 | Comments Off on Wandering Wednesdays – Christian Romance – Part I

Wandering Wednesdays – Christian Romance – Part I

Romance is one of the oldest forms of literature. The Song of Solomon is the oldest romance there is, and some of the most beautiful poetry ever written. Shakespeare wrote romance, but before Romeo and Juliet, there was Tristan and Isolde, which predates even the Arthurian legend of Camelot.

There are specific hallmarks in the romance genre today: boy meets girl, conflicts arise, conflict is resolved, and everyone lives happily ever after. As a genre, romance takes a lot of criticism, and Christian romance gets more than its share. A frequent point of contention is that not every relationship ends with happily ever after. Christian romance has been accused of causing discontent in real life because the characters are too perfect and make women, the largest portion of readers, discontent.


One reason people choose to read romance novels is that in real life relationships do not always end happily. Humans have a great predilection for hurting each other. However, heroes in books, no matter how flawed, always come around in the end, despite how they have failed. In Christian romance there is the added element of a spiritual journey, which takes us through the character’s maturing process and turns out right in the end. Any story which doesn’t end happily with new relational and spiritual insight is not a romance, but another genre altogether.


Most people who read fiction do so for relaxation. Fictional romance allows the mind to escape into a world where there is a certainty that everything will turn out all right. Reading fiction exercises the brain in much the same way that physical exercise benefits the body. It flexes and stretches the imagination as readers see themselves in the shoes of the characters, even feeling transported to another place and time. It is gymnastics for the brain, if you will, engaging thought processes and the imagination in ways that non-fiction and television cannot.


So can reading romances be detrimental? Here it would seem to be the responsibility of the reader to deal with their own thinking about life and relationships in a responsible and biblical way. Christians should not read books that tempt them to behave in unbiblical ways. A Christian romance must also be considered on a spiritual level for what it characterizes about Christian relationships.


One complaint about romance novels is that the characters, at least by conclusion, always end up doing the right thing. Some people find this to be frustrating because it is not true of life. If the characters in a Christian romance make the reader feel disappointed in their own romantic relationship, it could be for two reasons: 1) If unmarried, you’re not with the right person to begin with, in which case it might be wise to take a look at your relationship, pray about what is lacking, and decide if God would have you remain in the relationship. 2) You need to pray for the person you love to grow in their walk with the Lord and become what He wants them to be, while also creating realistic expectations and unconditional love in you.


Readers must seek God’s wisdom in their relationships and their reading, examining the message in light of God’s word. Enjoy the story for its own sake, and remember, they are only characters, created by a fallible human being, hoping to share a story that honors God and touches the heart of the reader.

© Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, August 21, 2014

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Did you enjoy this?

If so, please help spread the happiness! Share this post with your friends!

%d bloggers like this: