Once again I had heard it. The opinion that has been brought before me so many times. I usually forget about it quickly and continue on with living, but not this time, unfortunately. I mulled this topic for several days before finally deciding to put pen to paper… This post is the result.
I’m not writing this to disagree with anyone or suggest that I’m right and you’re wrong. I simply wanted to point out a few facts regarding why so many arguments against romance novels are simply…illogical. Many Christian girls and women have decided that books with any amount of romance in them are evil and to be avoided at all costs. Where does this idea come from? (When I talk about romance novels, please know that I am talking about Christian books that place God in the center of all relationships.) Here is a much-heard statement regarding these books:
“Romance novels give girls a fantasized version of reality. They feed the imagination and only bring about discontentment. Romance novels are to women as pornography is to men.”
Oh, goodness. Where to start? I’m trying so hard to wrap my brain around this thought. Because it really doesn’t make sense to me.
First of all, romance novels are fiction. They are NOT real. If girls feel that they are the cause of flighty thoughts and dreams, they need to remember that all of those books are from the authors’ imaginations. It’s not reality and it’s not supposed to be. Honestly, I think there is a bigger problem for the girl if she is unable to decipher between fantasy and reality.
Also, why has love become a bad thing? There are plenty of love stories in the Bible, and I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t say to skip past that part if you are single. If girls have brought love to such a high level in their lives where they couldn’t read a book about someone else finding love, well… maybe it’s turned into an idol.
Maybe you think that there are better things for you to be doing with your time. I respect that. If you do enjoying reading these books, but don’t want them to consume you, you can always find ways to do it in moderation. Like picking up your novel before bed or during your lunch break. Of course, if you honestly and truly don’t want to read books with any amount of romance in them, that’s absolutely your decision. I’m not trying to convince you otherwise.
Now moving on to the thought that romantic novels are the equivalent to pornography. I’m not even going to touch base with pornography, because I really don’t feel like going there today, but here is how I see it: if you base your relationship expectations on a book, you’re going to be disappointed. I’ve heard it said that expectations ruin relationships, and I believe it. Saying that you shouldn’t read those books because women will look to them as a relationship “guide,” is well, ridiculous. As I’ve said before, they’re not real. We all know they’re not real. Plus, we shouldn’t allow a mere book to have such control over us. That’s giving the (fiction) book way too much power.
Contentment comes from the Lord, despite of any situation. Maybe you think that reading romance novels is “stirring the fire” for your discontentment, but you can only become discontent if you allow yourself to. It’s not the book’s fault. And if you choose not to read these books, you may find discontentment from attending weddings or parties or even going out in public, because honestly, there are couples everywhere. Instead of simply avoiding books that “cause” discontentment, maybe you should pray for contentment. Because if it’s not a book causing your discontentment, it will most likely be something else.
One final note. I have many novels from many different authors, and honestly, I really do come away with a lot from most of them. Yes, maybe a love story is in the theme, but if God is the Lord of your life, His fingerprints will be on everything. I enjoy reading about the characters coming closer to God. Yes, I know it isn’t real, but I don’t think it’s a hindrance either.
I hope this post was helpful for you. Thank you for visiting today and I hope you have a blessed day!