Romantic novels, I think most every woman has read either a book, a portion or just a snippet of one. They take you to another world, that’s for sure. Who doesn’t want to escape “life” for just a bit and dream of being treasured? Surely there’s nothing harmful in that, right? I mean, we all know it’s fantasy? What about the Christian romance novels?
What if I were to tell you that it does a lot more harm to your perception of marriage, of dating, of sex, of your very own self-esteem, not to mention fleshly desires.
Who doesn’t remember the Harlequin Romance books, steamy, fan yourself books. They were heated, they were twisted and always left you wanting more. If you didn’t read them, good for you!
They were sold, traded, loaned, everyone had them, most women wanted them and their daughters started reading them at a young age as well. What about the Christian romance novels, they should be ok, right?
I know, you may be asking “What’s the harm?” What’s wrong with a little fun, with wanting more romanticism than maybe you’re getting? What’s wrong with the Christian romance novels, they’re from a Biblical perspective, aren’t they?
The Bible contains many warnings about being cautious what you see, what you do, how you think. They are not to be taken lightly. God is very serious about what we allow to come into our lives.
The problem isn’t the romanticism, the problems are the expectations that it creates inside of you, the big problem is the spiritual implications.
There is a sensational craze that draws women and men alike into pornography.
Yes, that’s what I said … pornography. We hear about men who are addicted to it, and it destroys their marriages and lives, but we don’t hear about the multitudes of women who are also addicted to it. But, you say, the Christian romantic books aren’t all that sexual. I’m here to tell you, they are still budding fleshly thoughts and even though they’re not like the others, it is still damaging.
The secret is out! There are women everyday who are thinking about another man, not their husband, or another woman. There are single women, even engaged women, who are also being led down this same path. A path that is riddled with such intensive stimulation, that even if a single woman were to remain a virgin until they were married, there is in her mind a huge battlefield to start a marriage with, preconceived notions and ideas.
How can there be a Biblical marital perspective with all of this going on? God wants pure marriages, purity before and during marriage. Think about your children, what is it they are learning? They will grow up, it is imperative that they understand the dangers of these things, age-appropriate, of course.
What do we do about this? What do you do about this, and the bigger question is, do you want to do something about this? Do you want to stop? Do you know a woman who is immersed or even just beginning to go down this path? What about the teenage girls? We already know that they have the embedded idea that they have to wear the shortest dresses, shortest shorts, barest of tops, showing their bras and more.
How do we stop this pornography-generating society and its effect on women and girls? Even the Christian romance novels are women’s intellectual junk food. While they do encourage a deeper relationship with God weaved into the story-line, there are other areas that are hindering.
A long time ago, I was a romance-story reader and I remember thinking all these things of “why doesn’t my husband treat me like this?” and more. And, I remember, yearning, it was an unmistakable emotional pain, yearning for more from my own husband. What a ninny I was! And, how spiritually bankrupt I was.
It was an addiction for me, it was very difficult to stop reading them. To stop, I quit reading anything for a long time and let God heal me, heal my mind, my heart and most especially my marriage as well as the unrealistic expectations I placed upon my husband. God saved me, my husband and our marriage in so many ways! Praise God!
That’s why I can talk to you about this, I’ve been there, I know the damage. Society today, the marketing society, creates clothing that is intended toward a sexual nature.
So, again, what can be done about this mentality, this addiction? The only thing we can do, personally for ourselves, is repent, to pray for others, to teach our daughters differently. Just because you have already bought the type of clothes for your daughter that are intended to “expose and entice”, doesn’t mean that you can’t change them by adding another fabric to cover or sew a little bit. If not, get rid of it, don’t let your daughters wear those types of things. Explain to her what’s happening, how it is a world-view and God created our bodies and we are to respect them, not flaunt them.
We need a lot of prayer for today’s women and girls. If you are stuck in this area, I encourage you to stop, to pray and pray and pray and do things that will stop this mindset. Get rid of those things in your home that bring about this mentality, I burned all of mine. At first, I rationalized that I needed to sell them, but that would be sharing with another woman what I myself needed to get rid of. Why would I put that burden on another person?
As a Godly woman, have you struggled with this? Are you still struggling? Is it worth the saving of your marriage, your relationship with your husband and your intimate relationship with God to stop? Stop reading that stuff, watching that stuff and wearing that stuff! God wants you to spend time with Him!
Let’s get our focus on Jesus, on God’s Word, on God’s Spirit working within. His power, if you have said yes to Jesus entering your heart and life, His power is already inside, it is waiting to manifest. Say yes to God, the time you put into reading other stuff, to watching TV or movies … transfer that time to God and see what happens.
Your life will change … your marriage will become so much better!
I leave you with a question to ponder and comment on: Why do we spend more time reading something other than God’s Word, when that is the very instrument God has kept for all-time as a guide for our lives?
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