Ever wonder why good Christian girls are still so hung up on getting guys? Or can't understand how young girls get exposed to such things at such an early age? Many of the ol' classics we give them to read to "educate them" are filled with it. The things they see on TV as lighthearted and mild wreak of it. And the "good christian books" with "good christian morals" we try to supplement into their minds as a sort of antidote against this sex-saturated world may even be worse -- in a way. Have you ever heard the saying "a little rat-poison in the cheese"? It's easier to take something true with just a little "fib" in it, than go for the lie hook, line, and sinker. But, keep adding it in, little by little, and you'll get the whole fishing pole down your throat before you realize what's happened.
I do think that, content-wise - what is and isn't said - christian romance novels are better than the quote-on-quote "non-christian" romance novels.
"So," your wondering, "whats so bad with Christian romance novels?"
(Besides the fact that some are just poorly written and unbelievable, and besides fact that Valary-Mac can't stand any of them? :)
Where they may be so much better than others of their genre at Barns and Nobels, the fact that they are "christian/religious", makes them now branded super-safe and guaranteed squeaky-clean where nothing could ever be objectionable. Presuppositions such as these are never good.
Most even sceptical readers may focus on what isn't in the book much more than what is.
Even Christian books can play on emotions that are best kept at a safe "observing" distance than glorified and branded holy.
Romance novels, whether they glorify God or otherwise, are way too easily taken just for what it is - romance - and that goes crazy in a romance saturated head. Most every girl can attest to that.
Also, it's interesting when you just stop and look at the author. Many are simply just old spinsters; helpless romantics. Jane Austen, though brilliant, confident, smart, and an esteemed weaver of intricate and multi-dimensional sagas of historical and whimsical England, never married. Old, hopeless romantics. Spinsters who apparently found their calling in writing, but perhaps never experienced any of their own tales. Perhaps much of it is simply wishful thinking, written in such good form that it seems just so real, but isn't. Don't get me wrong, she is one of the most amazing female writers of that era, indisputably.
(Plus, why would you want to live back then. Check out the hairstyles from 1700s picture below. Yikes!)
And another thing - Amish fiction and romance:
Though obviously authors such as Karen Kingsbury and Beverly Lewis research hard to make their Amish-country stories close-to-home, I am quite certain that the Amish themselves would not appreciate fiction and romance about them, especially how most of them are. I don't think much more needs to be said.
So, Valary-Mac, this is just a book-rant from your extreme genre-bias. What about what others think?
The powers of observation has proved themselves strong. I always like to get several sides to a subject before forming my "unshatterable" opinion ;) . The women I have spoke with about it have given some great insight. "Even acclaimed christian romance fiction that I read has a negative affect on me," said one. "When I was single, it made me dwell too much on men; much more than what is healthy as a christian. When I married, I thought me problems were over. But romance novels made me feel discontent with my husband." That seems to ring true with many. Most women are just like that!
So next time you feel like a Jannette Oke junkie, trace your eyes and heart to the LORD, your one true love.
NOTE: I don't want to to think I'm bashing any of the authors mentioned. I'm just being... descriptive. I'm sure they are wonderful ladies.