One of the chief intentions of Visionary Daughters is that it would provide opportunities for the older women to teach the younger women, in the spirit of Titus 2. Here is a sterling and timely admonition from a married woman.
Christian Romance Novels and the Dangers Therein
By Mrs. W. A. Carbone
I decided to write about this topic because I, like millions of Christian women, love to read; but did not know enough in the past to practice discernment about what I read.
I grew up in a worldly home and attended church for social reasons (Christmas, Easter) and an occasional showing because it was the proper thing to do. My parents did instill in me a love for reading, but did not direct me on those books I should read, and those that should be left alone. So, I immersed myself in a lot of worthless trash while developing a decent vocabulary.
After coming to know Christ as my Savior, I knew that what I was reading should change, though I still loved and wanted to read. I began to read romance novels written by some popular Christian authors and thought this was alright since these women were Christians, right?
After a few years of reading these novels, I found that my marriage was not as strong or as holy as it should be because I would begin fantasize so often after reading these novels. Nothing graphic, mind you, but things like:
“Why doesn’t my husband look like that?”
“Why doesn’t my husband act like that man?”
“Why doesn’t my husband say those things?”
“Why doesn’t my husband take me to these kinds of places?”
And the list goes on.
I finally realized that Christian romance novels can be the same as the soap operas and romance novels of the world, just sprinkled liberally with scripture verses in attempt to justify the content. In fact, I will boldly say that they are the same as the soap operas and romance novels of the world, just liberally sprinkled with scripture in attempt to justify the content. Though usually not rife with explicit sex, these books will give enough fodder for the mind to wonder and wander off the course of purity and holiness (Philippians 4:8).
For single women this is dangerous. This train of thought will lead to unrealistic expectations for a spouse. For married women this is dangerous. Thoughts will cease from praising our husbands as who they are and who God made them, to -Why aren’t they more like? Why can’t he be like? Why isn’t he like? – and we find ourselves wallowing in a pool of discontent and contempt for our men instead of thankfulness and gratitude for the mate God has given us.
We must test all things, cling to what is good, abhor what is evil. (1Thess 5:21-22)
It is evil to fill our minds with such things as turn our hearts and minds away from the Lord and His will for our lives as godly women. His will is for us is to love our husbands and help them to be the men God desires them to be. We cannot love our husbands or properly prepare for the spouse He would give us when we fill our minds with unrealistic stories which breed discontent, and sometimes lust for what God has not intended for us. We cannot do our future spouse good and not evil when we develop unrealistic expectations based on the world’s view of romance and relationships.
I have stopped reading Christian romance novels and begun to study my Bible and godly literature about how to be a godly wife and mother. My marriage has improved greatly. I have a realistic view of my dear husband and clear direction from God’s word on how I should affirm, encourage, and love him as the man God has given me. I love my husband more today than when we were first married and I am thankful to the Lord for His grace in turning me away from reading novels which pollute the mind and heart.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Books I have recently read and recommend:
The Holy Bible
Homemaking by J.R. Miller
Emotional Purity by Heather Arnel Paulsen
So Much More by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl (I do not agree with all things here, but it has some good advice in its pages)
Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald ( I am studying this with my daughter and learning at the same time!)