Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why I Don't Read Christian Romance Novels


When I was looking for some free things to load on my Kindle, I ran across a title by a prolific author in the Christian romance genre.  I was very familiar with the name from my childhood.  I had always deemed the covers old fashioned and the language boring, so I never read them.  I decided to download it and see what all the fuss was about.  

Disclaimer:    I do not read regular romance novels (never have) and I rarely read Christian romance novels anymore.  This book was #2 in the past 10-15 years (The other book was a gift).    

There was a time when I read them on a more frequent basis until I had a sobering realization. (I'll get to that later.)

It didn't take me long to get through this book, it had you on the edge of your seat.  I was so into it that I couldn't put it down until long after the time I should have already fallen asleep.  There were twists and turns, excitement, adventure and.....tame, subtle romance.  You know, no kissing, sex, just the tension of two people destined to be together and obstacles keeping them apart.  He's the aristocrat gentleman or the country cowboy and she's the undiscovered beauty being suppressed by trials of this life. He comes along and sweeps her off her feet.  Sounds great, huh?  It was a great book, but it didn't convert me or entice me to read more. 

Why?

Because I know what this kind of literature does to me....

It all came back to me, why I had given up reading these books years ago.

 It's a set-up!  

Yes, you heard me right, it's a set-up.  When I read these books, I'm setting someone up.  Someone that I love more than anyone on this earth.  My husband!  

I'm setting him up to fail as the love of my life and woo-er of my heart.   I let a fantasy dictate what romance should look like in my marriage. 

"Why doesn't my husband whisper those kinds of words in my ear?"

"I wish he was more like this guy..."

Instead of accepting my husband and his personality,  I put unrealistic expectations on our relationship.   I can become discontent and displeased with the reality. 

It's a trap!

I set him up and then I fall into the trap.

"Well, at least I can read about romance and pretend..."

When things may not be going well in your marriage, it's an easy escape into this fantasy world of love and romance.  I'll read about this pretend relationship, instead of working on the real one right in front of my face.  

I've been there....and I don't want to go back.  I won't let a work of fiction become my standard for romance with my husband.  I won't set him up to fail or fall into that trap of discontentment again.  

So, I read my novel, it was good.  But not good enough as this life I lead right now, side-by-side with this man that God made uniquely to compliment me.  A man who works hard for his family, thinks I'm the most beautiful woman he's ever seen and always tells me to "be careful" every time I leave to go anywhere.   Is he like those guys in the novels?  Probably not, but he's real and that matters more! 

2 comments:

  1. I agree that this can be true. I do tend to read books with romance/relationships in them, but not actual "romance novels". I can think of a time or 2 my mind did start to go in that negative direction...and it's not worth it

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    1. You're right, it's not worth it when our minds start going there. I also agree that not every book that has relationships in them should be classified as a "romance novels". I have to be careful because it's hard to stop reading a book I'm really into, even if my mind starts going in that negative direction. :)

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