My Guidelines For Writing Christian Romance

So there I am, scrolling through blog post drafts because I am horrible at posting on a regular basis. Anyway, I come across this, which was originally titled ‘My Three Rules In Writing Romance,’ and clicked on it to see what I got started.

*crickets*

Nothing. Absolutely empty and I can’t even remember what sparked the idea in the first place! But hey, it’s not like I’ve come up with things on the fly before, right?

Anyway…


GUIDELINE NO. 1

They must both be Christians*

Ok, this is a no-brainer. But yeah, make sure they’re both Christians.

Now, as for the asterisk part…I know everyone has their own opinions on this, but here’s mine: I don’t mind if they’re both new Christians or if one has been a Christian longer than the other. It does happen in real life; I don’t see why we should avoid that in fiction. Fiction is, after all, supposed to be a reflection of real life that points readers to Christ.

And honestly, when you get married – if indeed God has chosen to grant you that gift – then chances are, your spouse could be a younger or older Christian than you. Considering we don’t have control over what biological age said spouse will be, or what he or she will look like, then how can we have control over how long they’ve been a Christian? It is God who calls you to salvation and it is He who picks the time and date of your salvation.

We don’t. ‘Nuff said.


GUIDELINE NO. 2

They are first and foremost a brother and sister in Christ

Meaning they’re basically family. This is a topic that will hopefully be brought up in The Woodsman and it will definitely be brought up in Arrows.

Remember: THEY ARE FAMILY. They are going to or dare I say, should, act like an actual brother and sister. They are going to encourage each other, fight with each other (and apologize afterwards!), weep with each other, laugh with each other, and yes, be affectionate towards each other.

I know, I know, romantic affection isn’t the same as familial affection but we do hardly see familial affection between potential love interests in fiction, do we not? So how about we all start treating our characters less like potential love interests (must remind myself of this one, hehe) and more like a family first, hm?

If they fall in love, then they fall in love.


GUIDELINE NO. 3

They need to be on the same page regarding Theology

Very, very important. This ought to be a no-brainer too. I…honestly have nothing else to say on this. I guess the title just says it all.


GUIDELINE NO. 4

They have to figure out boundaries before getting into a relationship*

Also a no-brainer, also important.

*UNLESS the story involves a couple (whether main or otherwise) that failed to establish boundaries and thus have to wrestle with the consequences of that. (Cough Jack & Maggie cough)


GUIDELINE NO. 5

They are still sinners. They are still going to sin. Sometimes big time.

Not sure if this is gonna step on toes (probably), but here goes nothing: I am willing to read books where one or both of the characters has had sex out of wedlock-

*dodges rotten tomatoes*

-as long as they’re clearly repentant about it. And as long as the author never treats the child (if there is a child) as though he or she as less than valuable because of how they were conceived.

It’s one thing if other characters treat the kid that way (cough Vivian cough), but the author should not. Christian authors are to tell the truth and the truth is that all children, regardless of how they were conceived, are made in the image of God, and because they are made in the image of God, they have value. This is why we respect people as people even when we don’t respect their opinion – they are our fellow image-bearers.


Alright, I think that might be it…for now. If I come up with anything else, I’ll probably come back and add to this. And I do still have other ideas for more posts regarding romance…

But for now, let me know your thoughts below!

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