Monday, September 6, 2010

Oh, leave novels, ye Mauchline belles!

"Oh this is the best part yet!" Thought Beth as she excitingly continued her novel. Just as the maiden's throbbing heart was about to meet its end, the dashing, courageous knight with dazzling armor flew into action to save the endangered maiden. " Beth, come finish your chores!" Shouted Beth's mom. "Hang on a second mom!" Beth rushed through the words on the pages. "Beth, I want immediate obedience, come down please." Huffing Beth reluctantly bookmarked her spot. "I can't stand chores! If only this were still a time when I could look for my knight to take me away."

Sound familiar? I think we have all been like Beth. Falling in love with a world that doesn't exist. Never liking to come back to reality. Always wanting something more than what real life has to offer. Ladies this is what romance novels do to us!

O leave novels, ye Mauchline belles,
Ye're safer at your spinning-wheel;
Such witching books are baited hooks
For rakish rooks, like Rob Mossgiel;
Your fine Tom Jones and Grandisons,
They make your youthful fancies reel;
They heat your brains, and fire your veins,
And then you're prey for Rob Mossgiel.

Beware a tongue that's smoothly hung,
A heart that warmly seems to feel;
That feeling heart but acts a part-
'Tis rakish art in Rob Mossgiel.
The frank address, the soft caress,
Are worse than poisoned darts of steel;
The frank address, and politesse,
Are all finesse in Rob Mossgiel.

And I am at fault just as much as anyone else. I went through a phase of not being able to get enough romance through the books I read.

I know we all LOVE Janet Oke and Jane Austin, Lori Wick, Beverly Lewis etc. It is amazing how blind we can be to the damage being done by the lives these authors paint that are far from realistic. But as much as we don't want to, we must take a serious look at how these books may be pulling our hearts away from God's best for our lives.

As much as we try to tell ourselves that romance novels are harmless, they can easily tempt us to become discontent with reality. And some may think that I am making too big a deal about literature, but this is serious. What we fill our minds with at a young age determines the women we will be in the future.

Here are some ways that really helped me. If this encourages you to work on putting romance away from you I would love to hear how you did it!

5 ways I overcame romance novels:
  • I got rid of all my romance books -don't give them a second thought!
  • I started reading books that really challenged me-i.e. apologetics, theology, etc.
  • I began reading God's Word first thing in the morning; scripture filled my thoughts the whole day.
  • I prayed and asked God to give me a desire for wholesome, pure thoughts
  • I put away any books of mere pleasure except every now and then; and only indulge in those at night after all my work and school and family time is finished for the day

6 reasons to quit romance novels:
  • They cause us to be discontent with the life we have
  • They cause us to have a false perception of who we want to marry
  • They waste our time
  • They cause us to look at young men with romantic ideas
  • They cause us to have premature thoughts about marriage and thus distract us
  • They do not all honor God even though they have a 'godly' message in them

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9

"Finally, Brethren, Whatever Things Are True, Whatever Is Noble, Whatever Things are Just, Whatever Is Pure, Whatever Things are Lovely, Whatever Things are Of Good Report, If there be any Virtue, If there be anything Praiseworthy-- Think On These Things." Philippians 4:8


Alyssa Faith said...

Thanks for this wholesome encouragement! I believe you are quite right about the damages that can be done by romance novels.They can unfortunately end up being the 'good girl's drug'.
The best love stories are the ones in real-life biographies of godly people, like Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, Hudson Taylor and Maria. "Stepping Heavenward", though ficitional, portrays the true struggles of married love, instead of an infatuated dream.
Have you ever thought about the Bible being a love story? It ends with a wedding between God and His dearly purchased bride. And it's not fantasy. I think that's pretty exciting!

Maddy said...

Wow! the only word I have is "Amen"

Kim M. said...

Good for you!!! God will bless that!

Kait said...

WONDERFUL post! And SO true!
Though I still read romance novels, I have a clear picture of what true love is by Biblical standards and know a cheap, unbiblical romance is when i see one. (And there are waaaay too many of them out there -- it's one of the reasons my mom and o think so many people divorce; woman get this unrealistic view of love from the books they read)
Since I am a book reviewer, I do read many love stories, but I spend time praying for the ability to filter through all the junk in books so I can help others choose what they read with a clear layout of everything in a book.

I commend you! Thanks from the great post!