Tuesday, June 7, 2016

3 Reasons Why I Can't Stand Romance Novels




     "What?! But they're so interesting! I LOVE romance novels!" That, or similar, is usually the response when I express my distaste for this particular book genre. Apparently, I'm in the minority on this opinion. Romance novels, or books with a strong romantic slant, rank as some of the best-sellers nation-wide. So why do I refuse to read books which thousands hail as masterpieces? Before I give you my top three reasons, it must be noted that I haven't read all romance novels. There may be a few novels which are clean and pure. My observations are based on the genre in general.




1. They offer a twisted view of love.

     Love is defined by many novels as a strong feeling of attraction usually based on the other individual's outward characteristics. While not explicitly stated, statements such as, "He had never met anyone as beautiful as her" or "His intense blue eyes immediately caught her attention" reveal the author's misconception of love. Realistically, a love based on outward appearances isn't true love at all. It is infatuation: a passionate, but temporary, affection. It can be compared to a child with a new toy. At first, he is delighted with it, proclaiming it to be his favorite and even proving so by taking the toy everywhere and having fits when it becomes lost. But before long, the young child is presented with a new toy, one, which in his eyes, is so much better that the old, formerly beloved toy, is quickly forgotten and the new one embraced. Despite the known results of infatuation, consider how many novels present it: two individuals meet, fall madly in love, get married (or skip that step altogether), jump into bed, and live happily ever after. What these books don't show is the consequence of loving someone based merely on their appearance. That consequence is unfortunately played out all too often in real life: one of the two partners begins seeing someone else, a scandal erupts, and a stinging divorce follows, often leaving in its wake wounded and distraught children. Interesting how many novels leave that part out (it's not conducive to book sales I suppose). Yet that is the ultimate result of a fickle, appearance-based "love."


2. They're comically unrealistic.

     When was the last time you tripped on your shoelaces, dropped your books, and looked up to find a handsome young man (who conveniently was about your age) right there to help you. Yeah, never happened to me either. But romance novels make this seem commonplace. Real-life love stories rarely, if ever, play out the way novels present them. Furthermore, feeding your mind upon such fantastical tales will give you an unrealistic perception of what "falling in love" looks like. This leads to my next (and final) point.


3. They encourage lustful fantasizing.

     Books can have a powerful influence on our minds. The things we read will be what we think about, meditate on, and mull over for ages to come. In Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us instruction on where to focus our minds, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Most romance novels run contrary to that verse. Instead of directing our minds toward that which is holy, they lead the reader to fantasize over meeting "the right one," often conjuring up fantastic situations, thus exchanging reality for a mirage. Dear reader, don't begin the slide down this slippery slope. Guard your mind. Get rid of books and other media that will cause you to sin with your thoughts. Get ahold of some good books and fill your mind with them. I'll leave you with what Paul said in Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." 


     
   

14 comments:

  1. Amen! There is so much garbage out there that the Lord doesn't want us to be filling our minds with! ~Kaitlyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

      Delete
  2. Thanks, Gloria, for the great post! I couldn't have agreed more!!! Would you mind if I gave a link to this post on my next blog post? - Priscilla J. Krahn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome. Sure, go right ahead!

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

      Delete
  4. I agree with you - even if they're fun and interesting to read, it's definitely not the best to fill your mind with. And that's why I think 2 and 3 are related. When you run into someone who's (swoons... oh wait, wrong word) attractive, your age, and the opposite gender, if you're not careful that can easily lead to impure or maybe just silly thoughts. "We should have blue for our wedding colors! I wonder if they're thinking about me?! I hope s/he likes soup for dinner." Good grief, you probably will never see Potential Prince Charming in the book store again, and even so, there's a 99.9% you'll never get married. Be realistic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Precisely! I strongly believe that romance novels give an unrealistic perspective on how you'll meet "Prince Charming." A chance encounter at a random location is highly unlikely to result in a happily ever after marriage.

      Delete
  5. Good for you. I don't waste my time on them either. I don't have enough time as it is to read all the books I want to read that actually would make me smarter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you agree! Too many people don't even think about being selective when it comes to books and happily read everything and anything.

      Delete
  6. THIS POST. YES. YES. YES. AMEN.
    Okay so I know that I'm only finding this super late, but THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS GEM OF TRUTH, GIRL.
    This is something that I'm very passionate about, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that these books and movies in this genre really pulled me down in my spiritual walk a few years back, and it was after overcoming that that I became a born again Christian. SO I FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.
    That verse in Philippians that you quoted is honestly one of my life mottos. It is really really hard to follow that verse, but I've found that when I do, I feel closer to God in my spiritual life. And I agree with you, romance books and movies are SO FAKE, UNREALISTIC, and to be honest, a lot (I'm not saying ALL I know there are some exceptions) not really what a Christian needs. AT ALL.

    First off, I can personally say from experience that like you said, after leaving those books and movies etc., the thoughts keep coming back, and you need the grace of God to overcome them. IT is TOUGH. And definitely not easy, but it is well worth it. And I think the verse "Without me you can do nothing" comes really alive then. God is the only way to have victory over darkness.

    And finally, what so many romance books/movies portray as "love", IS. NOT. LOVE. I don't think many people understand what true love is. Love is NOT lust, contrary to popular belief. It is a sacrifice. TRUE LOVE is a perfect, sinless, pure Man dying for a sin-filled humanity on two pieces of wood, and loving even the ones who killed Him so much. True love is what the Father does every day, forgiving and taking away our iniquities, and helping the believer to rise in victory and walk with Him. And that is what Satan hates. Therefore he created a delusion of love and has for the most part succeeded in fooling the world with. AND THAT IS HORRIBLE. And it is a battle ever day to walk in that sweet victory with God, but it so so worth it.

    OKAY SO THIS IS REALLY LONG BUT THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS POST GLORIA <33

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement! It's so good to know that I'm not the only one who feels strongly on this issue.

      Delete
  7. You have some good thoughts here. Romance has become such a cliche, and I find that many otherwise brilliant stories feel obligated to add it even when it's irrelevant.

    I think that thinking about "finding the one" is pure, lovely, admirable, etc. and I don't think most older romance classics are lustful. But it is wearisome how often modern romance includes at least one scene to be skipped--even when it's not intended to be arousing, because it's the norm.

    Some good Christian romance books that give God the glory for His providence are "A Lost Pearle" from Lamplighter Publishing and the Wean's edition of "To Have and to Hold." "The Hidden Hand" is another Lamplighter book that incorporates romance.

    Hey, you should check out my review of "Romeo & Juliet" here: http://greatawakeningmedia.weebly.com/fun-fridays/a-review-of-romeo-juliet. I think you'll like it, whether you've read the POS or not.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for your comment Nathan!

    Perhaps I didn't make this clear enough but I'd agree that thinking about "finding the right one" isn't necessarily impure or wrong; so long as it doesn't consume one's every waking moment. We should set our hearts to finding God as He is THE right one. I'd also agree that, while not always the case, older classics tend to be purer when it comes to romance.

    Thanks for those titles! I'll have to look into them. Ironically, I'm currently reading a romance series. So far I've found it to be pure.

    I will check it out! I started to listen to some of it and found it highly entertaining!

    ReplyDelete