I am a Romantic at Heart, and love happy endings, yet life doesn't always provide them. Romance novels have soared to new sales heights the past three to four years and Christian Publishing is no different. Many times it is the Romance novel carrying the Publishing houses, helping them make payroll.
I have a hypothesis as to why this phenomenon (according to Webster: a significant fact or event) is taking place. And it might surprise a few of you more studious verse quoting characters that have never read a romance novel and just might not think too highly of their value.
God is Love and He initiated His love to us in providing for us a Saviour. He sent his Own Son down to us by way of a Virgin, to be born in a manger, but brought up in a family. Jesus Christ dwelt among men, ate with them, drank with them. He celebrated at weddings and wept at funerals with those he called His friends. And then He gave the ultimate gift of Himself for us, laid down His life, so that through His death, we might have Life everlasting. Such Love. There is no equal to it.
We were designed in the image of God. He placed in us a huge capacity for love. Agape love is one we seek for, pray for and yield ourselves to the spirit to gain. Agape love demonstrates our friendship with Jesus (John 15:14), and expresses our Christian love toward God (1 John 5:1-3).
Brotherly love, “phileo”, grows amongst us as we fellowship together 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13:10)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” —1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)In a marriage relationship, the dominant fire of eros gradually gives ground to the mature phileo of affection. Phileo becomes the cement that bonds and holds families together over the long haul.
When the world's economy goes topsy turvy, and the stress of daily life pressures us, we turn to a light-hearted read as an escape. With a Christian romance novel, we can read of people much like us, grappling with daily life situations and resolving their problems in a loving exemplary way. I have read of those who walked away from God for a season, turning back to him after reading a light 'inspirational' romance. There have been others that have sought out a friend or a church and came to Christ because of the 'provoking' of God conscientiousness awakening from their reading.
During this season, may we extend our love to others as Christ did to us. We were unlovely but He saw worth in us, made the ultimate sacrifice, and desires to 'fellowship' with us. Share a Christian Romance novel with someone you love that is searching. It just might reveal to them that God loves them and light their path to salvation.
Merry Christmas. May you find all you seek in the person of Jesus Christ. God's son, through whom He initiated His Great Love toward us.