It’s the month of love and we’re focusing on just that—writing what you love. Last time I talked about following your own calling when it comes to what you write. Today I want to be a bit more specific and talk about romance and see how it applies to any other genre. (It is February!)
Some people think that romance is a shallow genre not to be taken seriously. Yet the huge readership and demand for romance fiction tell a different story. I really appreciated what Carolyne Aarsen shared one year at an InScribe Conference. For those who don’t know, Carolyne is a very successful romance novelist who has sold hundreds of thousands of copies of her books through Harlequin Love Inspired.
She said that some people didn’t take her seriously as a writer because she writes for Harlequin. However, she totally owns her identity as a romance novelist. “Don’t apologize for what you write,” she said. Each genre has a place and has value. Her book sales and rep speak for themselves.
Walk into any bookstore and you’ll find the largest fiction section is usually Romance. It’s a huge genre containing multiple subgenres with literally millions of titles to choose from in any online search. While the majority of strictly romance readers tend to be female, it’s not just for women. Other genres often contain a romantic subplot. What is it about falling in love that captures the human heart?
I think it is in our nature to seek out love. Our deepest desire is to be cherished by someone, to feel special. It’s why we hold onto ideas like “love at first sight” or the notion that there is one special person out there for each and every one of us. We fantasize about the kind of romantic love that would cross an ocean, walk on nails, or run through an airport just to catch his or her one true love.
God’s love is a lot like that. He loves us with the kind of deep, unconditional love that only He can give. He didn’t just run through an airport, He laid down His life so that we could come into the most intimate relationship with Him. His love for us is often related to that of a bridegroom with His bride. Now if that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is!
In Ephesians 3:17-19 Paul says, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (NIV).
As Christian writers, our mandate is to showcase the love of Christ through our words, whether we write romance of not. It’s the least we can do for the One who loves us the most. Writing what we love, no matter the genre, is just one way to honour God with our words.
Parts of this post were taken from the May 2020 issue of Fellowscript – President’s column