Romantic Fiction and Christians- The Hidden Enemy
(Intro: Most of what we tend to encounter in film, radio, books, magazines under the term “Romance – Love” are merely seductive evil spirits, and the lust of the decaying flesh.)
Romantic fiction: the female equivalent of porn?
Just as it is morally wrong for a man to develop an appetite for women other than his wife by exposing himself to porn, so it is wrong for a wife to expose herself to romantic fiction, because it could stimulate dissatisfaction with her husband.
There are amazing similarities between women viewing or reading romantic fiction (soap operas, movies and romance novels, etc) and men viewing soft porn.
Few of those engaged in either activity see any harm in it. They think they can have a little fantasy and a little pleasure without it weakening their real life relationships. It’s so easy to excuse enjoying romantic fiction, just as it’s easy for men to excuse appreciating female flesh.
Women long for romance like men long for erotica (the visual side of sex). They would like it as a prelude to sexual relations just like men would like an erotic display as a prelude to the physical side of sex. And men typically feel uncomfortable about romance, like many women feel uncomfortable about such things giving their partner a private strip show.
Both erotica and romantic fiction create images of, and create a longing for, things that no normal partner could ever match, with the result that both sexes end up wishing their partners were more like those portrayed on the screen. With porn, lighting, making up, poses, photo touch-ups (even plastic surgery) and so on mean that even beautiful women cannot compete. In addition, men become addicted to variety. Romantic novels, films etc. are equally artificial and impossible for any normal man to get anywhere near equaling. Novelists and script writers devote enormous effort to getting the man saying the perfect thing in just the right romantic setting. They are experts in knowing what appeals to women, like those involved in the porn industry are experts in knowing what appeals to men. In real life situations not even the writers themselves could equal the charm of their fictional characters. Normal conversation, for instance, would not allow them enough time to get their lines right.
In real life, the initial euphoria of romance wears off. The really heady stuff is more likely with a new partner. Similarly, men get less and less excited about seeing their wives nude.
If you sense something wrong with men going to strip joints but nothing wrong with romantic fiction, it might do well to remember how Jesus warned against our tendency to have 20/20 vision when it comes to seeing the faults of others, but being decidedly short-sighted about our own weaknesses. Each of us must decide before God where to draw the line, and we will come to different conclusions, but it is before God that we will one day stand.
Comments by women
From the co-author of a Christian book for woman:
I agree with your questioning of romance books. I quit reading all Christian romances when I noticed my discontent with my husband was increasing. He was nothing like the men in romance novels, and the harder I tried to make him ‘perfect’ the more miserable we both became.
Another woman writes:
Women get caught up in story fantasy where men get caught in visual fantasy. Women become dissatisfied with their lives because their husbands don’t measure up to the hero, and the romance isn’t there as it is in the story.
If women would put in more effort into their real life relationships instead of living through fantasy, there would be less family difficulties. Women are so easily led by their emotions, and feelings. They are very ‘I’ centered also. Through these fantasies they focus on how everyone should be treating them but never see how they are treating others.
Yet another woman writes:
I agree with you about romantic fiction. I’d long felt uneasy about it (and especially about so-called Christian romantic fiction), but so many women I know live off it that I wondered if it was just a matter of taste (or like one friend said to me, “Not everyone can read that high-brow stuff you read”). I think you hit the nail on the head. What you say about women becoming dissatsified with their husbands as a result of reading (or watching, in the case of TV or films) romantic fiction is something I’ve witnessed several times among my friends and acquaintances. Mind you, this has also happened to some of them as a result of reading books about Christian marriage (they must have skipped the chapters about Christian wives).
It is primarily women who like romance, giving gifts, remembering birthdays, verbalizing emotions, and so on. The more these longings are fanned by romantic fiction, the more women end up virtually craving women in men’s bodies. This has disturbing implications for lesbianism. Perhaps it is also another reason why single women who don’t limit themselves to Christian men find that the men they are most attracted to are often gay. Homosexuals tend to display more typically feminine traits.
There are things women would like their partner to do for them because it makes women feel feminine. What women need to realize, however, is that often these very things makes their partner’s feel effeminate. Except in romantic fiction, what lights your fire, probably puts his fire out. Like the performance women put on in sex shows, the men in romantic fiction seem to enjoy these things, but it’s all part of the act.
Romantic Fiction and Christians
Pages for Marrieds
Pages for Singles
Second Thoughts about Soft Porn
Do now Find more answers in the Bible