Feelings of Love

Heart racing. Eyes drinking the beauty of the One. An intake of breath. Unmitigated joy spurred by the nearness of the One.

We need romantic emotions when considering commitment and marriage. Passionate feelings are part of God’s plan.

Unfortunately, like all things good, these emotions can be misused and abused, so one selfish person can take advantage of another. Misuse is why some pastors and other Christians discourage readers from the genre. And if reading romance novels causes you to feel unhappy with your relationship, then they may not be right for you.

But most readers find romance novels uplifting, entertaining, and helpful when authors approach the relationship from a Christian worldview. Why? Because Christian romance delves beyond and beneath fluttering emotions to profound connection, a bond that will sustain a couple through decades.

The need for a real bond is one reason why whirlwind courtships aren’t a Christian romance staple. Nor do Christian authors spill a lot of ink focusing on the couple’s physical attributes. Yes, you are reading about an attractive couple falling in love; and you’ll experience their loving emotions along with them. But you are also witnessing them from an abiding commitment tapping so far into the heart that breaking it is impossible. By the end of a Christian romance novel, the reader knows the couple is on solid ground to pursue the promise of a lifetime.

If you’re writing romance novels, be sure to tap into that deep well of emotion. Make sure your readers know your couple is destined for Happily Ever After.

Happy Valentines’ Day!

Your turn:

What is the best romance novel you’ve ever read? Why?

Who is your favorite romance novelist? Why?

If you write romance, what tips can you offer?

26 Responses to Feelings of Love

  1. Avatar
    John de Sousa February 14, 2019 at 5:28 am #

    Yes, and amen! Personally I enjoy writing about the pursuit of romance between a husband and wife. Romance is a beautiful gift from God, and should not end at the altar. I’m hoping to inspire couples to overcome the obstacles to romance in their marriage, and reach for that prize in spite of the challenges.

  2. Avatar
    Sharon Connell February 14, 2019 at 7:03 am #

    The best romance novel I ever read was Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. The emotions run the gamut. And the outcome of the story is exactly what I want.

    My favorite modern romance writer would have to be Jackie Zack. She has a way of making her characters come to life, and the stories always have a satisfying end.

    When writing romance, or anything else, immerse yourself into your character. Think and feel the emotions you would have in the character’s place. It works for actors, why not for writers?

  3. Avatar
    Sherri Stewart February 14, 2019 at 7:12 am #

    As a writer of Christian romantic suspense, I struggle to keep my characters from being predictable. To accomplish that, I take a lesson from Steven James, who writes thrillers with little or no romance. He suggests we keep the reader a bit off balance by not giving him the next predictable reaction to the situation, then follow with a reasonable one. Then repeat. It works if I compare relationships to onions, pulling off layer after layer as the story continues. Faith is an important layer that is missing from secular romances.

  4. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser February 14, 2019 at 7:27 am #

    In some sweet place ere hell came down
    to mutilate and make of life
    a scourging and a thorny crown,
    I courted me a wife.
    We met upon the Internet
    and love grew from afar
    so that when we finally met
    I knew I’d found my Star.
    Romance was never in my blood
    and ‘fluttery’? Not really,
    but for Barb there came a flood
    of heart-tide…oh so freely!
    Darling, in these days of wracking pain
    your love sustains; I’d do it all again.

    If I may, I’d like to ask for your prayers this morning. It’s bad, and I have no idea how to walk through this day.

    Were it not for love, I’d want to go Home.

    • Avatar
      Jennifer Mugrage February 14, 2019 at 8:15 am #

      Praying!

    • Avatar
      Judi February 14, 2019 at 8:59 am #

      Praying, Andrew!

    • Avatar
      Linda Riggs Mayfield February 14, 2019 at 9:33 am #

      I’m on your prayer team, too, Andrew. As I searched through Philippians to find an encouraging word to send you, I realized that reading the whole four short chapters Paul wrote from imprisonment in Rome might be of great encouragement and comfort to you today. Love wins– today and every day.

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 14, 2019 at 11:20 am #

      Awww, I am praying, Andrew! So glad your wife offers such consolation.

  5. Avatar
    Lynne B Tagawa February 14, 2019 at 8:29 am #

    Where the River Ends by Charles Martin. An incredible love story but not a “typical” romance. It leaves you wanting to love your own spouse more truly.

  6. Avatar
    Kay DiBianca February 14, 2019 at 8:29 am #

    Like Sharon, I vote for Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen covered everything from comedy to romance to family relationships. I even included a scene in my own novel that gives a nod to Ms. Austen.

    My second vote would be for “Christy” by Catherine Marshall. Although it isn’t explicitly a romance novel, the love story that plays out beneath the surface is deeply moving.

    Andrew, I’m praying for you today.

  7. Avatar
    Edward Lane February 14, 2019 at 8:41 am #

    My favorite romance novels are Lynette Eason’s Code of Valor, Lena Nelson Dooley’s Maggie’s Journey and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I think reading Emily Rodmell’s advice is a good way to learn in this genre what editors want.

  8. Avatar
    Loretta Eidson February 14, 2019 at 9:36 am #

    I enjoy a great romance/suspense story, but there are so many out there that I don’t have a favorite. However, if a happily ever after ending doesn’t happen, I search for a sequel or I end up disappointed. I’d never want readers to feel let down when they finish reading a story.

  9. Avatar
    Melissa Henderson February 14, 2019 at 12:52 pm #

    I read my first romance novel as a teenager. “Beauty for Ashes” by Grace Livingston Hill. I enjoy clean romances and am writing several stories right now. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray February 14, 2019 at 1:31 pm #

      Hard to beat Grace Livingston Hill!

      • Avatar
        Linda Riggs Mayfield February 14, 2019 at 3:00 pm #

        Tamela,
        I’ve loved many things about Grace Livingston Hill’s books ever since I found my mother’s copies years ago; but I think Eugenia Price inspired me to be careful to make every historical, geographic, and social detail as accurate as possible in my historical novels. The St. Simons Trilogy set the bar high! Amazon says Price wrote “historical romantic antebellum novels.” In genre descriptors, is “romantic” the same as “romance”? Thanks!

        • Avatar
          Tamela Hancock Murray February 15, 2019 at 6:00 am #

          Linda, that’s a good question! Romance as a genre has some pretty hard and fast rules as to story structure. However, many stories in all genres can and do contain an element of romance.

  10. Avatar
    Robin Mason February 14, 2019 at 8:51 pm #

    I gotta add to the Pride and Prejudice tally; current favorite romance author (one of) is Pepper Basham, although the story I just finished is historical – My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge.
    and ps – I’m saving this post to refer to all.the.nuggets for writing romance – ’cause I’m giving it a go!

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