A Warning to Fainthearted Christians
I know people have certain expectations of what a Christian book should be about. Some have recently been upset because I write about characters that almost have sex or think about it, or maybe have questionable language. They want to know why there are characters like this in a book, which are referenced as Christian? So here's my answer ... I write about characters that are real ... around us every day. Did Jesus choose to spend his time with perfect Christians or did he dine with sinners? I think anyone, who has read the Bible, will know the answer to that question. Just because some of us are Christians, that doesn't mean that the good, bad, and ugly in our hearts turns white as snow overnight. For some of us, it's a process. It is a daily struggle to fight off sin and become what God wants us to be. And in my books, I write about the struggle in life, as the characters go through their own process. They do not have a perfect walk overnight. I don't think any of us do. Some have said I focus too much on sex. Well, if anyone really cares to take notice ... I'm the anti-50 shades of grey. I promote abstinence until marriage, but I can not expect characters, who are young and in the middle of a very sex conscious culture to not struggle with their fare share of temptation. So to the readers, who think I should not have written a struggle with sex in ... know that in the real world that is a daily struggle for some young couples. I'm not obsessed with sex ... I'm just realistic to what has become of our culture. For those who aren't faith based, having sex is expected. For that exact reason, I take a couple who struggles with this issue and highlight their choice to abstain. Just because they choose to abstain, doesn't mean they won't struggle with it though ... that would be unrealistic. So, if you want a Christian fiction book that only reads with perfect Christians ... than I'm not the author for you. If you want a book, that showcases real struggles that we all have, Christians or not, and how God takes us to where He wants us ... then you'll appreciate my books. We are all in different walks in our faith, but we're far from perfect. And God has called me to write my books about sinners who come to know God. We aren't born perfect ... we're born sinners ... and that means that some questionable wording or behavior might take place in my books - but it's done with taste. There is nothing vulgar or crass. I'll be the first to admit that I've fallen from grace more times than I'd like to admit, but God has always been there to pick me up and show me a different path. And, He's used my past to help others. As my pastor says, 'The minute we feel we're a perfect Christian, with no room for growth, we should be real scared. Because that's probably when we're furthest from where God wants us.' In short, life gets messy ... only God's love is perfect. God's grace is more than sufficient to cover our sins, but we have to turn away from them once we've reached the point, in our walk, that we're able to. This is the underlying message I portray in my books. So, I wanted to put this out there ... Do I use curse words in Facing Redemption? I believe the 'H' word is used twice, but I've not gone through and counted. A couple of Christian critics have been upset that I wrote in bad language, so if that offends you - I'm sorry. But my character is military and not a nice guy. He most likely would say morethan the H word if it were a real person. To keep him in character, I could have used more offensive language but chose to limit it to 'only' the H word during his younger years in the book. Do I have raunchy sex in my books? Absolutely not. However ... that being said we are sexual beings. God made us that way. I was raised that He designed it for marriage only. I can't expect everyone to advocate my beliefs, but I can write about characters who struggle with this issue, only to make the decision to wait. Am I too focused on sex to be a Christian author? No. I am a Christian, but I know the real struggle with the question 'to have sex or not'. Does this make me a bad person? No, it makes me real - as we all live in a flawed world. My characters face this same struggle, which a lot of Christian unmarried couples do. But if you get through the thick of it - by reading on - you find out they choose to abstain for the right reasons ... which IS NOT a bad message. I think more people should focus on that message. That being said ... go in with your eyes wide open. I love God with all my heart, and He has called me to write about real struggles in today's world. And I'm not ashamed of any of my characters decisions, as they developed through the book. I just wanted to respond to some of the women who didn't understand why a Christian book would hold any of the character flaws that it did.