Archive for September, 2007

The Dark Side of Romance Novels

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

I encountered this short article by Steve Watters in the June 2007 edition of the Focus on the Family magazine. A man wrote to Focus with a concern over his wife’s fascination with romance novels. Like most women, his wife saw no harm in reading these books.

But consider Steve’s response to the man’s question:

“Romance novels for women are often ‘just stories’ in the same way that men might say adult magazines are ‘just magazines.’ Both romance novels and adult magazines manipulate men’s and women’s God-given desires with worldly and unhealthy fantasies.

While pornography presents images of women with perfect bodies who are always ready for sex, romance novels present men who have been emotionally re-engineered to spend all their time fulfilling a woman’s romantic fantasies. Both pornography viewers and romance novel readers end up disappointed by spouses who live in the real world.

As imperfect people living in an imperfect world, we already face enough challenges nurturing marital intimacy. Seeking to meet our emotional and physical needs with fantasies makes it that much harder to love our spouses and find contentment.”

While some may think Steve’s comparison of romance novels to pornography is extreme, he nevertheless reveals the danger that romance novels can be. Women can be prone to fantasize about meeting and marrying the perfect man, and feeding these fantasies with fictional love stories further distorts reality.

The truth is, almost all men are imperfect. Husbands will make mistakes and fall short of loving, serving, sacrificing, and leading in a perfect way. As wives, we are called to love and respect our husbands regardless of their faults and shortcomings, and to be content.

However, sisters, if this news discourages you, take heart: there is one perfect man I know. He loved His bride sacrificially, with a most perfect love. His Book is one you have got to read. 🙂