The Heart of a Christian Writer
By Delia Latham
“Why do all of your stories reflect your faith?” It’s a common question for an inspirational author.
Ever wonder why Mary Higgins Clark continues to write such fascinating suspense? Ask Stephen King why he dreams up so many tales of horror. Question Danielle Steele as to her reason for book after book of unapologetic romantic drama. Why is J.K. Rowling so at home in the world of witches, warlocks and other strange and mystical creatures?
Ask any author in any genre why he or she writes what they write. Chances are you’ll get pretty much the same answer. They write what they think about, what they’re familiar with, what they’re passionate about.
They write from their hearts.
In a world where most forms of entertainment, including the print industry, have become increasingly more risqué, some writers still choose to pen novels for the less popular Christian market. Writers such as Janette Oke, Lori Wick, Robin Jones Gunn and so many others write words of hope and encouragement. They create characters who either trust God through every obstacle, or learn to do so before the last page.Their sweetly romantic tales keep sex behind closed doors and within the confines of holy matrimony.
Why? Because this is the essence of who those writers are.
A scripture in the book of Matthew reads, ” the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (New American Standard Bible) Taking that statement a step further, what is in our hearts will be reflected not only in the words we speak aloud, but what we think and, if we’re writers, what we write about.
I love sweet romance: hence my chosen genre of inspirational fiction. Call me old-fashioned, but I truly believe romance is more romantic when some things are left to the imagination, and when consummation of a couple’s feelings takes place behind closed doors. Sex should be something beyond special, and just between those two people. It’s not meant for public display.
Many writers of Christian fiction fail to realize their own ministry. Within the pages of their books, readers find encouragement and hope. They find a reason to keep believing that prayer changes things: a glimmer of light in a world that grows darker with every passing day. Without preaching, and steering clear of denominational tenets and didactics, seeds are planted. With a little tending on the part of the reader, those seeds can flourish and become a renewed trust in God, bringing about prayer-filled actions and reactions and a fresh, positive outlook on life.
Another scripture states that God’s word will not return to Him “void”, meaning empty or unfulfilled. Every person who reads the pages of an inspirational novel is absorbing words penned under inspiration given by the Creator of the Universe. Hidden within those pages is something that reader needs. Perhaps a reminder to pray about every situation in his life. Or maybe a mental nudge to become more familiar with the Word of God. Who knows what readers might take away with them from the words of an inspirational novel?
Am I willing to make the effort of writing an entire book on the chance that somewhere, some young woman might find a new determination to remain sexually untainted until her marriage vows are spoken? Yes. Is it worth all the hours of writing to point someone in the direction of Christ and Calvary? Without a moment’s hesitation, unequivocally, yes.
My heart says it’s worth it.
© 2008 Delia Latham
Born and raised in Weedpatch, California, Delia Latham moved to Oklahoma in ’08, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her country home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, but especially loves being a princess daughter to the King of Kings. She loves Dr. Pepper and hearing from her readers. Contact her through her website or e-mail delia AT delialatham DOT net.
Delia writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction, and is currently contracted through White Rose Publishing and Vinspire Publishing.