By Steve Biddison
Many nights as I sat at my computer writing on my recently released Christian Romance novel, Desires of the Heart, I found myself reminded of the greatest romance of all – God’s love for us. That love began to find itself intertwined in the lives of the two main characters as their romance developed, causing me to once again see the power of God’s sometimes irresistible love for us.
Throughout this story, Eric and Lacey at separate times both began to feel God drawing them to His love and forgiveness. Yes, it is primarily a story of two people falling in love with each other in what one reader described as a “very sweet romance.” But beyond their fictional story, we see the reality of how God draws hearts and lives into His kingdom.
In Desires of the Heart, we meet Lacey, a girl that many Christians can relate to. She had grown up in a Christian home, being the near perfect child who wanted to grow up living for God. However, in her teenage years and on into college, her heart slowly drifted away from God to the point that her sin and guilt pulled her completely away from her beliefs and practices she had grown up with. We also meet Eric, another so many can relate to, who though mostly living a good life, never knew God, and is running from a painful past. In two separate circumstances, God begins to show His love and offer of forgiveness to each of them. One of them needs to find God’s love for the first time and the other needs to both recognize God’s forgiveness as well as forgive herself in route to returning to the God of her childhood.
Before I even started writing a romance novel, I joked with a best-selling romance novelist about the genre. It seemed that all romances had the same story line. Boy meets girl and they fall in love. One or both of them do something that hurts the other one (or some tragedy drives them apart). After struggling being apart, they both come to the conclusion that they can’t live without the other one. End of story. I asked if people got tired of reading that kind of forumla. Of course, the answer is never. Most people love to read about love battling back to a happy ending.
And then I began to realize that this same formula that makes romance novels so successful is the same formula God has used for centuries. The stories we romance novelists write is simply a pale reflection of God’s great romance.
God’s Romance is evident in what is perhaps the most famous Bible verse of all time – John 3:16
For God loved the world. This is the greatest love story of all time. God Almighty not only loves the world as a whole, He loves me. It is the story of a romance between God and me.
That He gave His Son. In every romance, we see some form of sacrifice. One or both characters usually give up something to be with the one they love. God’s great romance for us is no different. He sacrificed His Son, the thing dearest too Him, so that we could be with Him.
That whoever believes in Him will not perish. Just like in any romance story, we respond to that demonstration of love. In the modern romance stories we read, we almost always see the romance dying before something or someone brings them back together again. It’s the same in God’s romance story. We are on our way to eternal death until we respond to God’s love, thus rekindling the romance that He desired from the beginning of time.
But will have eternal life. This is the happy ending to God’s romance with us. Just as in romance novels, in the end we see the guy and the girl together in what appears to be the beginnings of eternal bliss, God’s romance with us promises a way to eternal joy.
It is with that picture in my mind that I began writing Desires of the Heart. In so many ways, it fits into that classic romance formula. However, as you read this book, God’s love working in the background demonstrates another angle of the classic boy meets girl tale. That’s why this book can truly be called a Christian Romance.