When I first tell someone that I am a writer, the reply is invariable. "What do you write?" My answer, Contemporary Romance, gets a variety of responses, but perhaps most comon is "Why Romance?" Today, I figured I'd try to get to the bottom of that tricky question.
First and most obviously, I like it. I am a girl after all. Not that being a girl means you must like romance. (I threw this in here just for you, Cindy :)) But I'm the girly-girl type of girl. Okay, I admit it. I hate getting dirt under my fingernails. Monster truck rallies do not excite me. My hair changes color on a quarterly basis. I would love the excuse to shop for an evening gown.
That being said, I'm deffinately not totally helpless. I hang my own pictures. I can put together a shelf without a man's help. I'm not afraid to make the 11 hour drive back "home" to Minnesota in the driver's seat. And I will kill a bug (if there is no one to hear me scream).
Part of being a girly-girl is a lingering love for fairy tales. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel (or Tangled-really cute!) I love the idea of being taken care of and being vitally important to someone else. I love the idea of being chosen. I love creating characters that fit together and ballance eachother out. I love the unique relationship development of a romance.
Romance appeals to me for another, perhaps more important reason. The romantic relationship has the potantial to display attributes of God's character that do not present themselves in other human relationships. Let's look at the development of a romantic realtionship and observe the similarities.
Attraction: A good hero is attractive. He may or may not be handsome, but he always posses qualities that make us want to get to know him and draw closer to him.
Wooing: The hero may give the heroine gifts, listen to her, affirm her with his words, spend time with her, do things for her, and innocently touch her, etc. He is willing to pursue her because, in his eyes, she is worth the effort.
Love: We want to see our hero and heroine fall in love. Love always requires vulnerablity and trust. The characters can get hurt by offering these valuable gifts to the wrong person. Once they have found the right person to bestow their vulnerability and trust upon, they seek an unconditional love. Often a heroine will discover that she is a better person because of the hero.
Battle: Every good story has to have confilct. After the hero and heroine are in love, there has to be a test. We hope that the hero is willing to fight for the heroine. A battle often means casualites and sacrifice. What is the hero willing to give up to win the heroine? What is she willing to give up the make room in her life/heart for him? When the battle is won, the relationship has endured. It will be stronger for the challenge.
Committment: It's time for permenance and promises. They are eacother's chosen one. This is often a time of perperation for the wedding. The bride readies herself for the wedding. She works to make herself beautiful for her groom. (the diets, the hot oil treatments, the facials, the waxing ...) She picks out a white dress. She sends out invitations and tells the world about her love for her groom. Meanwhile the groom is working to extablish a home and provisions for his bride. He wants to take care of her.
Intamacy: When the relationship has been proven and a committment has been made, the couple will have oppertunities to take their relationship deeper. I'm talking about emotional intamacy, not physical. The couple will reveal their greatest hopes and dreams. They will seek support for their challenges and pains. They may get to know eachother's friends. An adjustment takes place in their lives (how they spend their time, who they interact with, what they choose to do with their money, how they relate to thers, etc.). These changes reflect the effect of the relationship.
Hopefully you can see some of the similiarities between a romance and the relationship God seeks with us. His attributes are attractive.We are designed to want him. He woos us through the love letter of His Word and his gifts and blessings to us. He wants to spend time with us. He will listen to us and answer our prayers. He loves us and desires our love in return. God will fight for us. He made the ultimate sacrifice to provide a way for us to be together. Are we willing to sacrifice the distractions in our lives to make Him our priority? When we committ to God we are blessed with his love far beyond "till death do us part", On the contrary, death will not "do us part". As His bride we should be keeping our hearts pure, telling others, and making ourselves beautiful to Him by following the example of Christ. We are his chosen ones. He didn't have to give us free will. He did it because He wants to be our chosen one as well. He wants to take care of us. We can never know God enough. Even as we live out our committment, we can continue to take the next step of intamacy with God. The deeper in love we are, the more our lives will reflect our relationship with Him.
Why romance? Because God is my hero and I want to fall in love with Him over and over. I only hope that I will become a clearer reflection of Him through each new story.