by Charlotte Snead
I’ve read tons of romance novels. Many I wouldn’t recommend to Christian women, yet I write romance books without shame. As the mentor mom for Mothers of Preschoolers, I know young women need edifying romantic stories. Romance is tough for them. Toddlers are pulling on them all day, often waking them at night. They are tired, and their husbands are working hard to provide for their families. Men in general are not the most romantic creatures, and yet they need physical reassurance from their wives. My blog says “Sacred Love is God’s Idea.” The goal of my novels is to encourage women to keep romance flowing in their marriages by demonstrating it in the lives of my characters. Today is our anniversary. I’ve been married 52 years, and I know!
Currently, I’m pitching a flash fiction story, “Not Tonight,” an autobiographical account about a husband who considers his desire for his wife, but knows it won’t be tonight. (Every stage of life has its different challenges to express our passion. After recovering from back surgery, I am challenged in my physical activity at times.) My publisher, Ramona Tucker at Oak Tara, says I am too edgy for the Christian market-she puts a disclaimer on my books!-but too inspirational for the secular market. Hey, who created this sacred passion? We must not be ashamed of God’s plan for our marriages.
When I encouraged a young wife to read The Song of Solomon prior to our meeting for marital counseling, she said it was “an R-rated book!” God celebrates Christian union, and the marriage bed is undefiled (Hebrews13:4). Although my books are fiction, most of the conversations come from my experiences with young women as a MOPS mentor and working with a pregnancy care ministry. Thus, the stories are heartfelt and the needs are real! In one of my books, the counselor and therapist who work with the girls in a Christian maternity home are trying to prepare a young mother, a “graduate” of the home, for her marriage. She had been sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend from age 13 until she conceived at 17. The social worker and psychologist note that they are teaching young women the things they should have learned at home. In the pregnancy ministry, I see the failure of the Church to communicate the joys of marriage and the benefits of waiting for the sacred union God provides.
As an author, I want to affirm the passion God created, yet none of my characters enter into that joy until after they are married I’m a voracious reader, most authors are, and I find reading stories from real experience is the most gratifying. After all, we all share the human experience. I pray my characters demonstrate God’s plan for our marriages. May my readers find 52 years of marriage, while every moment may not have been perfect, certainly joyous and rewarding!
Charlotte Snead, published by Oak Tara, has three romance novels in print: His Brother’s Wife, Invisible Wounds, and Recovered and Free. Married to Dr. Joseph Snead, they have five adult children and one foster daughter. They have seven grandsons and live on twenty acres in rural West Virginia.