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The Flowing Pen

What Christian Fiction Has Taught Me

Hello to all my friends and fans!

In my last blog post, What Fiction Has Taught Me, I discussed how I've had the value my reading preferences called into question, which prompted me to share what I've learned from the genres I read the most of. I guess anything's a prompt when you're an author! The first genre I'm reviewing is Christian Fiction.

As a Christian girl, growing up in a Christian home, there was never an end to the Christian literature available to me. So naturally, that's what I read quite a bit of. I read a lot of Beverly Lewis, bits of Karen Kingsbury, an intriguing series taking place during the time of Jesus that I just can't remember the name of, and several different stories that fit in more than one genre (Historical Christian, Christian Romance, Historical Christian Romance, etc.).

I remember reading one particularly intriguing series, that I can't remember the name of, that actually dealt with real issues Christians have. It was a YA series, that followed a series of friends. One girl got pregnant, there was addiction, honestly, it's shocking to me, because so much of the time Christian fiction and movies revolve around the idea that if you're just a Christian, and if you just do what God wants, everything will turn out great, even here on earth...which is just not true.

One of the first places I found solace and understanding was in a book called Divine, written by Karen Kingsbury. It follows a girl named Mary, who has been molested and abused since she was a small child. It follows her abuse, her rescue, her slipping back into abuse, and finally, her deliverance.

Even as a young teen, when I first discovered Karen Kingsbury, I was able to resonate with that book. It's my favorite of Karen Kingsbury's. It's one that I like to get, read, and cry over. I have to be careful not to check it out when I'm in a bad place mentally, because otherwise the events are too painful for me to live along with her. I do need to read it again...and I recently acquired my own copy at the book store!

Of course, Divine is not the only Christian fiction that I enjoy. Honestly, I love almost anything by Karen Kingsbury. She has quite a way of making the people in her books seem real. I also enjoyed Beverly Lewis' Summerhill Secrets series growing up.

I don't dislike Christian fiction. But I do dislike poorly portrayed Christianity in Christian fiction.

I do dislike the idea that all you have to do is become a Christian, or give up xyz, and everything will be perfect. I dislike the idea that poor mental health is because of a lack of trust in God. Don't tell me that I, at 14 years old, sobbing my heart out, begging God to take away my depression, was because I wasn't close enough to God. That idea, so prevalent in Christian fiction and mindsets, is very damaging. I could type about this for hours, but I won't, not this time anyway.

Is Christian fiction my favorite genre? No. But do I enjoy it? Yes, when it's done right!

Until next time,

-Katie H.

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