Wednesday, October 2, 2013

And they did not marry...

The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets - Frederic Leighton

No, this blog post is not a vent about personal, deep, romantic heartbreak. Your suspicions were apt though. Writers have an annoying tendency to weave their personal lives, especially their love lives, into their writing (Dante anyone?). No, this is more about exploring the Christian fiction's addiction to the 'married happily ever after', as if that was the be all and end all.

 We should have some fiction where we have a happily ever after married couple.  I think it's a great idea, for three reasons: firstly, because it's relevant to the millions of married christian couples out there, secondly, because the mysterious union that symbolizes Christ and the Church can be appreciated by anyone, and thirdly, because western idea of a 'happy ending' is a highly christian idea. But we must be careful that we don't go too far.

Here's a radical statement--the guy doesn't have to get the girl. Here's another--the girl doesn't have to get the guy. I can feel all you romantics cringing right now, but please just hear me out. Real life contains a lot of different stories, and not all of them include romantic happiness. Many Christians in our sex obsessed age react by trying to make marriage sound more appealing. There's nothing wrong with this, per se. Marriage is quite a lot better then mindless sex, however, in some Christian fiction, we've fallen into the trap of advertising.

We've gone from saying that marriage is good, to holding it up as a reward for being a good Christian. It isn't. In writing, we have to walk the careful line between affirming its goodness and advertising it. Making it a guaranteed gift only cheapens it.  Instead, we should realize that marriage is what it is: a calling from God. Just as some people's story ends with blissful marriage and happily ever after, other people have a different calling--one that is just as good in its own way--and we, as Christians, should write stories in which some get married happily ever after, and others don't.

1 comment:

  1. Not all stories have to end in matrimony and I'm okay with that. Toy Story was the first Disney I'd seen in years without a love story, and it was so refreshing.

    At the same time, I just finished reading an epic fairy tale spanning two books about a prince and a princess, and he betrays her then has to save her and its all very romantic--then they go their seperate ways at the end. For a romantic fairy tale, it was a crummy ending. Especially after two books building up their love story. If they're not going to get together, don't spend two books promising they do!