Why do you include explicit sex scenes in your writing?
Sex is a fact of life and it affects every human being. Christians are no exception. Belief in God as the highest authority doesn't call us to be the prudes of society. After all, God created sex and handed it to us because only He truly understands the awesome gift it is and the incredible power it holds over us. Sex plays a part in shaping who we are. Why must women choose from sexual parameters which are dictated by our culture, as a whole, or by men in particular? God gave women girly body parts for a reason. He also gave women and men a construct through which to enjoy them. God did not mandate sex for women as sinful while giving the boys permission to 'sow their oats'! Problems arise when sex is activated outside God's parameters. If sex is used as God intends, within a loving, monogamous, heterosexual relationship, we experience the closeness and unique bond that God wants for us. If we violate God's parameters, sex lessens us, and overtime, brings damage with horrible consequences for either ourselves or ourselves and a helpless victim of our choosing. I use sex in my writing because it's a normal, healthy, God ordained part of marriage. Granted, the sex scenes in my writing are explicit, but that attention to detail serves to intensify the emotional connection between the characters and those who read this type of book. If people are going to read about sex anyway, and billions of people do, they might as well read about great sex that occurs within the boundaries set by God. And, no, contrary to what you might think, great sex and God's boundaries are not mutually exclusive. If Christians fail to teach society about sex as God intends, then who's going to? Yeah, I know God's church condemns the sexual things scripture condemns. Things such as homosexuality, infidelity, promiscuity, certainly pedophilia, and, collaterally, abortion. But here's the thing: how effective has the church been in its efforts to stop these behaviors in our culture? It's been far less effective than Satan's efforts to pervert sex, that's for sure. My writing reaches beyond the judgment of other Christians to include possible consequences of Godless sex, along with many other culturally relevant, scripturally addressed, topics such as forgiveness, grace, vengeance, Satan's ability and persistence to deceive, sin, evolution, once saved always saved, baptism, etc. Trust me, no one outside of a righteous relationship with God is thinking about the consequences of their behavior. This is the reason our world is falling apart! It's up to Biblically based believers to reach those who don't understand what they're up against. There's no doubt about it, sex is in a state of free fall within our culture, If use of sex in my writing wakes up just a single person, showing them the path they're on is in opposition to God, then my efforts are worthwhile. Prayerfully, someone, hopefully many someones, will hear something foreign to them, but become intrigued enough to look deeper into God's truth. It's hard to believe in a country where there's a church on every corner that there are many young people in today's world who are unaware of God's love and that the parameters He's given are in place because of that love, not because He doesn't want them to have a good time. Here's an excerpt from a letter I include in snail mail copies of my book: Let me share what I’ve learned over the past few days. I entered my adult books in a writing contest in which there was no Christian category. There, my books are made available to readers at no cost. Other books in the adult category contain everything from homosexuality, bestiality, polygamy, and literally, anything else you can imagine. Of course, these activities are presented as normal, natural and acceptable and worthwhile. There are billions of people who fill their minds with this stuff, and, from what I can determine, my books are the only ones which depict marriage and sex within Biblical boundaries. Through the life of a flawed believing character (let's admit it, even those of us who believe in Jesus are horribly flawed), my readers see sex and marriage in a light probably previously unknown to them. Lost people are reading my adult books. In the two weeks since I entered the contest, the analytics on my account show I currently have readers from around the globe (19 countries so far), many from countries whose governments are hostile toward Christianity! I also know nearly sixty percent of my readers are between the ages of 18 and 24. These are young people to whom the concepts of monogamy, chastity and fidelity are foreign. Each book of the series has received a five-star review, so my efforts are reaching people who, more than likely, have never picked up a Bible or walked through the doors of a God fearing church. I pray every day for these readers, and prayerfully, my books will give them the opportunity to meet Jesus. Finally, I want to say that Christians need to stop bickering among themselves regarding offended sensibilities and start caring about the billions who aren't going to heaven! Before condemning me for my efforts to witness, ask yourself what you've done to reach others for Jesus (as He's defined in the Bible Genesis to Revelation). If you've done much, that's awesome! You'll get no condemnation from me. If you've done little to nothing, then think about your non-participation. We are called "to stay away from complaining and arguing....to live clean innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. We are to let our lives shine brightly before men" (Philippians 2:14-15). I have no idea if God will use my writing to reach one person or a billion, that's on Him, but I know if I'm disobedient, then that person, or people, might never be reached. I don't want that hanging around my neck come judgement day. Even the thought that one person could go to hell because of my disobedience or apathy breaks my heart. Lost people deserve better from believers. God call us to love them enough to be honest with them! He doesn't care that we're uncomfortable sharing Him with others. It's time for Christians to grow up and meet people in their lostness.
Doesn't the use of sex in your writing run contrary to what the Bible says about purity and holiness?
Let me ask you this: have you ever read the Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon? It's a tiny book in the Bible, sandwiched between Ecclesiastes and Isaiah. Pick it up and read it. You'll be amazed at how explicit it is. I often prefer to read The Message version of the Bible which is translated by Eugene Peterson. His introduction to the Song of Songs eloquently explains how God intends for love and sex to function as parts of one whole. To live a life without love and sex is to live less a life than God makes possible. Value yourself the way God values you! Here's a list of the major touch points found within the Song of Songs. They are referenced by (Chapter: verse), are listed in no particular order, and are based on the Message Translation.
There should be an unreserved union of hearts, souls and bodies (6:2-3). These two verses share the tenderness, fidelity and romance of sex.
Three times, the author pleads with sisters to wait until they’re ready for love/sex (2:7, 3:5, 8:3-4). Why wait? Because God made you and He knows two things you don’t. First, rushing into sex will damage you in ways you might not be able to identify, understand and fix. Second, God knows how good it will be if we listen to Him and conduct our sex lives within the boundaries He’s set.
It’s perfectly fine for the woman to initiate sex (7:9-12).
Reminds us that God made women to be feminine (7:1-9) and men to be virile (1:16, 2:8-9, 5:10-16).
Mostly, Song of Songs speaks of the fun and pleasure to be found within sex: in bed (1:16), among the wildflowers (7:12) and under the apricot tree (8:5). Fertility, as it applies to procreation, is mentioned only once (7:13). In other words, while God does intend for us to use sex to produce offspring, He didn’t give sex to us solely for that purpose.
Song of Songs calls for the wedded union of the lovers (8:6).
This love song calls for protection and fidelity (2:15-16, 6:2-3).
Calls for companionship; being connected to the point of missing the other person when the two aren’t together (3:1-4).
The two lovers refer to each other as “friend” or “dear friend” (1:15, 2:2,10 4:8-15, 6:4). This is important because as two people journey the road of marriage there will be times when the sexual heat wanes. Being friends, being committed to one another on a level other than sexual, will help you keep your footing as a couple when life goes awry and the sexual heat wanes. Of course, the best possible situation is where each of you is committed to God first, then to each other as friends, and then to each other as lovers. This creates a three-strand cord that can’t be easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
The Song speaks of the virginal state of the woman specifically (4:12, 7:13). I know, I know, don’t get all offended by this, girls. The virgin status of the man is not directly referenced in this book of the Bible, least ways, I couldn’t find it. However, when you let the Bible interpret the Bible, you’ll find that God does not call women to one standard of purity and men to the lack of it. No, that double standard is set by mankind. Remember also, how Solomon ended his days on earth. No doubt about it, purity and fidelity are the way to go.
It’s okay to get carried away by the passion that exists between two people (4:8-16, 8:6-8). This is probably the reason for the three warnings listed in point number two. I’m just saying!
Treasure the purity of your union (8:11-12).
Miscommunication happens, even with regards to sex (5:1-6). There’s also a caution against hasty behavior (5:7). Sex is like anything else that succeeds as an endeavor; it takes time, patience and attention. There’s no room for selfishness, apathy or disrespect. Failing to get what you want is no excuse for hasty behavior that can have consequences of its own.
Song of Songs clearly demonstrates the importance of physical attraction and the appreciation of attributes in your lover (4:1-7, 5:10-16, 6:4-7:8).
The woman is insecure because she feels her beauty is less than that of other women (1:5-6). The remainder of the song leaves no doubt that the man completely disagrees! So, maybe, the rest of us women could be a little kinder to ourselves!
To summarize, the purity and holiness of sex are violated when sex is pursued outside the guidelines God has set for us. My writing will always honor God in every aspect, sex included.
Why aren’t your literary efforts considered porn?
If I weren’t amused, I’d be offended . Mankind’s single biggest talent is the ability to pervert. Humanity has, throughout time, managed to pervert justice, power, money and especially love and sex. The object of pornography is the perversion of sex; to make sex the end all, be all, the objective in and of itself. Porn serves no other purpose but to pervert what God has given us. God didn’t give us sex, toss away the care instructions and say, “have at it.” Anyone who reads my adult books must honestly admit that sex, while being a part of the plot, is in no way the sole objective of my stories. I write what I write in an attempt to reach people for God, to make them aware of Him, possibly, for the first time. If they’re already aware of Him, maybe I can help them contemplate Him differently, and, hopefully, come to an understanding of their need for Him. I write to reach people for God, not for God, but for them. God didn’t give us the Bible with its care instructions to do something nice for Himself, but to do something kind for us. I write because this is my responsibility as a believer. God tells His people to go and tell others about Jesus. So,….I go. I may go digitally, but I go. I use the talents He’s given me to the best of my ability. I’ve always been an avid reader, but one day it occurred to me that all the Christian Fiction I was consuming was so sugary sweet that it was making me nauseous. Thinking back, this realization probably hit me about the time I really became a grown up. You know, that time in life when you figure out for yourself that life isn’t what you perceive or what you want it to be, but, instead, you understand that life is what’s really happening to you. No one who’s lost to God is going to slog their way through goody-two-shoe plots filled with characters that only make them feel worse about themselves than they already do. No one wants to be kicked when they're down and out. My characters are flawed and broken and, just like everyone else on planet earth, they’re dysfunctional to one degree or another. Even the Christian characters in my stories are relatable because they're extremely flawed. That’s the point: NO ONE IS PERFECT and capable of saving themselves. We find out what we’re made of when we come up against that truth. Do we humble ourselves and accept it, reaching out to a loving God who can save us, or do we plod forward in pride, allowing ourselves to be deceived and forever lost? Case in point: How many people do you personally know who have climbed out of the grave and gone on to live a better life? I, personally, know of only one. His name is Jesus and, I figure, since He’s already resurrected and gone to heaven to live for the rest of time, He must know how it’s done, so it’s perfectly safe to follow Him. So, after I’ve explained the purpose behind my literary efforts, it’s incredibly easy to see that sex is not the objective of my writing. Sex is included as a part of real life, a part of marriage, as set forth in the Bible. Song of Songs is merely my template with regards to sex. The entire Bible is my template with regards to everything else.
Why are you qualified to write such a book?
First, as far as I’m concerned, my single biggest qualification is that I’m sold out to God. I was baptized at age 13 and I’ve been doing my best to live for God since then. I’m in no way perfect, and have no delusions about being so, but I take very seriously my accountability to an Almighty God and do not want the sin of misleading others hanging around my neck come judgement day. In today’s world, marriage, as defined by God, is under attack. Honestly, we, as a species, are well on our way to dismantling it. My writing will always support and honor the institution of marriage as God defines it. My marriage is one part of my life. Granted, it’s a very large part, it must be in order for my marriage to succeed, but every part of my life is a conscientious effort to honor God. When I stand before God on judgement day I want Jesus to honor me before His Father. The Bible tells us this can happen only if I honor Jesus before men (Matthew 10:32). Bottom line: you don’t get into heaven without Jesus’ ringing endorsement. Second, I have two Bachelors of Science degrees, one of which is in Bible. I learned how to study the scriptures and how to handle them with the integrity God expects. The Old and New Testaments translate each other seamlessly, flawlessly, because that’s the way God constructed His Word. Admittedly, I’m no world class Bible scholar, but then I suspect many of them lack lives of faith and pursue the Bible merely on an intellectual level. If you take exception with anything I say about God or the Bible, please go to the scriptures and prove me wrong. Notice, I didn’t say send me a hateful email filled with your opinions. In the scope of all things Godly, your opinions are as worthless as my own. I’ve been married to the same man, the only man, for many, many years. While my husband and I have had difficulties to overcome, much of our married life has been very blessed and quite happy. Here again, I’m not a world class marital expert, but I know and understand a great deal about what a successful marriage looks like. Both my husband and I strive to pattern our marriage after the Bible’s example. That’s why our marriage works. God knows what He’s doing! Who knew?