Tag: love

I LOVE YOU BUT I LOVE HIM MORE

I LOVE YOU BUT I LOVE HIM MORE

NB: This story is purely fictional and a result of my active imaginations. It is unrelated to any person dead or alive; any such resemblance is purely coincidental.

Yvonne is a virtuous young woman from a good Christian home. Her parents, both dedicated Christians raised her with the very tenets of the Religion. Jesus was so important to her that nothing compared to her love for him. When she became friends with William Wilson, she was unprepared for the love that developed between them. He was a staunch Atheist just as convinced in his believes as she was. They become inseparable; their believes the only obstacle. When William asked her to marry him, Yvonne’s joy knew no bounds. Since none of them wanted to abandon their believes, they decided to each stick to their own separate believes. They planned to fight against their parents’ disapproval to get married. But in the night season when Yvonne’s father in heaven registered his disapproval in a convicting dream, she snaps back to reality. With a broken heart, she beseeches God to step into her heart. He alone can take her love for William out of her heart and return her back to her first love.

 

Rescue My Heart Lord,

Unlock its captivity from the grips of love. My heart has a mind of its own and is glued to William. What do I do, oh you who first loved me? If I could command my heart to stop loving him, believe me I would. But I do not have such power. You alone wield such power. You are the one who has the heart of a king in your hands and turns it in the direction you desire. My heart is in your hands oh lord; turn it back to you.

Why did you look on unconcerned as I fell deeper in love with him? I am neck deep and only your strong hand can prevent me from drowning. I love him and can’t stop thinking about him but I love you more. I miss him anytime he is away from me but I miss you more. If he leaves me I feel I will die but if you leave me, my death will be eternal.

People say love is blind but I must confess I went into this relationship with my eyes wide open. Why can’t it work when he is so good to me? Why can’t it work when my heart beats for him? Why can’t it work when you created us both in your own image? The other day when he tried to convince me to convert to his theories, I felt so much fear. If I love him so much, why is it so difficult to forsake Jesus and yield to his beliefs? It is because of you oh Lord.

The mere thought of Jesus not being a part of my life is more than I can take. What is life on earth without my Jesus? What is true love without his Love? What is the ultimate sacrifice without his sacrifice? Help me God! My heart is breaking. I love him very much but I do love you more.

If anyone told me that I would one-day attempt to disobey you like this, I would never have believed it. Now I realize I am also to blame. I should have drawn the line when he told me he was an Atheist, but he mesmerized me with his charm. He is such a gentleman, so intelligent and treats me with respect. He makes me laugh and the way he is responsible tags at my heartstrings.  His eyes so bright and beautiful stare down my soul and I melt before him.

How I wish he could convert to become a Christian. You know I have tried and prayed to you for this but his heart is steadfast in his belief and so is mine. I would have loved to walk down the aisle with him by my side. I wish I could go to church service with him and read your word with him. Oh, how I wish!

If your word did not say that no one would enter your Kingdom except through your son Jesus Christ, I would gladly sway to his side to be his bride. But I can’t risk eternity for pleasures in this passing world. I can’t sacrifice my love for you for a love that will soon fade.

I thought you would be happy with my decision to continue serving you even when i marry him. If he can stay at home while I attend church service, why can’t it work? I have heard of such stories that have worked perfectly for the couple. A fifty- fifty situation where no one loses.  Why is mine different? Why can’t I eat my cake and have it?

I know your word says I should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, but I know you love him as much as you love me. The mere thought of him missing eternity is heartbreaking and I planned to convince him to convert to Christianity after we got married.

I know this is risky as he may be unchanging in his stance. I have heard him talk about his philosophies  with so much passion. If his love for me could not change his mind, then how am I sure that once we get married he will change? After all, he sees nothing wrong with his stance. He has not persuaded me to leave my religion either.

No one in his family is a Christian and even his eldest brother’s wife who used to be a Christian is now an Atheist. I will never forget what she told me the day I visited her. I did not even know she was a Christian some time ago. When she told me she had gone into the marriage to try to convert her husband but rather ended up being converted, I was shocked.

“Never attempt to change someone, either you accept them the way they are or you don’t”. These words from a woman who used to be in my position have never left my mind but I stubbornly continued in love. Forgive me lord; I have been selfish. Never have I thought of the effect all this will have on my children if I go ahead. Yesterday’s dream has taken me out of fantasy land into the world of reality.

In the dream, the two boys you gave me as children were so handsome. How they look like William! When I saw my only daughter and last child, it was as if I was looking at myself in the mirror. What a delight it will be to behold my children one day. However, my joy was short lived when I saw one of my boys dressed normally and the other as a priest.

I thought they were happy until I heard their conversation. Arguments of whose belief was better angrily rang through the room. They looked at each other with disdain as each of them justified their stance. Philosophy and the bible clashed as the two of them battled it out before their little sister who looked on in confusion with tear stained eyes.

As I stepped in to calm the situation, my second son Eric an Atheist accused me of being on his elder brother Joseph’s side because he was a Christian. I felt my heart break for I loved them equally even though I wished they were both Christians. When their father William also stepped in, Joseph accused him of loving Eric more due to his religious stance.

I saw the hurt in William’s eyes at the accusation of his son but knew he secretly wished both his sons were Atheists. He looked at me and smiled sadly, love for me still displayed in his eyes. We advised them to be tolerant of each others views and left hand in hand oblivious to the fact that their argument heatedly continued when we were out of earshot.

What broke my heart was my daughter who had dressed promiscuously unashamed as she challenged the authority of her elder brothers. Both wanted to win her to their side but were unsuccessful. She had decided to be a non- practicing Muslim because she did not want to be in the midst of the controversy.

Then I saw Joseph and myself join hands to the right side, Eric and William to the left; hands held. My precious Ingrid was in the middle as we all tried to push her towards our direction. She stood strong unwilling to give up until we pulled so strongly she was torn in two. My daughter fell dead right before our eyes as we looked on in dismay.

My sons wept in grief as William and I still looked on as if in a trance. Then Eric took a knife from his pocket and stabbed his father to death accusing him of marrying a Christian. He too stabbed himself after that and lay dead beside Ingrid and William. Joseph grabbed me as if another spirit had possessed him and looked me in the eyes saying; “I blame you for all this, you have sacrificed your children for your selfish love, love is not selfish. I am disappointed in you.” He then picked Eric’s knife and stabbed me to death with tears in his eyes after which he killed himself.

Then I saw you seated upon the throne of judgment ready to declare where each of us would spend eternity. When Ingrid came before you, you banished her from your presence as I cried inconsolably. She looked at you and said, “It’s not my fault, my mother determined my destination even before I was born.” I was so broken as your angels threw her into the pit of fire her screams piercing my heart.

When Eric came before you, you banished him also from your presence declaring he did not accept Jesus. He also turned to me and said, “Mummy, this is where your selfishness has landed me.” As the angels took him away to the fire of doom, I thought I had died all over again. All this time your eyes never left me from the throne as you looked at me with cold eyes.

Then Joseph came before you and my body began to shake as you cast him too aside calling for him to be sent into the lake of fire. He also turned to me and said “Mummy,   you turned me into a murderer, now here I am.” I threw myself to the floor and wept without tears for all my tears had fallen.

When William came before you, the judgment was the same but when he turned to look at me, what he said was more hurtful than a sharp knife pierced through my heart. “I loved you with all my heart, but marrying you is the worse decision of my life. I would have preferred to see myself in hell fire than the children we had together. Love is good but losing loved ones through our selfish choices is unforgivable.

 It was my turn to stand before you and I saw your eyes soften as you spoke. “I loved you with my life. I paid the price for your sins with the blood of my son upon the cross. You knew me but disobeyed me. Did I not tell you it is better to enter my kingdom with a missing part rather than missing it entirely? You chose to save your heart and did not wait for me to bring you someone equally yoked. Your children are all here because of you. You chose to save yourself but lost it all,” you said.

Your eyes then turned cold again as if you were not the one who had just spoke. As the angels carried me towards hell fire, I heard myself screaming, “no, no, I will wait upon you! I will wait upon you!” But it was too late. As they threw me into the fire, what I saw shook me more. William, Eric, Joseph and Ingrid all pointed accusation fingers at me blaming me for their suffering.

Then all those in hell joined them as they chanted. “Bad mother, she sacrificed her children for her  love.” They approached me as if to rip me in two but then came the blinding light. Jesus came and grabbed me from their midst, hugged me and took me to safety. “I will never leave you nor forsake you, don’t leave me; Yvonne.” I smiled at him and told him how much I loved him “I love William, but I love you more.”

When I woke up from my dream, my bed was soaked with sweat and I knew I had narrowly escaped the heat of hell. God, thank you for saving me as you did. I never thought of the children I would have one day or what I would be putting them through. I can’t bear it. I will rather die than see my children perish because of me.

From today, I have taken a sharp curve back to obedience. No love for any man can compare to the love I have for you. Quickly bring me a man who equally believes in you who can love me beyond my pain to make me forget this forbidden love. I will not gamble with eternity.

Send my true love so we can pull together towards you. I now have the courage to tell William “I love you with all my heart, but I love Jesus more and will want my children to love him too.”

If he decides to convert, fine. If not, I will still love you more and wait upon your promise.  I will wait for a man who also loves you more so our children can freely love you. Thank you Jesus for saving me, but please banish this horrible dream from my mind for my heart still beats when I think about it. Yours in waiting to be equally yoked, Yvonne.

 

RELATED BIBLE VERSE

2 Cor 6:14-17

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”  17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.

 

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

According to the story and above scripture, whom will you describe as an unbeliever?

Why does scripture admonish Christians to be unequally yoked with unbelievers?

Would you be willing to let go of the love you feel for someone in obedience to God?

Do you think it is wise to enter a relationship with someone with the hope of changing their believes?

Like the children in the story, do you prayerfully consider the effects your decisions have on your loved ones?

The above scripture does not encourage Christians to treat others with disdain, do you agree?

 

COUNSELLING MARRIED WOMEN GONE WRONG

COUNSELLING MARRIED WOMEN GONE WRONG

As a Christian counsellor, I have told myself I am not fit to venture into marriage counselling until I have been married for at least ten years. If you come to me for advice on marriage, I will sweetly smile at you and refer you to several biblical verses and passages. I may even tell you what I was told at premarital counselling and recommend several books for you to read. But I will do this as a friend and not as a marriage counselor. I say this because many people have ruined marriages through inexperienced marital counselling. I have always wanted to help people going through challenging circumstances hence my decision to pursue Biblical counselling. However, I am not proud of how I handled a particular case few years ago when i had not been formally trained.

A dear friend of mine confided in me about how she was having problems in her marriage of four years. Before the marriage, the guy exhibited anger traits which I cautioned her about. My friend also had a short fuse so I was worried the two of them could have terrible clashes. However, she went ahead and married him because she felt she was not growing younger. I was still happy for her because she seemed very happy with her choice; after all, no one is perfect. The first time she opened up to me, I just gave a listening ear as I did not want to say I told you so. However, I was unhappy she was suffering so much. She told me the only reason why she had not walked out of her marriage was because of the twin boys they had been blessed with.

I was on my way to work one day when I had an SOS call from her. She lamented about how she was unhappy and wanted to get a divorce. She sounded desperate and recounted several instances that justified her stance. As I heard the pain in her voice, I found myself getting angry at her husband. Before I could stop myself, I told her to go ahead with her decision if her husband was making her so unhappy. Thank God, that divorce never saw the light of Day! I was single and inexperienced; I felt I was helping a dear friend. But can you imagine the damage my advice would have caused if she had followed through with it? Today, after being married for sometime, I can boldly say I would have given her better advice. I know better now.

It is easy staying at the other side and giving advice until you step on the same side. I began to realize the issues she was complaining about are very common in marriage. Even though she was my friend, I should have just empathized with her and encouraged her with scripture. I should have pointed out to her in love the fact that she was someone who was easily angered and had to also work on herself. But because I was single and had no practical experience in marriage life; I advised her as though I was advising someone in a premarital relationship. This experience has thought me, what our elders say is true. Experience is indeed the best teacher. Theory is good, but it can never outweigh the knowledge garnered out of experience.

Sometimes we feel insulted when our advice is not taken seriously because we are perceived to be inexperienced. I once felt that way when two colleagues described a marriage scenario that seemed unbelievable. When one of them told me and another single colleague that we would understand when we got married, we felt insulted. In fact I thought they were making fun of those of us in the single ladies’ club. Looking back, I have come to realize they meant no harm. It took me few months in marriage to come to this realization. However, I may never have understood them had I remained single.

Recently, I was so intimidated when my mother told me she would rank herself 50% in her marriage of over 30 years. I was shocked; this is a woman I wouldn’t rank less than 85% in how I have watched her handle her marriage. Her Godly attributes coupled with her resilience and tenacity as well as her ability to handle difficulties, have taught me a lot. I always marvel at her level of endurance and strength which is concealed in her weakness. So imagine how I felt when she told me she would rank herself 50%. According to her, a 75 year old woman she once knew asked her 80 year old husband for a divorce after they had been married for close to 50 years. Even though it sounded funny, she deduced marriage is an unending learning process. It is a school where there are no graduates.

Titus chapter 2: 3- 5 says “teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead they should teach others what is good. They should train the younger women to love their husbands and children; to live wisely and be pure, to do good, to be submissive to their husbands, so they will not bring shame to the word of God.” Today, there are so many people counselling women without experience or the wisdom of age. We can learn from Titus that age and experience is a requirement in counseling married women. But let us note that for these older women to qualify as marriage counselors, they are “to live in a way that honors God, they are not to slander or be heavy drinkers”.

From this verse, we can also learn that the fact that a woman has been married for decades does not qualify her to counsel younger women. If the way she lives does not honor the Lord, her counsel must be received with caution. A remarkable elderly woman who was able to assist a younger woman with her words of wisdom was Naomi as recounted In Ruth 3: 1-53 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.”

As a result of Naomi’s advice to her daughter in law who was much younger, Ruth was able to secure a good husband. She gave birth to Obed who had Jessie; the father of the great King David. From the generation of the great King David came Jesus Christ through whom the world was redeemed. This is what wise counsel can do! Imagine if Naomi had given wrong counsel to the younger Ruth or worse still withheld her advice! Marriage counseling is no joke and must not be taken lightly. One advice is capable of turning a marriage around for the better or for the worse. Thus, the receiver of the counsel must be very cautious in putting to practice whatever has been recommended.

According to proverbs chapter 11: 15 “Where there is no counsel, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. Here, there is an acknowledgement that counseling can be used to avoid pitfalls. However, it also advocates seeking other opinions especially when one is not too comfortable with a particular direction. Thus, we are safer when we do not rush to implement counseling strategies but ponder and pray until we have a peace about it. Prayer is very important because a strategy that worked well for a particular marriage may backfire in another. The fact that Boaz did not reject Ruth does not mean every woman who follows this example will end up with a husband.

Another issue of concern when it comes to marital counselling is when men counsel women. This has been known to lead to the development of wrong emotional attachments from the counsellor, the counsellee or both. Imagine a married woman sitting in a man’s office discussing intimate details of her marriage in the absence of her husband. The man may be a pastor, apostle, bishop or pope, but underneath the important looking demeanor is a man with flesh and blood. Listening to such information and trying to rescue someone’s damsel in distress can lead to an unexpected trap of sexual immorality. No wonder we hear of mighty men of God brought down by sexual scandals. Every human being is prone to temptation and must be careful to run away from it like Joseph did in the house of Potiphar.

Perhaps that is why Titus advocates women counseling women and not men counselling women. This is regardless of how spiritually strong these men are perceived to be. If elderly women seriously take up the role of leading younger women towards the right path, a lot of mistakes will be avoided not only in the counselling room but also in marriage. Problems that seem so overwhelming to young wives will gradually become trivial as we learn from experienced Godly women. Today’s generation is lucky to have so many helpful resources in the form of books written by elderly women of wisdom and other video and audio guides. The word of God is also ever present and serves as a guide by which every counsel can be measured to avoid pitfalls.

Oh and there is also one light-hearted reason why marriage counseling is not for me until my 10th wedding anniversary. I was recently venting out to my husband about how a colleague’s husband was misbehaving. I spoke out my mind about how terribly he was treating her. My husband took me by surprise by asking if that was how I was going to counsel those in marriage distress. It was good to tell him I would not get involved in marriage counselling until we were married for ten years. With this in mind, he can’t reprimand me for knowing better as a Christian counsellor when my imperfections surface occasionally. As they surely will since I am only a sinner saved by grace.

 

THE PREMARITAL SEX THREAT

THE PREMARITAL SEX THREAT

When I tune in to relationship programs, I hear too often young women lamenting about how their partners have threatened to leave them if they do not give in to sex. Some of them sound so desperate it is as if their world has come to an end. What breaks my heart is that some fall prey to this blackmail. They actually give in to these premarital sexual demands against their will. Unfortunately, their partners sometimes find other excuses to leave them anyway. I have tried to get into the minds of these precious women to find out why they get themselves entangled in such deceit.

Precious woman, if any man who claims to love you makes such threatening demands of you, this is how I suggest you respond. “Do you not know that my body is the temple of God, I prefer God’s presence to your absence. So walk out and never come back, until you are ready to put a ring on my finger!” Open the door for him to walk or ran out depending on your mood. Instead of crying, jump and shout Hallelujah! Thank God for saving you from disappointment, guilt, heartache, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and the list goes on. This may sound too harsh but the man who truly loves you will be patient until the time is right.

This suggestion may sound scary especially for a woman who has strong feelings for her partner. However, it may also be a way of escaping a dangerous trap. 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 says 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Threatening to leave you unless you give in to premarital sexual demands does not reflect the love described above.

In trying to answer the question of why a woman would give in to such threatening demands, five factors come to mind. 1. She may not have fully comprehended the love of Christ. 2. She underestimates how valuable she is. 3. She may be afraid of human beings rather than the God who cautions her not to defy her body. 4. She has not understood the plans God has for her and 5. She falsely believes she will be left alone, the rest of her life if she should say no and let go.

I recently wrote the words “God loves me unconditionally every day” and pasted it on my bathroom wall. I wanted these words to sink deep into my spirit and soul. I do not want to become so reliant on the love of fellow human beings that I get disappointed if my expectations are not met. As imperfect human beings, we are prone to make mistakes which can make us unlovable. We are sometimes rude, lazy, irresponsible, annoying, insensitive, immoral and selfish. These behaviors can make even those who truly love us keep their distance. I am yet to experience a time when Christ abandoned me because of my many imperfections.

We have heard so often that God loves us that it has become a Cliché. It is more romantic to hear Isaac loves you or Daniel loves you rather than God loves you. After all, can you feel the physical touch of God as that of a real man? Can you audibly hear his deep voice as that of a man that can make shivers run down your spine when he says “I love you”? Probably not, but we can be assured of his unconditional love for us. Romans 5:8, tells us “God commanded his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. When we begin to truly believe in his love, no man or woman can ever make us feel unloved.

According to Matthew 6:26 “the birds of the air do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet our heavenly Father feeds them. Are we not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 10:29-31 also says “29 are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” So, whether we like it or not, we are valuable and must begin to see ourselves as such. The value we place on ourselves has a direct correlation with the value others place on us.

In Psalm 139:13-16 King David wrote “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” If you have ever doubted how special you are, let this verse serve as a reminder.

We are told in Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Fear here refers to the reverence we have for the Lord our maker. So in the scenario where a woman’s partner threatens to leave her if she refuses his sexual demands, her reaction will determine who she reveres, God or Man. 1st Corinthians 6:19 admonishes “19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own”. Precious woman, your choice speaks clearly of who you revere.

In Acts 5: 29 when Peter and the other apostles were warned not to teach in the name of the Lord, they replied “We must obey God rather than human beings! They were more concerned with pleasing God and did not care for their lives. So if you are asked to give in to sin to satisfy man’s desires, who will you obey? If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom as stated above, then in such a scenario, we can say the fear of man is the beginning of folly.

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is one of my all-time favorite memory verses. It assures me that though life may not make sense at times, it is not the will of God to put me in harm’s way. So if a relationship threatens to harm you, please consider this verse. Be confident of the fact, that it is not the will of God for your life. The future is bright, all hope is not lost.

When a woman is desperately looking forward to getting married, it is easier for her to fall prey to such demands. For instance a woman in her late 20s or early 30s may feel she may be sabotaging her marriage by saying no. The fear of remaining lonely or probably not meeting a better man may make her compromise despite her Christian believes. Sadly, loved ones expected to give encouragement during difficult times sometimes do the opposite. They accuse the already confused lady of being unreasonable.

She is constantly reminded sometimes subtly, that her biological clock is ticking. They portray giving in to sex as such a small sacrifice necessary to secure a life partner. They may even go to the extent of telling her more horrendous sacrifices they themselves had to make to secure their husbands. In times like these, self -motivation is a necessity. There is also the need to always remember that we are accountable to God and not man. Precious one, God is capable of raining down manna from heaven! Will he not grant you the desires of your heart?

I love Don Moen’s song “God will make a way where there seems to be no way”. It speaks directly to the heart of a woman who finds herself in such a dilemma. Sticking to your principles may not make sense to others, but the day God honors your obedience, they will come to understand. God does not put his children to shame! Precious woman “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Wait for the Lord! “ Psalm 27:14.

When you stand firm and say no to sin, you may lose friends, loved ones and even family. They may not accept your decision and may even reject you in anger. All of a sudden, you are left alone. The partner you boldly resisted is gone from your life; those you assumed you could count on are nowhere to be found. You feel all hope is lost and even regret your decision. You keep asking yourself if you made the right decision; you wonder if your principles are worth losing those you love. The devil wastes no time in reminding you it is not too late to change your mind.

But that is also a lie of the enemy; you are not alone according to Deuteronomy 31: 6. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” You are not alone, God loves you, you are valuable, he has good plans for you and in his time, he will make all things beautiful. Until then, Bask in his unconditional love, it is a free gift! Always remember, “God loves you unconditionally every day!”

photo credit: Conversation via photopin (license)

WHEN CHARLOTTE LAMB DIED

WHEN CHARLOTTE LAMB DIED

“He tenderly took off her clothes and passionately kissed her as he parted her trembling thighs. Looking deeply into his eyes as her heart beat rapidly, she couldn’t wait to become his.”These words were usually found right after the center pages of romance novels like silhouette, harlequin romance and yes, my then favorite Mills and Boons to mention a few.As a young girl of just about 12 years who had begun noticing the changes in her body at puberty, the pictures of men and women in love were irresistible. Some of them depicted couples kissing passionately and others lovingly gazing into each others eyes in interesting poses.

I was never short of romance novels to read because I knew exactly who was reading them and who was in queue for the one I had just finished. The titles added to the attractiveness of the pictures. Who would not be curious to find out what happened in the pages of books with titles such as the garden of dreams, no holding back, mission to seduce and a very stylish affair? I never tired of romance novels that filled my mind with fantasy and the hope of one day meeting a perfect handsome billionaire described in the pages of romance novels. These men were described as powerful, masculine, passionate and all the adjectives that could fill a young girl with awe.

It was interesting to note that in almost all the books I read, the women were never attracted to the good calm guys who treated them with patience and respect. They always found the domineering aggressive ones more interesting. The cool ones who did not seem “powerful” enough always lost the race for the heart of the women they loved. The craze for romance novels was even more serious as I moved from junior secondary school to senior secondary school. Many of us hid these books under our desks not giving a damn about subjects we found boring. For me that would be Mathematics! Who gives a damn about such subjects when our senses were being tickled by strong and handsome men pursuing beautiful women until they lived happily ever after?

It is embarrassing to say, but many of us found ourselves turned on as we turned the pages especially those with the privilege of sitting at the backseat of class. The trick was to put the novels in text books and look into them as if seriously concentrating on the words of the poor teachers who had to explain the topics over and over again. For those of us who could partially listen to the teachers whilst secretly reading, we gladly learnt how to multitask. That meant avoiding the embarrassment of being put on the spot.
It was not until my favorite romance novelist Charlotte Lamb died that I realized the damage I had done to myself. I was shocked to see that she had written some of those enticing words at the age of 50. Consider this; when a fifty year old woman with so much experience in sex and romance talks to a 12-year-old , what happens in the mind of that young girl? That image shocked me because I realized I was too young for such information.

Yes, reading is responsible for my prowess in the English language and it is a lovely hobby. But in real life, those fantasies did not work for me and has not worked for many young women. I would rather be with the calm gentleman who respects me rather than the aggressive tycoon who feels he can buy me. I must confess it is interesting to fantasize about being grabbed by Mr. Right and carried off to a bed of roses for night after night of bliss, experiencing orgasm after orgasm.But in reality how many of our men can always carry us off to bed every night despite the assets we possess? How many of them have six packs and are so strong they can carry us as easily as feathers? How many of us would be happy with flowers as gifts without the temptation of leaving them to wither?

I am yet to read a romantic novel where the couple waited to be married to have sex and yes, I have read many. Currently, romantic novels have become diversified and Christian genres abound. But trust me, myself and other girls would have found them extremely boring. The good guy who always dresses well and says the right thing the right way is mostly a turn off for ladies. Even the good Christian girl is not exempted. Though  interesting, romantic novels have done a lot of damage to young women who are still living in a world of fantasy. A world of knights in shiny armor who come to rescue damsels in distress. These women are still waiting for that perfect billionaire to turn up and sweep them off their feet as they totally ignore the good men standing right in front of them.

Girlfriend, Mr. Fantasy can only be found on planet fantasy, so if you can’t go to that planet, come down to earth! On planet earth, imperfection is part of humanity. Not all the men have hard chiseled jaws, rock hard bodies and big bright eyes that one can drown in. Sexual exploits in romantic novels always lead to marriage even when the woman accidentally gets pregnant. But you and I know that on planet earth, sex before marriage does not always lead to a happily ever after ending. On planet earth, what is popular are unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, abortion, single parenthood and yes, the famous broken heart.

I am not saying some have not been lucky to end up getting married but you and I know it is not as easy as the perfect outcomes in these romantic novels. First Corinthians 13: 4-7 states that Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
But in the romantic novels, love is not patient enough to wait for marriage before sex. And the list goes on.

I was pleasantly surprised when I came across the novels of Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury. They make romance without sex so sweet and clean I will go for that any day. The characters put love to the test and the women are not afraid to fall in love with God-fearing imperfect men from planet earth who find their strength from God. The day Charlotte Lamb died I was so sad; I had read so many of her books I felt her death was the end of romantic fantasy. Sure enough, most women expressed their sadness at their romance mentor who had filled their minds with so much fantasy. Romance novelists like, Nora Roberts, Charlotte lamb, Penny Jordan and Anne Mather will still remain fond memories because they were a part of my life for so long. However, I will choose the recovered romance novelist Francine rivers as well as Karen Kingsbury over any of them because they comes closer to planet earth where reality exists.

The day Charlotte Lamb died I cried, my world of fantasy had crashed. I came down to planet earth where reality exists, where true love is not tested by sex but by character and true life situations. I am no more waiting for my knight in shiny armor to ride towards me on a white horse. I have banished unrealistic fantasies that are impossible from my mind because I realized, I would be too difficult to please. Maybe when I visit planet fantasy, my knight will arrive.

Rest in peace Charlotte Lamb! My English is far better because of you. Your descriptive power of love was too good to be true, too flawless. It was every girl’s dream of that happily ever after. But I know better now; I am back on planet earth. Oh how I miss fantasy planet! But I prefer planet earth where reality exists!