I want to see God. I want to read stories about people dealing with real struggles, but handling them in a way that shows God's grace, power, and love. I want to see redemption. I want to see reconciliation. I want to see that the things that matter to God are so much different from the things that matter to us. Not because He has the wrong priorities, but because we do.
I don't want to just be entertained. I am disappointed in books that are nice reads and the character happens to be a Christian, (we know this because she occasionally goes to church).
I want to be challenged. I want to learn. I want to be convicted. I want to be different in some small, (or big) way from having read it.
I want to see people living the Christian life the way it should be lived, not the way it usually is lived.
I have read so many comments by people saying they don't want to be hit over the head with Christianity in Christian fiction. My question is, why do they read it then? I have read a lot of good secular books that are clean, and have a great message. Why not just read those?
Christian fiction is written for Christians. We shouldn't have to soft sell God in Christian fiction. If it were a story written for unbelievers, then some gentle tact is required in getting the message across, but the message still needs to get across. And it should probably be an ABA book so the person will pick it up in the first place. Most non-believers aren't buying up the Christian fiction, are they?
What I'd like to see more of: Characters who pray fervently about their decisions instead of winging it. People who look to God for direction and guidance. More stories demonstrating the sovereignty of God. People with questions and dilemmas that don't necessarily get solved. And I'd love to see some tragic endings. I am so tired of predictable story lines. Life doesn't always go the way we expect. How about stories showing that God is still in control even when our world falls apart. Life doesn't tie up neatly, there are always loose ends. I've read books about worlds falling apart and God picking up the pieces, but they always have the predictable happy ending. What if the person doesn't get cured from a deadly illness, but instead finds God's peace and strength to bear it? What if the handsome neighbor turns out to be an abuser, but the woman calls off the wedding just in time? Or what if she doesn't? What if a lovelorn woman continually has bad relationships until she realizes God is her all in all and that He will be sufficient for her in a life of singleness? Not everyone gets married. Not everyone gets cured. Not everyone has a marriage that is roses and walks in the moonlight.
Well, I hope there is some kind of market for this stuff that I want, because it's the way I plan to write.
I'm not saying there aren't some books out there like this. I'm saying there aren't enough. Lisa Samson's Tiger Lilly is a great example. If you know of some, tell me what they are.