Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
All my life, I've always had a passion for the written word. I love, love, love reading books. And in the not-so-distant past, I was a huge fan of Nora Roberts' romantic novels. However, as a woman attempting to live a renewed life in Christ, I've always struggled with this. I have always felt a pang of guilt while reading her oft extremely sensuous fiction. Upon the advent of the explosive hit series Fifty Shades of Grey, I felt my guilt climax. While I certainly don't condemn anyone for reading these books, I made a personal vow to avoid them; they just aren't for me. At the same time I first heard of the scandalous story, the holy spirit led me in quite a different direction.
While I have always had a love of fiction, I steered clear of Christian fiction. I assumed that nothing could be more hokey. So when the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers was recommended to me, I'm not going to lie...I had my doubts. Based on the biblical book of Hosea, it tells the story of a woman hardened toward men by experience, working as a prostitute at the height of the California gold rush. A God-fearing farmer crosses paths with her one day and is led by the holy spirit to take her home as his wife. After a series of failed attempts, he steals her away in the nick of time. The story goes on to tell of a slow thawing of her heart, as he attempts to tame the wild horse in her and win her trust. Ultimately she has to learn to put her faith in the Lord above all else. Even now, as you read my feeble description, perhaps you are still leery. Please let me prove you wrong.
Not only is it a tale of blossoming love; it is also a captivating narrative about man's unshakable faith in God and the love relationship we are meant to share with Him. Not once did I find myself bored, unenthusiastic, or embarrassed about the "cheese" of it all. Every page kept me wanting more. To prove my point, most nights I won't allow myself to stay up past 10 o'clock. It just doesn't bode well for me. However, I found myself staying up night after night until midnight or later, aching for more. That's passion, my friends.
Aside from being an amazing read to fill my time, it did unthinkable things for me. My faith blossomed after reading it; my love for the Lord and His grace deepened a thousand fold. I found myself thirsting not only for more of Francine Rivers' Christian fiction, but also became extremely fervent about God's word. It led me to a passionate love affair with the Bible that I've never quite had before. I've been forever changed by Redeeming Love.
If you find yourself hungry for a good read but know that Christian Grey isn't the kind of love you're looking for, I beg of you to give Redeeming Love a try. You won't be sorry.