Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

ROMANCE, INC. (Psalm 149)

Let true lovers break out in praise, sing out from wherever they're sitting,
Shout the high praises of God, brandish their swords in the wild sword-dance.
(Psalm 149:5-6, MSG)

Today I come to the end of Psalms. Oh, my, what an amazing journey. David seems to have a poem for every mood and circumstance of the Christian life. Whether I want to question for His absence or invite the whole world to join me in song, and everywhere in between, he speaks about it. I have found it hard to add anything of meaning to his powerful words, but I have enjoyed the road. I hope you have to.

I could end with a meditation on the very last verse in Psalms: Let every living, breathing creature praise God! Hallelujah! But as always, David says it all, perfectly.

But as a writer of Christian romance, I was thrilled to read the above verses. For me and all the other romance writers out there, who doesn't perk up their ears when they hear instructions for all true lovers?

Let's see what advice the Psalmist dishes out for writers.

First, the instruction are for true lovers. Two people are committed solely to each other (at least by the end of the book). Their love has been tested throughout the book. They have had obstacles to overcome on their path to love. But their love has been proven true. When we reach the last page, author and reader alike have no doubt that their love is indeed "happily ever after," the stuff fairy tales are made of.

Those true lovers are to "break out" in praise. Their faith should flow seamlessly with the story. There should be times when they pause, amazed by God, and give Him praise.

They are to sing. I thought I included music (in my current WIP, it's Scottish ballads and hymns from the Psalter)in my books because music has been the language of my heart since childhood. The Psalmist encourages us to include music in our stories as well.

The setting? Wherever they are sitting. Any part of the world. Any time. Any occupation. As long as they praise god, the setting is left to the author's imagination.

My favorite instructions have to be "brandish their swords in the wild sword-dance." That makes me think of Scottish warriors, or perhaps pirates. A good, manly hero will be ready to defend his family--and God's honor. A swashbuckling pirate or a bronco-busting cowboy bring their own brand of praise to God.

If a romance includes conflict, true love that conquers all, a focus on God, a song or two, and an epic confrontation, the author is well on the way to a grand story.

Today's favorite verse: Let them praise the name of God--it's the only Name worth praising. His radiance exceeds anything in earth and sky; he's built a monument--his very own people! (Psalm 148:13-14, MSG)


  1. This was a fascinating post. I've been reading Psalms for decades, and I am embarrassed to say I have never noticed those verses before. Wonderful find!

  2. Great nibble!
    Chris G

  3. Love this. Great encouragement to keep writing in the romance genre.