When Adventures Lead into the Night

Imagine this – 
Two teens, one girl and one guy, live in a fantasy world. (I don’t mean that they have a lot of daydreams. I mean that their world is one we’ve never heard of.) They live on neighboring farms. Both families are killed, and they’re fleeing for their lives as evil soldiers pursue them across the mountains. 
They have no idea of where to go or why the soldiers want to kill them. All they have with them are some supplies, a sword, and a faded map. The sword and the map were given to the girl by her father right before he died. (Yes, the girl. If the guy wants a sword, he can go find himself a knife or something else pointy and sharp.) 
It begins to rain hard. They are drenched. They can’t build a fire because they don’t want the soldiers to find them, and they can’t find shelter. Because they are high in the mountains, the rain is cold. Then it is night. 
What does a Christian author do?
A couple ideas come to my mind. 
  1. The characters hate each other. So they have to sleep close together but detest it.
  2. The writer could just skip over the night, saying that it doesn’t lend to the plot, and pick up in the morning.
  3. Finally, the author can be quite practical. They are romantically attracted to each other; however, it’s freezing, so they cozy up and soak up some of each other’s body warmth.
Do you have a problem with teens of the opposite sex sleeping close to each other when you read a book?
Most Christian publishers will not allow this scene in a book that they publish. Either the author must get them to a house where they are separated by walls and in company with responsible adults or find a different solution. 
But I think that an author could use a situation like that to show what a godly teen would do in that example. The characters could admit that it was a highly tempting but stay true to their beliefs and commitment to God. 
That’s a far more powerful message than just avoiding the issue. Everyone finds their way into tempting circumstances, but we need to make sure that we are giving our teens the tools to resist and help find their way out of temptation. 
I like how The Message translates I Corinthians 10:13. “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.” 
What do you think? Should scenes like this be cut out of all Christian teen books? How about books for adults? As a parent, would you allow your teen to read a book that had a scene like one described above? Teens, would you think it unchristian if you read about characters doing this in a book?
And, by the way, don’t steal that idea above. It’s all mine. I just made it up, but I kind of like it. You may see it in one of my books in the future…

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  1. Your comment, Buffy, made me laugh, but I agree. Survival takes first place in my mind! Have fun exploring!

  2. I guess my take is a little different. I would write it as they DO get together for warmth. Not because of any reason other than survival. But then I would lend a paragraph or two to their inner thought process. I like to write as reality happens. People ARE tempted. Sometimes they resist. Sometimes, they do not. There are results from both choices. I have a feeling I will be exploring self publishing…

  3. Perfect sense to me, but it's amazing how many people don't see it this way. I'm curious to see if anyone has a problem with this, especially the parents! Thanks for responding.

  4. I totally agree with you, Vicki. I don't see anything wrong with putting teen characters into tempting situations – it happens in real life, so why not in literature? The thing is to show what was said above, that God promises never to tempt us beyond what we can endure, and we can overcome with His help. I know teens, and even Christian teens, would give in considering such circumstances, but showing in your work that it IS possible to find yourself in that type of situation and still resist the temption is powerful and can help readers realize they can do it in real life, too. Making any sense?

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