As a child, reading was a safe haven where every book was like traipsing through Beatrix
Potter’s world. Innocent, carefree, it was a world of hope and freedom, where every danger was easily escapable. When reading classics, my parents chose select books that seldom, if ever, had a word I couldn’t use. It would take me a while before I learned what these words really were.
As a writer, one must wonder then: what is okay for me to write? I, personally, don’t
believe in the usage of language, well, EVER, but there are some who do choose to include “mild” or even severe language when writing for everyone from children to adults. And if it’s not language, it’s often romance or a darker theme that preys upon realistic fears. A major concern I have for the future of children’s books is that kids will be forced to grow up prematurely when they ask the oh-so-innocent question, “what does that mean?” However, I believe there is still a hope for future literature and it starts with new writers like me.
There is always a new generation of authors hoping to break free, many of them Christian like me. In fact, I have been filled with hope by the debuts I’ve seen of multiple adult writers who are Christian and create clean content for children’s reading. Personally, being a girl, I am okay with including some romantic hints and even more blatant relationships, so long as they are conducted in a godly, clean manner. If there is evil, it will be kept to a minimum. It is in fact, in my opinion, better to leave darkness to the imagination, where the unknown can be as mild or as twisted as one likes – though here’s hoping your brain leans towards the mild side.
Perhaps the perfect guidelines can be found in the best text of all:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
While there may be conflict depicted in our writing, let it be overcome. If there is romance, let it be following God’s depiction of a pure relationship. If there is action…well, people will die in the most non-brutal way possible.
Today, let our hearts and minds be clean and pure as we write so that when children read, they will be uplifted.