Dealing with hard topics in Christian YA fiction

Pick up any literature directed towards young adults and you’ll find an overwhelming majority of books deal with three common questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is love?

As Christian writers who aim to influence and encourage young people in their faith, we shouldn’t shy away from tackling difficult or controversial issues relating to identity, destiny and love even in the world of fantasy fiction. InThe Lord of the Rings, the main characters are portrayed to struggle with their individual destinies. I encourage you to take some time to think over these three questions and how they can relate to the characters in your next novel. It’s easy for us as believers to live in our own bubble and try to shelter ourselves and our children from the ungodly philosophies of this world.

This world is constantly vying for the hearts and minds of our young men and women by offering a myriad of answers that aren’t godly. But Jesus calls us to be salt and light in a confused world that desperately needs to know the truth of the Gospel. He has the answers for the current gender identity movement, cancel culture and mental health crisis. If we do not provide godly answers, the world will conform this generation to its ways.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it prolonged periods of social isolation. Where I live in a Melbourne, Australia, we have recently broken a new record with 215 days in our sixth lockdown. Despite the government‘s measures to control the spread of COVID, it has done little to stop the rise in the number of active cases. We’re not likely to see any easing of restrictions until a few month’s time. In my state, over 200 people a week are being admitted into hospital for mental health issues, with most of them being young adults.

Our current circumstances here have made many people willing to hear good news. This is an opportunity that I have as a believer to share the hope and love of Jesus. I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard someone ask me when life is going to get back to normal. But life for us believers has never been normal in the first place. I live by the Spirit and that means super-normally. We are above these circumstances in Christ and we don’t walk or think the same way everyone else does. We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). The Holy Spirit living in me knows all things. Christ is made unto the wisdom of God so we can draw on His wisdom. All we need to do is to ask Him! He has the solution for every problem, no matter how small it is. So the next time you’re having trouble in your writing, He is your wisdom.

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