People ask me what To Dance Once More is about. It’s a historical Christian romance. It is set in Victorian-era Florida on a plantation. It’s full of debutante balls and heart-warming love stories. But there is more to this book than that.
You see, the main character, Lydia Jane Barrington doesn’t want to be like all of the women in her family – like her sisters. She wants adventure and travels and anything contrary to the ordinary life of a plantation owner’s wife. What she cannot see through her naiveté though is that in her day and time, if she wasn’t the wife of a plantation owner or if she wasn’t a governess to the children of a plantation owner, then more than likely she would be cast into society as a worldly woman, left to fend for herself, subject to the charms of gentlemen who had something less than honorary in mind for her.
Her father rebukes her for expressing her desires to leave home and explore the world, while trying to help her see that earning her way in the world reputably would be quite difficult as a woman. He has selfish motives behind his ploy to keep Lydia home, however. He has given away pieces of himself and his business, which will result in bondage for Lydia for the rest of her life.
Today, women do have many more advantages and do not have to be married to explore the world. Women do not have to have children to be considered valuable to society. One thing that has not changed though is that women must still guard themselves against the charms of men (and often other women) who have less than honorable plans for them. They must guard their minds against pornography, or better yet, against R rated movies that are full of sexual behavior unbecoming of a lady.
We’re told today that a woman can use her sexuality to get whatever she wants in this world. She can flaunt it, tease, and use it to her advantage. What I hope to accomplish in writing To Dance Once More is to show women and young girls all over the world that their purity of body and of mind is a great treasure. It is something to be cherished. It is valuable, just as these ladies are valuable to their Creator, God.
What some would deem freedom of expression or a right to do whatever they want with their bodies, I see as a disregard for one’s self. It’s kind of like selling To Dance Once More at the dollar store when I’ve worked so hard to perfect it since I first wrote it in 1993. How sad that would be for me.
In other words, your purity, your body, your mind is worth more than silver and gold. It’s a treasure that should be a locked garden until the Lord sends the right one to come and unlock it.
So why do I write about purity? My husband and I remained pure until we were married. It has been a blessing on our marriage. I have many friends who have done the same and it has never been regretted. In To Dance Once More, readers will see characters who have not remained pure but who come to view purity as the treasure it is and who vow to start over.
Yes, this opinion may seem a bit Victorian and it is appropriate for this novel, set in 1886. But it is also the theme that runs through my other novels, even though they are modern day. Why? Purity is timeless. It never goes out of style.
My message is of purity. If you are pure, stay that way. If you are not, vow to start over today. And remember that total purity is only accomplished through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This blog can also be viewed on OakTara’s Bindings blog on Christian Post.