The Erotic Novel

A story is told about a family living on a farm in Tennessee where, one afternoon, the mother discovered her teenage daughter reading an erotic novel.

When challenged, the young girl responded, “Mum, you are so old fashioned. This is the way the world is and we should not be ignorant of life. Besides, there are some beautiful moments in this book. Let me read one to you …” And with that, she proceeded to read an excerpt from the book, which truly was a beautiful expression of love.

But the mother, being a godly woman, was troubled and wanted to show her impressionable young daughter the dangers of such perversive novels. She could have forbidden her to read them, but she needed to teach her, and being wise, she took the matter before her Heavenly Father in prayer.

Soon afterwards an idea sprang to mind – that morning she called her daughter and pointed to a beautiful rose which was growing near the pig trough. She asked her daughter to pick it and bring it back so she could put it in a vase. Being dressed for school, the daughter reacted, saying, “Mum, I’ve just washed and if I go over there I’ll get dirty!” But her mother insisted that it would be alright and urged her to get the beautiful flower before she went off to school.

So reluctantly, against her better judgment, she complied with her mother’s wishes and trudged through the pig pen to where the rose was growing. When she returned with the rose in hand, her skirt was covered with flecks of mud, her blouse was dirty, her shoes were caked in smelly mud and her hands were stained.

The young girl stood there complaining to her mother. Why had she been asked to get a silly flower at the cost of becoming filthy? She was furious and vented her anger at the apparent foolishness of her mother’s request.

Her mum just trimmed the rose and quietly placed it in the vase, ignoring her daughter’s tantrum. Then she turned and contemplatively said, “You know, this is the same as you reading that dirty novel. There may be some beautiful moments in the book, but you have to wade through the filth to get them. In the end, you emerge stained by the perversion of what you have allowed into your heart.”

The young girl got the message. Her mum’s response had silenced her. She suddenly understood her mother’s motives, and looking down at her soiled clothes, she acknowledged the foolishness of her own actions. Standing there, tears began to fall from her eyes because of the glory which accompanied her mother’s wisdom. And she took the book and threw it in the trash where it belonged.


Excerpt from From Here to Kingdom Come by Robert Warren