Last time I wrote, I thought about repeated elements in my stories. I found I often included a "churchy" character who was not really saved, just going through the motions. My heart aches for people like that.
This month I started thinking about some other main points or themes in my stories. Only one is published -- the others are in progress. Or under the bed!
I kept coming back to the authority of Scripture and was surprised to find it's a cornerstone of my stories.
As I was doing research about the Quakers in Indiana I discovered there was a major church split, "The Great Separation" in the 1830s throughout the Society of Friends. Some groups firmly believed in the Scripture above all, but others believed personal revelation was just as important.
A story I'm working on now includes a scene where a Friend tries to explain the controversy to a neighbor, who is surprised that such a question about Scripture would even come up.
In another WIP, a young Civil War widow is troubled as her mother-in-law embraces Spiritualism -- the New Age movement of the Victorian era. The mother-in-law is grieving the loss of her only son and feels there are better answers outside the Bible than in it. The daughter-in-law is troubled because she never questioned Scripture before. But Spiritualism sounds so modern and scientific. What if there is something to it? All this complicates her new romance with a cavalry officer.
In a contemporary one that I'm working on, a young woman who is a new Christian moves home with her parents to help them start an artists' commune. Her parents are post-modernists who believe all truths are equal and valid until she starts to date a conservative Christian farmer.
In all the stories the happy endings include most of the characters agreeing on the authority of Scripture.To me Scripture is like a light house shining through a fog of relativism and decisions based on emotion. The Bible is my anchor and that's one thing I want to pass on to my children as well as readers.