Sunday, February 6, 2022

How to Write Straight to the Heart

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Many years ago I was attending a conference about Christian worldview featuring Chuck Colson. I was there hoping to gain tools to train my three children to become thinking Christians who engaged their minds in Biblical truth and in turn, would engage the world around them. 

I was not raising my children in a bubble; our family had already lived in three different nations by that time. The children’s worldview was already broader than mine had been at their ages. 

Although I attended this conference as a parent, I learned a lesson every Christian writer should know. 

A method that has transformed the way I both read and write.

The speaker that evening asked us to identify a trend in pop culture, something everyone was reading or watching, and talking about.

On the screen, he displayed the book covers of the popular Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. At that time, people of all ages were reading it, especially women.

Then he asked three questions:
  • What need in the human heart does this book appeal to?
  • How does the Gospel address that need?
  • How might God want to use you to share this with the world?
Meyers’ protagonist, Bella, is relatable on many levels. She is insecure and doesn’t feel attractive. She is the new girl in school and doesn’t fit in. She has a broken home life. She’s clumsy and lonely.

Then comes Edward. He is human, yet he is also supernatural. He loves Bella and thinks she is beautiful. He never sleeps, remaining by her side protectively, watching over her every night. He is there instantly when she calls out to him in need. He has limitless resources and places them all at her disposal.

What need in the human heart does this book appeal to?

Human hearts long for a savior, a protector, someone who loves them as they are. At times, we all feel insecure, alone, unattractive, awkward, rejected. Edward is a Savior figure. He loves Bella no matter how clumsy she is, how awkward she can be, how broken her background is. He watches over her and fights her enemies.

How does the Gospel address that need?

This was an easy one. The Gospel invites actual humans, not fictional ones, to have a relationship with the Savior Jesus who loves them as they are. He never leaves us. He watches over us. He provides all we need. And He has fought our enemies and defeated them.

How might God want to use you to share this with the world?

In the coming weeks, I had conversations about Twilight in airports, grocery stores, and school pick-up lines. In every one, I pointed out the heart need this book revealed to me, the way Jesus has met that need, and the truth we all long for but often find only in fiction.

Popular trends tell us something important about our hearts. What we are longing for. Who we wish we were, what we need.

Pay attention to what hearts are responding to in the culture around you. Keep these three questions in mind. Ask God how He might use you, writer, to meet the needs of the world.

Lord, use our writing to engage the hearts around us with truth and hope. Amen.


Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.

Audrey is the author of Covered Glory: The Face of Honor and Shame in the Muslim World (Harvest House Publishers), an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, Covered Glory illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Available at favorite booksellers: BARNES & NOBLE , BOOKS A MILLION, AMAZON.

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  1. Audrey,

    Thank you for the detail in this article and the inspirational way you took a current topic for the culture and used it as a way to open spiritual discussions with people who crossed your path. What an evangelistic way any of us can learn from to spread the Good News about Jesus. It's a message I needed to hear today and apply to my own life.

    author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success (Revised Edition)

    1. Terry, it's my pleasure and has truly impacted the way I read and write. I'm glad it spoke to you. Blessings in your current projects!

  2. Audrey, Your post is a profound message to all of us who are writing today. Thank you.

    1. It was profound to me all those years ago and has only grown more so as the world changes. May the Lord help us all to engage the world with hope. God bless your endeavors today.

  3. This was quite thought-provoking.
    Thanks, Audrey.

    1. My pleasure, and thank you for taking time to encourage me today.

  4. Replies
    1. I'm glad this was helpful for you Marsha. It has changed the way I think about my writing. May the Lord give you the insight you need to engage those around you.

  5. I've never thought of current pop trends in quite this way, so thanks for giving me something new to consider. I'll start being more conscious of these things when I write.

  6. Thanks, Leigh! Maybe the Lord has a new project for you that will change the way others think too. Blessings to you today.