|Sawyer from Lost|
The lovable bad boy
I think it may have something to do with separating the sin from the sinner. So often we can only see the glaring sin and it clouds our view of the person. Say a man continually cheast on his wife-- we see him as s stupid, uncaring, unforgivable man. But what if we knew his wife berated and verbally abused him, making him feel inept and unattractive. Knowing the background and separating the sin from the sinner sheds a different light on the situation.
What if we have an accountant who is embezzling money from his company? Would it make a difference knowing his child has a rare disease and the hospital bills are mounting? Understanding the motivations behind the sin somehow helps to see the bigger picture.
Of course, good and honest motivations do not in anyway justify the sin, but it does help to see the sinner as a human being who has needs and is in desperate need of a Savior's love.
So in our writing, we need to think about our anti-heroes and give them motivation for their evil deeds. Make the motivation something we can relate to, something redeemable. We want to be able to root for them, in spite of their sin.
We want to love the character, yet hate their plots!
How often do you have trouble separating the sin from the sinner? Are you able to see God's perspective in those around you, even those unlovable ones He has placed in your life? Have you written anti-heroes that reader will love to hate?