Sunday, November 27, 2005


I have only read the first few chapters of a book called, Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge, but with every page I read, I find myself compelled to add to my list of women friends that I just know would benefit tremendously from reading this book! In fact, I would go so far as to say that EVERY woman NEEDS to read this book!

The subtitle of the book, "Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul" is highly descriptive and inviting. Reading just 4 chapters has already revealed such valuable, ministering information to me. I can't wait to share and discuss this book with my friends!

I have already discovered that what is being shared in each chapter is an unveiling of many things I have thought, felt, experienced, dreaded, hated, loved, feared, over the years. I have come to recognize the reality most of such feelings through reading God's Word over the last 15 years. However, this book is written in a way that also shows me things that I may not have experienced in my own life, but have seen occurring in the lives of many women I know. I now can see much more clearly how, and why, such things have affected other women in my life. This includes those painful, often unspoken but deeply felt times and emotions that women sometimes do not understand and cannot find the answers for. It culminates in that disturbing type of experience(s) that cause us all to ask the question, "why me?"

On the positive side of the coin, the book describes and explains the tremendous experiences of love and joy (thank God) that life can bring despite our pain and suffering. We are shown the true heart of a woman, what she needs, and why she needs it. We are shown the beauty that is a woman's soul; the kind of beauty that is in every woman's soul even if it hasn't been revealed to her yet!

I will admit that the first chapter may seem a bit hokey to some women; especially the "feminist type" of woman. I'm not one of them. Never have been. But I could just imagine those who are feminists rolling their eyes as they toss the book aside thinking that it only contains that typical "fairy tale" stuff of their childhood. My advice? Keep reading! Because if you don't you will probably miss out on the greatest unveiling of your own soul save that of what you'd learn through what is revealed in the Bible.

This book is perfect for gift giving. My own list of women with whom I want to share this book with has already reached 10! I'm sure that even more friends/relatives who would enjoy this book will come to mind.

There is also a companion book that was written for men called, Wild at Heart. Captivating includes some excerpts from it and it looks excellent as well.

Here is what is written on the Captivating book jacket:

"Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventrue, to be the Beauty of the story. Those desires are far more than child's play. They are the secret to the feminine heart.

And yet - how many women do you know who ever find that life? As the years pass by, theheart of a woman gets pushed aside, wounded, buried. She finds no romance except in novels, no adventure except on television, and she doubts very much that she will ever be the Beauty in any tale.

Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, chores and errands, striving to be the women they "ought" to be but often feeling they have failed. Sadly, too many messages for Christian women add to the pressure. "Do these ten things, and you will be a godly woman." The effect has not been good on the feminine soul.

But her heart is still there. Sometimes when she watches a movie, sometimes in the wee hours of the night, her heart begins to speak again. A thirst rises within her to find the life she was meant to live - the life she dreamed of as a little girl.

The message of Captivating is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The deisres you had a s little girl and the longings you still feel as a woman - they are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to ocome now as the Hero of your story, to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating."

Although I haven't read it all yet, I can already sense where the story goes and how it ends. And, of course, it has to do with Jesus Christ. But as with the first few chapters I have already read, I'm sure to experience the "ah ha!" type of reaction as I see more clearly why many women are missing out on all that God intended for them to be!

For my male readers here, I would like to include a brief excerpt from Wild at Heart:

"But God made the masculine heart, set it within every man, and thereby offers him an invitation: Come, and live out what I meant you to be. Permit me to bypass the entire nature vs. nurture "is gender really built-in?" debate with one simple observation: Men and women are made in the image of God as men or as women. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:27). Now, we know God doesn't have a body, so the uniqueness can't be physical. Gender simply must be at the level of the soul, in the deep and everlasting places within us. God doesn't make generic people; he makes something very distinct - a man or a woman. In other words, there is a masculine heart and a feminine heart, which in their own ways reflect or portray to the world God's heart."

No comments: