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Captivating

Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

by John and Stasi Eldredge


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Captivating

Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

by John and Stasi Eldredge

Review posted March 8, 2010.
Nelson Books, 2005. 234 pages.
Starred Review.

Here's another book I've been meaning to review for a very long time. I'm so thankful to my sister Marcy for giving it to me. I reread it again in 2009 in order to enjoy it again and to review it fresh in my mind. I think it blessed me even more the second time around.

Take it from me, this is a wonderful book to speak healing to a rejected and abandoned wife. And I suspect that any woman would be deeply blessed by these words. The basic message is that God has created you captivating and beautiful.

I'm usually leery of books that fit men and women into stereotypes. I think this book escapes that. Here's what the authors say in the introduction:

So -- is a true woman Cinderella or Joan of Arc? Mary Magdalene or Oprah? How do we recover essential femininity without falling into stereotypes, or worse, ushering in more pressure and shame upon our readers? That is the last thing a woman needs. And yet, there is an essence that God has given to every woman. We share something deep and true, down in our hearts. So we venture into this exploration of femininity by way of the heart. What is at the core of a woman's heart? What are her desires? What did we long for as little girls? What do we still long for as women? And, how does a woman begin to be healed from the wounds and tragedies of her life?

Sometime between the dreams of your youth and yesterday, something precious has been lost. And that treasure is your heart, your priceless feminine heart. God has set within you a femininity that is powerful and tender, fierce and alluring. No doubt it has been misunderstood. Surely it has been assaulted. But it is there, your true heart, and it is worth recovering. You are captivating.

The book talks about how God made us beautiful, but we get wounded and believe lies about ourselves. But God romances us Himself. Here's a section I like:

We have all heard it said that a woman is most beautiful when she is in love. It's true. You've seen it yourself. When a woman knows that she is loved and loved deeply, she glows from the inside. This radiance stems from a heart that has had its deepest questions answered. "Am I lovely? Am I worth fighting for? Have I been and will I continue to be romanced?" When these questions are answered, Yes, a restful, quiet spirit settles in a woman's heart.

And every woman can have these questions answered, Yes. You have been and you will continue to be romanced all your life. Yes. Our God finds you lovely. Jesus has moved heaven and earth to win you for himself. He will not rest until you are completely his. The King is enthralled by your beauty. He finds you captivating.

There is also a theme in this book of how God made you the particular woman You are, and that is beautiful. Here's a lovely paragraph in the final chapter:

Whatever your particular calling, you are meant to grace the world with your dance, to follow the lead of Jesus wherever he leads you. He will lead you first into himself; and then, with him, he will lead you into the world that he loves and needs you to love.