God First

When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased.

— C. S. Lewis, Letters, 8 November 1952

Living More Fully

The point of reading is not reading but living. Reading helps you live with greater appreciation, keener insight and heightened emotional awareness. For proof, look to the innumerable great readers who have been great doers, from John Adams to Teddy Roosevelt to Paul Theroux to George Plimpton. Reading and action reinforce each other in an ever-escalating manner.

Your well-read life is a path for living more fully.

— Steve Leveen, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life, p. 31

A Single Purpose

We are all here for a single purpose: to grow in wisdom and to learn to love better. We can do this through losing as well as through winning, by having and by not having, by succeeding or by failing. All we need to do is to show up openhearted for class.

— Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, Kitchen Table Wisdom, p. 80

Validation from God

No man can tell you who you are as a woman. No man is the verdict on your soul…. Only God can tell you who you are. Only God can speak the answer you need to hear. That is why we spoke of the Romance with him first. It comes first. It must. It has to. Adam is a far too unreliable source — amen!

Now, yes, in a loving relationship, we are meant to speak to one another’s wounds. In love we can bring such deep joy and healing as we offer to one another our strength and beauty…. But our core validation, our primary validation has to come from God. And until it does, until we look to him for the healing of our souls, our relationships are really hurt by this looking-to-each-other for something only God can give.

— Stasi and John Eldredge, Captivating, p. 152-153