Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
by John and Stasi Eldredge
I firmly believe that every girl should read this book as many times as possible in their lifetime. It completely changed the way I saw myself by showing the reader what God thinks of women, the crown of His creation, and how He designed them.
I loved reading Captivating because it reveals the three things that the youngest of little girls to the oldest of wise grandmothers wants most in her heart of hearts:
- To be romanced (being pursued and wanted by someone who considers her precious).
- To play an irreplaceable role in a great, shared adventure (being needed desperately for what only she can bring).
- To unveil beauty (being captivating because of her beauty).
You can see glimmers of each of these in the books that we read, the movies we watch, the games we see girls play. These are the things she dreams of. These three also parallel the three core desires in the heart of every man as well, which are: to have a battle to fight, an adventure to share, and a beauty to rescue (to read more about guys, read John Eldredge’s Wild At Heart).
“God wanted to reveal something about himself, so he gave us Eve.”
They explain how things in the world were not right without Eve, and that she was made in the image of God. So what are the things about the character of God that are revealed by knowing the heart of women?
“You’ll discover that God is relational to his core, that he has a heart for romance. Second, that he longs to share adventures with us—adventures you cannot accomplish without him. And finally, that God has a beauty to unveil. A beauty that is captivating and powerfully redemptive.”
They walk the reader through understanding the essential role of beauty, and how it is one of God’s most misunderstood and overlooked qualities.
“That we even need to explain how beauty is so absolutely essential to God only shows how dull we have grown to him, to the world in which we live, and to Eve.”
“Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful…The whole world is full of his glory…Beauty reminds us of an Eden we have never known, but somehow know our hearts were created for. Beauty speaks of heaven to come, when all shall be beautiful. It haunts us with eternity.”
John and Stasi Eldredge reveal who should hold the primary place in a girl’s heart, and what tragedy can come as a result of her searching for these three things in places that only offer counterfeit versions of what she was designed for.
They explain how much God longs for us, individually, and how relentless he as at wooing us toward himself.
“Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you by the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. Gods version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners comes in the form of sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying trees, lush gardens, and fierce devotion. And this romancing is immensely personal. It will be as if it has been scripted for YOUR heart. He knows what takes your breath away, knows what makes your heart beat faster.”
They also talk about the irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and how each girl fills a role that is uniquely hers. It looks so different all across the globe, and yet very similar at the same time.
“Eve is God’s relational specialist given to the world to keep relationship a priority…Women are needed to protect relationships, bring them back to center stage where they belong…Because of the Trinity, relationship is the most important thing in the universe.”
There are so many stories of amazing men and women in this book that I couldn’t pick favorites, but they highlight men and women who function according to how they were designed. How great they are when they work as a team together, cherishing each other for the priceless aspects of God that they reflect and bring to enjoy.
It is my goal to read this book every year, because there is so much truth that my brain constantly needs to be reminded of in a world that is currently shouting some very different opinions every second of every day.
Girls, read this book. You will love it. While you’re at it, read Wild At Heart too. (It’s the guy version of this book that I spoke of earlier, and it’s phenomenal as well.) There’s not enough effort in the world today to understand and cherish one another and appreciate how our differences complement one another. There’s so much to learn from each other about how we’re wired, how to love each other best, how to build each other up, and how to see appreciate the image of God in each of us.
And guys, I’m not leaving you out. You should read both books too, for all of the reasons I just listed.
If you get the chance to read Captivating (or Wild At Heart), let me know what you thought of it!