Thursday, January 2, 2014

Captivating - Review

Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

By: John & Stasi Eldredge

Published: April 7th 2005 by Nelson Books (first published January 1st 2005)

243 pages

Genre: Christian, Non-Fiction, Spirituality, Religion, Inspirational, Women

Source: Personal Library ( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | )

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Goodreads description--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 adventure, to" be" the Beauty of the story. And yet―how many women do you know who ever find that life?

Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, 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.

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

Oh my! I have no idea how I'm going to review this book. If you get absolutely nothing else out of this review, here's what I want you to take away: "READ THIS BOOK!"

I don't know if I have words to really describe how much I enjoyed this book and how many treasures I found within it's pages. This is one of those books that I think every human being should be forced to read. Every woman because she's a woman. And every man because he's not a woman. This book was healing to my soul.

I was worried about reading this book from the point of it being co-authored. I find that I struggle sometimes with books that are written by more than one author. And truthfully it did take me a little bit to get accustomed to how Captivating swaps back and forth between Stasi and John writing in the first person. But they usually tell you when the narration swaps, and I got accustomed to this in no time.

The description above hints at this, but the book goes into more detail. This isn't another book that just tells you what a Christian woman should be doing, thinking, feeling, etc. This is a book about the nature--often buried deep down--and heart of a woman and the desires of her heart. It's about how we as women uniquely bear the image of God and what being a woman can tell us about the heart of God. So many times in my reading, I found myself with chills, nodding my head, and even reading sections aloud to my husband. I even had one of those faith affirming moments where it's perfectly visible (metaphorically speaking) to witness God at work in my life--affirming His love for me as an individual.

I've never been a feminist, but I am fiercely independent. I've never resented the position of the men in my life or the differences between men and women, but I strive not to let my definition of self and worth come from anyone else--save God. I personally can't see how any woman can fight against this book or the message of these authors--but I'm sure those women are out there.

From the discussion surrounding the fall and the curse, to the question women are from their youths looking to have answered, to how our parents play into our vision of self, to the deep and romantic relationship that each of us have the opportunity of having with our Creator, Sustainer, Bridegroom, Father--Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge blew me away. The most important thing I took from this book was about deepening my relationship with my God.

I could probably talk for hours upon hours about what I've taken away from Captivating. I've recommended it to every female in my life. And I'll most definitely read this book again in the future. More than that, if I ever have an daughters, I'll force this book at them--before they're married. If I could force it upon you, I would. But if you can't tell, I highly recommend Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge.

Absolutely no qualms about giving this one a hearty 5 Stars! Have you read Captivating? What did you think? Let me know! Again if you haven't read this one, please do.

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