Book Review: “Captivating” by John and Statsi Eldredge
“We cannot have intimacy with God or anyone else if we stay hidden and offer only who we think we ought to be or what we believe is wanted.” (“Captivating”)
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This book is the female companion to the book “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. Here’s the irony, I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for the last 15 years and couldn’t ever get more than a few pages in because truthfully, I didn’t believe what the authors were saying and it took years of growth and the reading of a book for dudes to get me invested in this concept. Now, I’m so invested that I’ve asked my squad to read it and I, of course, want you to be invested in this idea as well.
John and Stasi want you to understand the main issue plaguing women, an issue that all our other issues seem to stem from and one that started way back in Eden. Here it is… you are captivating and desirable and reflective of the Lord’s heart. Did you scoff? I sure did because this is the exact opposite of what the average woman feels or is told by the world on a daily basis. Somehow, we have all missed this truth along the way yet long to reflect it deep within our souls. It’s also an idea that the Enemy really, really doesn’t want you to grasp because it gives you incredible power and more importantly, freedom.
Much like “Wild at Heart”, this book looks at the core desires of women and the wound they have received at some point in their lives. It then asks you to allow God to romance you and reveal to you your true beauty. For me, there were several moments of just staring into space and trying to process the reality of what was being said, as well as having some very frank conversations with myself about the lies I have believed and the practices I put into place to deal with my wound or rather to NOT deal with my wound. It’s been eye opening and painful but worth it.
It was reassuring to hear all of these different stories of women being attacked by Satan at their core but finding freedom in Christ. Not a generic freedom for all or even salvation, though that is definitely available, but rather a freedom to be the woman you were created to be. One of the big things I took away from Stasi’s perspective is how often women put up with some pretty crazy stuff because we either assume it’s normal or are fearful that if we have a need or aren’t taking care of others we won’t be worthy of love. This is all from Satan and we need to fight it with all of our might. The world needs our beauty, tenderness and femininity because it is life giving. In a strange way, I am more motivated to fight for my strength as a woman because I now understand that it will benefit those around me than I am to fight for myself but regardless of your motivation don’t let the Enemy take away your greatest power!