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Book Report: Captivating

Captivating was written by both John and Stasi Eldredge. It follows the same layout as Wild at Heart did which John wrote a few years ago. Sorry. I'm actually going to cheat on this book report just a bit. I'm not going to write again how I feel about the book, but rather I'm just going to copy the review that I wrote for for this book. Once again, sorry.

Wild at Heart was an amazing book and so I was excited to learn that the Eldredges were collaborating to put Captivating together. Like Wild at Heart did for men, it speaks to the innermost desires that women have. Other reviews might leave you wondering if it is worth reading, but I insist it is beneficial to you as a woman, enlightening to you as a man, and a wonderful tool to deepen a marriage.

First, you must get it. This book is not a set of rules or a list of do's and dont's. Therefore, you cannot read it as such. It begs you throughout to explore your emotions and their causes. As Christians, we know that we were created with purpose. You have all heard that everyone has a God-shaped hole in their heart that only God can fill. Well, we have to admit, then, that we were designed to need Him. Some adults still don't understand this need, much less the children that we all were. Children have this need, too, and they look to fill it from their mothers and fathers. Because no parents are perfect, we receive wounds when our need is not fulfilled. These wounds harden our hearts so that we learn to do without, to live without, to choke down our emotions with a determination from an idea that the need cannot be filled and that we must "grow up" and learn to be independent. But, God created all of us, men and women, to be dependent on Him. It's no wonder why we struggle so much. We were literally not designed to be living the lives that we do.

This book goes into the subject that all women have at one time or another repressed. It is the first steps to a path of having a deeper relationship with God. It brings light to the cycle of a lot of today's churches that deal with a recurring group of people that volunteer and then get "burnt out".

A very long previous review explained that "we don't need to feel good about ourselves" because "we are all failures, women and men alike" but While I agree that we have all failed and that we need Jesus to save us, I disagree with the theme of that review that makes it sound like the buck stops there. Yes, we all need to be saved and born again, but Jesus did not just die to save us from our sins alone. He died to set us free from the shackles of our sinful nature. He died so that we, through Him, could come to the Father and have relationship with Him. Communion with Him. Life through Him. If we, as Christians, teach the next generation to live a life void of personal loving relationship with God, then we have failed beyond the decision of Adam and Eve. If you have not been taught that you can have an amazing purposeful intimate relationship with God that satisfies you to your very core then I say read this book. Read Wild at Heart, too. God created men and women differently because he instilled different parts of Himself into each of them so that together they would be "in His image." We can only know the complete heart of God when we know all aspects of his personality. So, I say read both of these books to fully understand the nature of our God and where you fit in to His desires.

Reading through reviews, most people will say that they enjoyed it and that it really helped them in their Christian walk, but some others do say bad things about it. They have claimed that it champions women and causes them to become prideful. They also accused the authors of basically saying that you have to be happy to have a complete relationship with God. I find that they just simply didn't get it. Finding joy is a result of finding a healthy relationship with God not a requirement before the fact. I think that the book clearly speaks this, but apparently it is not so clear to others. I imagine that they have taken offense to something said in the book and are lashing out against it, but the book does talk about the walls that we create when we are wounded. So, I think that was covered as well.


I love that you care enough about our marriage to deepen it. You are truly the man of my dreams. When I asked you to read this book, I will admit, I was doing it for selfish reasons. I thought that maybe you could learn what they had written about women so that you could understand me more (not that you weren't already doing an awesome job of it already). Then you started reading it, and YOU taught ME more that I even knew. You are truly amazing and I love you more and more every day. God is so good.

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