013 | Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge

Our question is timeless. It’s a question that’s puzzled men for centuries, millennia even, and it perplexes women just the same. We struggle to tackle it. Its answer eludes us. Even with the best intentions, most of us – men and women alike – have missed the mark altogether. Yes, our question is timeless, but its answer might be needed now more than ever. Our question…

What does it mean to be a woman?

In his bestselling book Wild at Heart (Review #004), John Eldredge liberated men all over the world by introducing them to their heart, sharing inborn traits that have been handed down from our first father, Adam. In Captivating, John joins forces with his wife, Stasi, to present a response from the other side of the aisle, from God’s other image bearer, Eve.

“Every woman longs for three things,” says Stasi. “She longs to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That’s what makes a woman come alive.”

“A woman in the presence of a good man, a real man, loves being a woman,” she continues. “His strength allows her feminine heart to flourish. His pursuit draws out her beauty. And a man in the presence of a real woman loves being a man. Her beauty arouses him to play the man; it draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero.”

But how often does a woman actually feel that way? How often does she feel romanced or caught up in some great adventure? How often does she feel pursued? How often does she even feel worthy of pursuit? As John explains, the deepest wound any woman can face is when ‘her question’ remains unanswered.

“Little boys want to know, ‘Do I have what it takes?’” John explains. “Little girls want to know, ‘Am I lovely?’”

Am I lovely?

“At some core place, maybe deep within, perhaps hidden or buried in her heart, every woman wants to be seen, wanted, and pursued,” says Stasi. “We want to be romanced.”

John and Stasi believe it's this specific need, this longing so deeply engrained in the female heart, that actually tells us something about the very nature of God. Just as Adam was made in His image, so too was Eve, but how?

“When you are with a woman, ask yourself ‘What is she telling me about God?’,” says John. “It will open up wonders for you. The vast desire and capacity a woman has for intimate relationships tells us of God’s desire and capacity for intimate relationships.”

Ah, yes. Of course. There’s a certain way about a woman that a man could never boast. Try as we might, it’s a gift we just don’t possess. Men are just a small step above brutish, after all. But not women. Women possess something different. Something needed. Something lovely.

It can be found in a mother’s voice. Helping a friend in need. Noticing a friend in need. It can be found when a subtle breeze invites her hair to dance. It can be found in an instant - like the times where she catches you staring - and she gives you back the exact thing you were hoping for anyway… just one smile.

It's Beauty. Women reflect His beauty.

God is beautiful, and He made women - among other things - to reflect that beauty to the world. God created women in His image, and by understanding the female soul we can step deeper into our knowledge of Him. God made Eve, along with the rest of His creation, to help us know Him.

The question still stands... What does it mean to be a woman? It’s gone unanswered for far too long, and according to John and Stasi Eldredge, its answer shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Just ask God. He'll know. After all...

He made her.


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