Captivating: A Guided Journal: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

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Every little girl has dreams of being rescued by the hero, of being swept away into a great adventure, of being the beautiful princess. Sadly, when women grow up, they are taught to be tough, efficient, and independent. Many Christian women are tired, struggling under the weight of the pressure to be a "good servant," a nurturing caregiver, passionate lover, or capable home manager.

What the Wild at Heart Field Manual did for men, the Captivating: A Guided Journal can do for ...

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Captivating: A Guided Journal: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

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Every little girl has dreams of being rescued by the hero, of being swept away into a great adventure, of being the beautiful princess. Sadly, when women grow up, they are taught to be tough, efficient, and independent. Many Christian women are tired, struggling under the weight of the pressure to be a "good servant," a nurturing caregiver, passionate lover, or capable home manager.

What the Wild at Heart Field Manual did for men, the Captivating: A Guided Journal can do for women. By revealing the three distinctly female desires every woman shares, John and Stasi Eldredge invite participants to recover their feminine hearts, which may have suffered many wounds but were originally defined in the image of a passionate God.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
John Eldredge became the Robert Bly of evangelicalism with his blockbuster Wild at Heart. Now he teams up with his wife, Stasi, to encourage women to connect with their deepest desires. To facilitate this, the Eldredges reveal in the first chapter what every woman's three core desires are: to be romanced, to play a role in her own adventures and to display beauty. (This formula will be familiar to Eldredge's fans, as Wild at Heart offered a similar tripartite model of men's desires.) The rest of the book is an extended reflection on these three impulses. Drawing heavily on popular films to prove their points, the Eldredges warn that most women tend to become either controlling or needy. Godly women, in contrast, should see God as the ultimate lover, and look to Eve (and not, say, J. Lo) as their model. Also, women should form close, intimate friendships with one another, a la Ruth and Naomi or the ladies in Fried Green Tomatoes. These are all unoriginal themes, which evangelical women's writers have been recycling for years. Christian readers who embrace a robust egalitarianism will not find the Eldredges' perspective congenial. Regardless, the book is likely to fly off the shelves, purchased by all those women who gave Wild at Heart to their husbands, brothers and dads. (Apr. 14) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780785207009
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/18/2005
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 245,695
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

John Eldredge is an author, a counselor, and a teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recovering their own hearts in God’s love, and learning to live in God’s Kingdom.

Stasi Eldredge co-authored Captivating with her husband John, which has sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. alone and has changed women’s lives all over the world. Director of the women’s ministry at Ransomed Heart, Stasi leads Captivating retreats in Colorado. Her passion is to see lives transformed by the beauty of the Gospel and an intimate romance with Jesus Christ.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Heart of a Woman

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman.

--Tammy Wynette

You belong among the wildflowers

You belong in a boat out at sea

You belong with your love on your arm

You belong somewhere you feel free.

--Tom Petty, Wildflowers

I love the sentence "Sometimes, it's hard to be a woman" from the old Tammy Wynette song. Talk about an understatement. Yes, there are many, many times when it is very hard to be a man as well. Yet, we women are living in a time when the pressures from without and the pressures from within to live well as a woman often feel massive and relentless. Sometimes, it's harder to be a woman.

Welcome, Beloved of God. Take a deep breath. Relax. You are among friends here. Before you pick up a pen, take a moment to invite Jesus in to your time now; ask Him to guide and lead and have his way with your thoughts and your heart. He is after all, the creator of our hearts, as women. He knows who we are. He knows and understands the stories of our lives much better than we do. And he knows the desires of our hearts with intimate detail. He placed them there. Let's ask him to come, and to help us.

Dear Jesus, I love you. I need you. I come before you now, once again, as yours, asking for your help, your grace. My life is yours. My heart is yours. Would you please come and shine your light into the depths of my heart that I might understand myself better and come to know your healing and your presence more deeply. Help me to remember what I need to remember. Help me to see, to understand, to repent, to forgive and to become. Jesus, I give you access to all of my heart. I invite you in to every part. Come, Holy Spirit, have your way…that I might love you, God, more deeply and truly with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Windows to Your Heart

John and I love movies, because they speak so deeply to the heart. (You'll remember that Jesus loved to tell stories, too. He did it to reach the heart). In chapter one we said, "Look at the games that little girls play, and if you can, remember what you dreamed of as a little girl. Look at the movies women love. Listen to your own heart and the hearts of the women you know. What is it that a woman wants? What does she dream of?" It might be really helpful, as a way of entering into this journey, to go back and watch one or two of your favorite movies. And as you do, ask yourself, Why do I love this? What does it stir in me?

In fact, why don't you jot down the names of several movies you love right here:

Now, as you begin, flip back over chapter one in Captivating, skim the pages. Did you highlight anything? What strikes you? What did it evoke in your heart?

What do you like about this chapter?

What do you not like about it? What are you struggling with?

What, if anything presented in this chapter, are you having a hard time believing?

Coming Alive

I began chapter one by retelling the story of our Oxbow Bend canoeing experience; the beauty of it and the dangerous turn it took.

We rose to the challenge working together, and the fact that it required all of me, that I was in it with my family and for my family, that I was surrounded by wild, shimmering beauty and it was, well, kind of dangerous made the time . . . transcendent.

Have you experienced something similar? Can you recall a time in your life when you felt alive as a woman? Who were you with? What happened? How did you feel?

A Woman's Journey

Then the time came when the risk it took

To remain tight in a bud was more painful

Than the risk it took to blossom.

--Anais Nin

When did you first know that you were no longer a girl, but had become a woman, a "grown up"? Was there a milestone? An event?

Do you feel like you are a woman? Are there places in your heart where you still feel young?

There seems to be a growing number of books on the masculine journey--rites of passage, initiations, and the like--many of them helpful. But there has been precious little wisdom offered on the path to becoming a woman. Oh, we know the expectations that have been laid upon us by our families, our churches, and our cultures. There are reams of materials on what you ought to do to be a good woman. But that is not the same thing as knowing what the journey towards becoming a woman involves, or even what the goal really should be.

What expectations have been laid upon you, as a woman? What do you feel the pressure to be?

The Church has not been a big help here. No, that's not quite honest enough. The church has been part of the problem. Its message to women has been primarily . . . you are here to serve. That's why God created you: to serve. In the nursery, in the kitchen, on the various committees, in your home, in your community. Seriously now--picture the women we hold up as models of femininity in the church. They are sweet, they are helpful, their hair is coiffed; they are busy, they are disciplined, they are composed, and they are tired.

Think about the women you meet at church. They're trying to live up to some model of femininity. What do they "teach" you about being a woman? What are they saying to us through their lives?

What have you been taught that a mature, godly woman should look like?

Unseen, Unsought, and Uncertain

I know I am not alone in this nagging sense of failing to measure up, a feeling of not being good enough as a woman. Every woman I've ever met feels it--something deeper than just the sense of failing at what she does. An underlying, gut feeling of failing at who she is. I am not enough, and, I am too much, at the same time.

Have you ever felt that way? Are you feeling it these days? In what ways?

The result is Shame, the universal companion of women. It haunts us, nipping at our heels, feeding on our deepest fear that we will end up abandoned and alone.

After all, if we were better women--whatever that means--life wouldn't be so hard. Right?

Do you believe that? That if you were "better" life wouldn't be so hard? "Better" in what ways?

Why is it so hard to create meaningful friendships and sustain them? Why do our days seem so unimportant, filled not with romance and adventure but with duties and demands? We feel unseen, even by those who are closest to us. We feel unsought--that no one has the passion or the courage to pursue us, to get past our messiness to find the woman deep inside. And we feel uncertain--uncertain what it even means to be a woman; uncertain what it truly means to be feminine; uncertain if we are or ever will be.

Do you feel like you know what it means to be a true woman? Do you feel like you are?

Aware of our deep failings, we pour contempt on our own hearts for wanting more. Oh, we long for intimacy and for adventure; we long to be the Beauty of some great story. But the desires set deep in our hearts seem like a luxury, granted only to those women who get their acts together. The message to the rest of us--whether from a driven culture or a driven church--is Try Harder.

Do you resonate with that? Do you ever feel that way? How have you--how are you now--"trying harder?"

The Heart of a Woman

And in all the exhortations we have missed the most important thing of all. We have missed the heart of a woman. And that is not a wise thing to do, for as the scriptures tell us, the heart is central. "Above all else, watch over your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23). Above all else.

Think about it: God created you as a woman. "God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27 NIV). Whatever it means to bear God's image, you do so as a woman. Female. That's how and where you bear his image. Your feminine heart has been created with the greatest of all possible dignities--as a reflection of God's own heart. You are a woman to your soul, to the very core of your being. And so the journey to discover what God meant when he created woman in his image--when he created you as his woman--that journey begins with your heart.

Is it a new thought to you that your heart as a woman is the most important thing about you? What does that meant to you?

Listen to your own heart and the hearts of the women you know…We think you'll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive.

Amen? Do you see those desires within your own heart? In the movies that you love? In your dreams--or, in your disappointments?

To Be Romanced

I will find you.

No matter how long it takes, no matter how far--I will find you.

--Nathaniel to Cora in The Last of the Mohicans)

How do you think Cora felt as Nathaniel made this pledge to her?

The desire to be romanced is set deep in the heart of every little girl and every woman. By looking at the stories we love, we can get a hint, a clue to what those desires are. What were some of your favorite games as a little girl? Do you remember role-playing games that you played as a child? If you do, who or what did you like to pretend to be? A horse? A movie star? A mother? An undercover agent?

What were some of your favorite stories or movies while you were growing up?

What are some of your favorite stories and favorite movies now?

Lifting the Veil

God is the Master Storyteller. He loves to use stories to capture our imaginations and speak to our hearts. There is a reason, a spiritual reason, why you love the stories you do. It would be good to ask God about that; to reveal the deeper reasons to you. It would be a good idea to make time in the next month or so to revisit them; rent the film, check out the book. Maybe make a "girls night" and share some of your favorite movies with a friend.

Our guess is, that although women also love adventure stories, heroic tales and battle epics, the stories that make your heart sigh with longing most deeply possess meaningful relationships. Specifically, good women being pursued, wanted, desired and fought for by worthy, noble men. That desire is universal and written on the heart of every woman.

When we are young, we want to be precious to someone--especially Daddy. As we grow older, the desire matures into a longing to be pursued, desired, wanted as a woman.… Now, being romanced isn't all that a woman wants, and John and I are certainly not saying that a woman ought to derive the meaning of her existence from whether she is being or has been romanced by a man or not . . . but don't you see that you want this? To be desired, to be pursued by one who loves you, to be someone's priority? Most of our addictions as women flare up when we feel that we are not loved or sought after. At some core place, maybe deep within, perhaps hidden or buried in her heart, every woman wants to be seen, wanted, and pursued. We want to be romanced.

Do you want to be romanced? In what ways? (And if that desire seems far away, or undesirable, ask yourself, "Why is that? When did I lose that desire?")

An Irreplaceable Role in a Great Adventure

Sometime before the sorrows of life did their best to kill it in us, most young women wanted to be a part of something grand, something important. Before doubt and accusation take hold, most little girls sense that they have a vital role to play; they want to believe there is something in them that is needed and needed desperately.

Did you want to play a vital role in a great story?

I love remembering the story of the canoe trip on Oxbow Bend for many reasons but chief among them is the fact that I was needed, and I did not fail. Are there places in your life where you feel that you are needed, vital, essential? Do you like that?

What sort of adventures do you enjoy? And, do you enjoy them most by yourself, or in sharing them with a close friend or loved one?

My guess is, that although there are times when we need to be ALONE, for the most part, we want to share our lives, our experiences, our adventures, even our sorrows with others. As we wrote in Captivating, that is because:

As echoes of the Trinity, we remember something. Made in the image of perfect relationship, we are relational to the core of our beings and filled with a desire for transcendent purpose. We long to be an irreplaceable part of a shared adventure.

Does that ring true to you? Do you want this?

Beauty to Unveil

"The King is enthralled by your beauty."-- Psalm 45:11 NIV

What would it feel like to know that Jesus, your King, is enthralled by your beauty?

Little girls being raised in healthy homes have a sparkle in their eyes. They are like our little friend Lacey whose story we told of her flitting from office to office singing her newly made-up song. Most little girls enjoy playing dress up, wearing "twirl skirts". Did you? Take a moment and try to recall how you felt. What did you enjoy about it? If you have a young daughter, does she delight in playing "dress up"?

Do you remember a time when you were young that you wanted to be beautiful? When you wanted others to find you beautiful?

All little girls want to be delighted in. Their young hearts intuitively want to know they are lovely. Some will ask with words, "Am I lovely?" Others will simply ask with their eyes. Verbal or not, whether wearing a shimmery dress or covered in mud, all little girls want to know. When you were young, and your young heart asked the question, "Am I lovely?", how were you answered?

By those whose opinions matter to you, how do you think you would be answered today?

The desire to be beautiful does not diminish with age. It remains. It is an ageless longing. Do you believe that?

Now, we know that the desire to be beautiful has caused many women untold grief (how many diets have you been on?) Countless tears have been shed and hearts broken in its pursuit. As Janis Ian sang, "I learned the truth at seventeen that love was meant for beauty queens, and high school girls with clear-skinned smiles." Beauty has been extolled and worshipped and kept just out of reach for most of us. For others, beauty has been shamed, used, and abused. Some of you have learned that possessing beauty can be dangerous. And yet--and this is just astounding--in spite of all the pain and distress that beauty has caused us as women, the desire remains.

How would you describe your feelings towards your own beauty? Ambivalent? Hopeless? Content? Longing?

Do you like having your picture taken? Do you like looking at those pictures later?

Lifting the Veil

Now this is key: The desire to be beautiful, to have a beauty all our own to unveil is not primarily about our looks. It is a desire to be captivating in the depths of who you are.

Who in your life is beautiful to you? Why?

Is it primarily because of their outward appearance…or is it more a matter of their heart?

This isn't about dresses and make-up. Beauty is so important that we'll come back to it again and again in this book. For now, don't you recognize that a woman yearns to be seen, and to be thought of as captivating? We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.

Do you want this? Do you remember wanting it?

The Heart of a Man

As I (John here) described in Wild at Heart, there are three core desires in the heart of every man as well. (If you haven't read that book, you really should. It will open your eyes into the world of men). But they are uniquely masculine. For starters, every man wants a battle to fight. It's the whole thing with boys and weapons…Men also long for adventure. Boys love to climb and jump and see how fast they can ride their bikes (with no hands). Just look in your garage--all the gear and go-carts and motorcycles and ropes and boats and stuff…Finally, every man longs for a beauty to rescue. They really do.

Have you seen that in the men you know? In your husband, and in your sons?

And, how have you felt about those desires in men? Do you like them? Encourage them?

Now--can you see how the desires of a man's heart and the desires of a woman's heart were at least meant to fit beautifully together? A woman in the presence of a good man, a real man, loves being a woman. 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, draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero. Would that we all were so fortunate.

As a woman, do you long to draw out the strength of a man?

By Way of the Heart

The longings God has written deep in your heart are telling you something essential about what it means to be a woman, and the life he meant for you to live. Now we know--many of those desires have gone unmet, or been assaulted, or simply so long neglected that most women end up living two lives. On the surface we are busy and efficient, professional, even. We are getting by. On the inside women lose themselves in a fantasy world or in cheap novels, or we give ourselves over to food or some other addiction to numb the ache of our hearts. But your heart is still there, crying out to be set free, to find the life your desires tell you of.

You can find that life. If you are willing to embark on a great adventure. Are you aware of your heart wanting more?

Let's quiet our souls again and talk to God.

Dearest God. You fashioned my heart within. You knit me together in my mother's womb. You had your eye upon me before the foundation of the world. Would you please come again for me now and tenderly and firmly hold my heart. Awaken my desires. Restore them to me. Lead me into becoming the woman you created me to be; the woman I long to be. I will risk taking this journey with you…this journey into my heart, and into yours. I trust you. I love you. I need you. All this, and all the unspoken longings of my heart, I pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Table of Contents


Introduction, vii,
Chapter One The Heart of a Woman, 1,
Chapter Two What Eve Alone Can Tell, 21,
Chapter Three Haunted by a Question, 47,
Chapter Four Wounded, 69,
Chapter Five A Special Hatred, 83,
Chapter Six Healing the Wound, 99,
Chapter Seven Romanced, 119,
Chapter Eight Beauty to Unveil, 143,
Chapter Nine Arousing Adam, 171,
Chapter Ten Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, 197,
Chapter Eleven Warrior Princesses, 215,
Chapter Twelve An Irreplaceable Role, 233,
Closing Thoughts, 251,
Other Books from John Eldredge, 253,

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 238 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 240 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not fluff and stuff

    Truth, truth and more (sometimes painful) truth. A must read for every woman wondering what happened, how'd she get here and how to make the rest of her life....different. Change is possible, God is faithful and tenaciously pursuing women to know their true value and drop society's dictates and all its twisted lies. Not for those who want to 'feel good' without being willing to face some tough stuff in the mirror. John & Staci layer truth with concrete examples and bring years of counseling and research to back up this truth. Life changing (if applied) and something a lot of men could read to learn the heart of a woman and if read by both partners, could bring great depth and discusion to the relationship....and potentially healing.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2010


    In the wee hours of the morning this morning, I finished reading Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul, by John and Stasi Eldredge. What an incredible book!

    I have to confess that I had actually read this one before. I borrowed a copy from a friend a few years ago and loved it so much that I subsequently bought copies as gifts for a number of ladies in my life. Unfortunately, I never got a copy for myself and, since this one is a "revised and expanded" edition, I jumped at the chance to get a free copy from the publisher.

    This is a fantastic book. The husband and wife team of writers is terrific at revealing the heart of a woman: why we were made the way we're made, why we feel the way we feel, why we long for the things we long for, and why we struggle the way that we do. Through Biblical example and everyday accounts of women just like us, the authors show that while every woman is unique and special, no woman has or will suffer alone. We're all in this together, and while the world has worked steadily throughout history to silence women and stifle all that we were created to be, God has a special and powerful plan for our lives. He made us to fulfill a specific purpose, and everything in us points us to that.

    It isn't a feminist "women rule!" kind of book, though. It is open and honest about the things that women struggle with and have failed at, and helps me to see that nothing that has happened in my life has been random or arbitrary. God has a plan for my life, but so does my enemy; everything in life can be used for one side or the other.

    I highly recommend this book to the women in your life. Young women just starting out and trying to find their place in the world..women with grown children who are finding themselves in a new place...older women who feel like most of their story has already been written. It is an empowering book that encourages soul searching and introspection, self-evaluation and assessment.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    Soulful portrayal of a woman's heart

    I really liked the first half of this book, but it got a little strange for me near the end. Not to mention repetitive. I do recommend this book because the first half is very strong. It often made me think, "yeah, that is how I feel but I would never have put it that way!" I think it's helpful for realizing that the things that make women who they are - emotions, relationships, etc - are perfectly normal and above all the way things are supposed to be! I think there is a lot of freedom in knowing that God created us this way and there is nothing wrong with us for being that way!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    Good points - Mrs. Eldredge has overcome personal trauma, and offers hope to those who are in pain. Many good points about being in a relationship with God. Good points for men who want to understand women who have been through traumatic life experiences. Bad points - poor Biblical rationale for its conclusions. Convoluted logic. Promotes a fairy-tale view of the Bible. Overly romanticized interpretations of everything. Too focused on a person's view of themselves.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    Absolutely "captivating"

    I loved this book! Lots to ponder about our wonderful femininity and to consider what we have lost over the years. Put it together to see how to return to the Godly woman we were meant to be.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    I'm amazed!

    If you wanna read about a victim who does not take accountability for her own actions and emotes through her writings, then this is the book for you. I was hoping for some guidance and spiritual inspiration, but only read on how to blame my surroundings and do what feels good. Not only am I appalled on how she made the Mary, Mother of God, look like chop liver, but her interpretations of Scripture is evidently based on her emotions, not on facts. Want truth and validity? Read books written by Kimberly Hahn.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2007

    Honestly, I couldn't finish it

    No only does the author present weak validation for her points (using examples that aren't scriptually based) as well as presenting ideas and concepts that seem to be read into. Perhaps I simply was not a good candidate to read it, however after reading it, it's amazing more women aren't in therapy after reading this book. It seems to give more issues for you to deal with, how you fail, then it offers help. In my opinion, over raited and over praised.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2006

    Couldn't wait to be finished with this one!

    I think this book is best for those that need healing. For those that have been there, done that it's a waste of time. Also, some of the things she writes about women are nice but there aren't any scriptural references. Examples: She writes, 'Jesus is extending his hand to you. He is inviting you to dance with him. He asks, 'May I have this dance every day of your life?' His gaze is fixed on you. He is captivated by your beauty. He is smiling. He cares nothing of the opinions of others. He is standing. He will lead. He waits for your response.' She also writes, 'The essence of a woman is Beauty. She is meant to be the incarnation-our experience in human form-of a Captivating God.'

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Not Inspiring but can help others

    The book sets an outline of how women act and think based on past experiences.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    A MUST Read for teens & women of all ages!

    This book helps a woman see her value & worth through her maker's eyes, instead of the world's eyes. Society has given women a "to be acceptable" list of requirements which we cannot live up to, and thereby struggle with our self worth. God made us with amzing beauty, purpose, and grace and this book can help you look somewhere besides a magazine, billboard, commercial or other people for validation and your value as a woman. All women are captivating by design, and our Divine Creator is captivated by us. I challenge you disagree. Enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge

    When I received the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge I was eager to start reading. I enjoyed the first of the book where the authors wrote of the importance of women to God and also how the Devil is out to try to destroy our relationship with God, but the more I read the less I enjoyed reading. In my humble opinion, I feel that many of the descriptions of Jesus and God as a woman's lover just did not seem quite right and they left me with an uneasy feeling. I had the definite feeling that Stasi and John used scripture more to validate their own ideas than to prove the worth and role of women. Many of their scripture references were on target, but I found many to be theologically unsound. To me the most unsettling, theologically unsound statement was on page forty-five when Stasi or John wrote, "Eve was given to the world as the incarnation of a beautiful, captivating God-a life offering, life-saving lover, a relational specialist, full of tender mercy and hope." That is not what my Bible tells me.

    One thing that I really did not like about the book was all the references to secular movies, poems, books, and songs. Many of them I had never heard of and even if I had, I did not see the advantage of using such references. Another problem was that many times I would read half a page or more before I knew if it was Stasi or John writing. It was good to have both a woman's and a man's opinion in the book but knowing at the beginning of a paragraph who was writing would have helped tremendously.

    I am of the opinion that probably the book has more value for younger women and girls for much of what was in the book seemed irrelevant to a woman in her sixties or older. We women are never to old to be the woman that God wants us to be but I think that we can do that without this book. I will probably tell friends about this book but will tell them to keep an open mind and an open Bible when they are reading it.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009


    If you want to change your life for the better, buy this book and the study guide. It's truly inspiring!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2013

    This book was recommended to me by a friend. I would have never

    This book was recommended to me by a friend. I would have never picked it up otherwise. I would have never really come across it if it weren't for it being recommended to me since I don't venture into Christian nonfiction too much. With that being said, aside from a few reservations, this book was actually really pleasant and beautiful in many of its parts.

    I think you have to be a practicing Christian to really appreciate this book, more than I did anyway. I am a Christian, but I haven't considered myself a 'practicing Christian' in a long while now, even though I am a very spiritual person and I have my own personal relationship with God. In this sense, some of the scripture passages went over my head. Even so I was still able to realize what the authors were getting to in some parts of the book.

    One of the reservations I had when I started reading the book had to do with rhetoric. I was fond of some of the words being used, and some of the notions being talked about. Things like how women were Unseen, Unsought, Uncertain and they had to be Romanced and Rescued. Once you strip away some of the rhetoric in this book, you realize there are some meaningful and substantive fundamental concepts about us, women, and our femininity worth reading about.

    My next reservation was with the roughness of the concepts. I felt the book was stochatic in many ways. It didn't really flow easily from one part to another. It sort of jumped like a rabbit from one pasture to another... grazing on the surface of each one but not really getting to the nutritious depth of it all. I think even so I was still able to gain some insight into what the authors were trying to explain.

    So what did John and Stasi Eldredge accomplish with this book? What is the authors gain from reading this book? Well first and foremost, I believe they realized an image of a woman's feminity. How does our culture, society, and the rhythm of our daily lives tame and even at times destroy a woman's femininity, a woman's captivating soul? And how does a woman regain her sense of beauty, captivating soul, and a calm secure sense of self back?

    First, through a woman's beauty and mystery, both of which lie at the center of her captivating soul. This is what the authors say about these two. See for yourself. While on the surface, these statements might appear a bit mocking and sarcastic even, there's something of use in them, something deep down true about them.

    'A woman knows, down in her soul, that she longs to bring beauty to the world. She might be mistaken on how (something every woman struggles with) but she longs for a beauty to unveil. This is not just culture, or the need to 'get a man.' This is in her heart, part of her design.'

    'One of the deepest ways a woman bears the image of God is in her mystery. By 'mystery' we don't mean 'forever beyond your knowing,' but something to be explored.

    Not something to be solved but known with every-deepening pleasure and awe. Something to be enjoyed. Just like God, a woman is not a problem to be solved, but a vast wonder to be enjoyed... She years to be known and that takes time and intimacy. It requires an unveiling. As she is sought after, she reveals more of her beauty. As she unveils her beauty, she draws us to know her more deeply.

    Whatever else it means to be feminine, it is depth and mystery and complexity, with beauty at its very essence."

    Secondly, I believe the authors touched on very real dynamics of a woman's soul (as well as a man's). Towards the end of the book they talk about what curses women and prevents them from acheiving their true captivating soul. That plague is 'loneliness' for women, and for men is futility.

    The book, though, is much more broad than what I have just mentioned here. If you are a woman with a curious mind on how Christianity sees women and if you want to see a fresh perspective placed against that, this is a good book to read. I am a woman and I have a curious mind, and I am glad I read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2011

    Couldn't identify with it/some alternative books

    I read Wild at Heart and Captivating several years ago and even as a teenage girl identified more with Wild at Heart. Captivating just had me wondering if something was seriously wrong with me because I couldn't identify with what she was saying I should be feeling as a woman. Several of my girl friends were also frustrated by this book.

    Read/give Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot or Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere instead. Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer is completely different but goes straight to understanding God.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    one of my favorite books by far..

    this book was truly amazing. i could relate to so many things and i'm sure anyone else can. it has made me think so much of how i view myself and god and i think everyone should read this. you will be captured from the very first page. it was just so inspiring, had some great advice and was so greatly written.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommend

    This was a very good book. While reading, every emotion known to woman rushes forth and sweeps you away. Those emotions blow you here and there until the end where you are left silent and still. You walk away from the book confident in the woman that God created you to be. Pick up this book and do not put it down until you've read it from cover to cover. Once you're done keep it alive in your heart so that you can carry it everywhere that you go passing along it's power and strength to other women.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2010

    Not what I expected

    The book makes a major point in that there are three desires that women have. One desire is to be romanced; another desire is to know that people think we are beautiful, and the last desire is to play an important role in an adventure. These points make the book very easy to relate to with all of the examples and emotional ties, but they are not very strong points. Women have more than three desires, and many of these desires are more than just skin deep. I believe that having only these three points took away from the overall affect of the book. Besides not containing enough points or strong points, the book is somewhat of a slow read. The chapters are very repetitive, and I believe that the book could be just as good, if not better, if it were half as long. Another problem that I found with the book was that parts of it were written from a male's perspective and parts were written from a female's perspective. At times I did not know who was writing, and was slightly confused. Overall I would not recommend this book. Although it was not beneficial for me, women who have been hurt in some way by men, possibly physically or sexually abused at some point in their lives, may find this book helpful.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Okay Book

    Captivating, the best-selling book by John and Stasi Eldridge has recently been revised and expanded. I have read this book in precious years, but decided to re-read its newer edition.

    As many of you are aware, Captivating is a book celebrating the beauty of a woman's soul. Thousands have been touched by this book, and many have found healing in its pages.
    This groundbreaking book shows readers the glorious design of women before the fall, describes how the feminine heart can be restored, and casts a vision for the power, freedom, and beauty of a woman released to be all she was meant to be.
    Although this may be just what some hurting women need, I am not entirely taken with Captivating. Some of the chapters did not sit well with me. The book focused on how beautiful women are, and yes, that is true, but we can only have true beauty through Christ. I wish that had been more of the focus in the book.

    John and Stasi have written some great things, but I caution readers to take everything they say with a grain of salt.

    I was provided a review copy of this book from BookSneeze.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Captivating by John and Stasi Eldrege: A Light Read

    Thomas Nelson Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review, and therefore, the review is 100% my honest opinion.

    Captivating by John and Stasi Eldrege is a light read.

    It is about setting women's hearts free and releasing them to be all they were meant to be. I'm not quite sure if I understood it well. the way the authors intended it to be understood, but the book is about that, and I don't think I like it that much in comparison to the previous books that I received as an advance read from the publisher.

    I have always believed that we make our own destinies, and though God make plans for us, it is up to us to fulfill those that he had planned for us, and feminist all around is going to have my head for saying this, but I don't feel that women are made to be His utmost creation. Women, are made to complement men, and complete each other.

    Distorted belief, coming from a woman? I suppose it is somewhat distorted, but I didn't really like this book, though it is a good read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

    I didn't feel there was a strong theological basis for some of the statements made about God and His purpose and design for women. There were points that sounded very good, but left me wondering how in context a verse was applied or the scriptural basis.

    Will I recommend this book for others to read? I suppose I would, but not to those who sees things in different perspectives.

    I would rate this book, 2 out of 5.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Review of the book; "Captivating"

    Overall, I was not satisfied with this book. The authors used a lot of personal narrative and experiences to support their theory. They also used a lot of extreme circumstances as supporting examples which would not apply to many women reading the book. I was also disappointed with the fact that they did not use a lot of scripture as support. While I liked some of their ideas, I think that there are better books out there that describe the heart of a woman that have much better Biblical support.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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