Thoughts on chapter 2 of “Captivating” by John & Stasi Eldredge

(copied from my MySpace blog) 

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Current mood: contemplative
Category: Religion and Philosophy

I’m writing this, under the assumption that anyone reading this post is reading the book, too.  If you aren’t, then go buy a copy!!!!

~The whole idea of the “lost princess” (p. 21): Anyone else have these thoughts as a little girl? I was sure I’d been born to some noble family, but ended up as a bundle in a basket on my parents’ steps. I was just sure that my “real” family was royalty, or rich, or something better than my own. It was a sigh of relief to me to read that this is common (?) among girls.

~Woman as “The crown of creation”: My goodness. Woman as the pinnacle of all God created. That made me feel noble, just reading that!! The Eldredges make a convincing point, though maybe I’m just easily convinced on this lofty & lovely idea.

~pp. 27-28: “Most women define themselves in terms of their relationships, and the quality they deem those relationships to have. I am a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Or, I am alone. I’m not seeing anyone right now, or my children aren’t calling, or my friends seem distant.” This is something — relationships — that I feel faulty in. But, in reading what the Eldredges wrote, I feel like I “belong” to this category, too. In fact, on Saturday night, dh & I had a discussion about all the things he was worried concerning me. I wrote a letter to him regarding my emotional & spiritual health, and one of my extensive points that were on the positive side was about all the relationships in my life that are healthy — friends & family. When I read the above statement in the book, I had to giggle a bit to myself; even though I think I don’t do great much of the time, at relationships, even me thinking of myself in those terms supports the Eldredges’ supposition.

~”The vast desire and capacity a woman has for intimate relationships tells us of God’s vast desire and capacity for intimate relationships.” (p. 28) Hmmm…. Desire? Yes. Capacity? Not me. I mean, on one hand, I desire more & better relationships, but on the other hand, I have a hard time keeping up w/ the ones I have! Could this be affecting my view of God & my understanding of His capacity for relationship with me?

~”…the mission to be fruitful and conquer and hold sway is given to both Adam and to Eve.” The Eldredges here are talking about the idea of sharing (w/ dh) in the “adventure.” This made me remember something my pastor’s wife told me a few years ago: “For you, adventure is romantic.” Any other adventuresome women out there? Men are supposed to be more of the adventurers, right? But, I think my dh gets so caught up on the providing part, and being stable that our marriage’s sense of adventure gets lost. This whole section made me feel a lot better — even more womanly — about my sense of adventure.

~pp. 31-33 discusses the translation of the Hebrew words ezer kenegdo, which is commonly translated as “help meet.” I don’t know about you, but when they explained that it could more accurately be translated as “sustainer beside him” I felt a lot better about myself being an ezer kenegdo. Especially when they noted that “ezer” is used 20 other times in the OT, all of God, used “when you need Him to come through for you desperately.” That is, more of a “life-saver.” I love this picture of womanhood, of wifehood. Again, so noble… Much less… uh… pedestrian than “helpmeet.”

~p. 34: “Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful.” Love that point.

~pp. 38-40 notes that beauty says, “All shall be well.” It invites, it nourishes, it comforts, it inspires, it is transcendent. When the authors show how these qualities are related to God, and then revealed, incarnate in woman… I feel that if I could grasp this, it would totally change my reasons for pursuing beauty, and my purpose in being beautiful for my husband. I am resistant, somewhat, to the idea of physical beauty and its pursuit. But, if its purpose is held in those ideas of nourishing, comforting, inspiring, etc., that just seems more right. KWIM?

Currently reading :
Captivating : Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
By John Eldredge
Release date: By 07 April, 2005
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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on January 18, 2006, in Books I'm Reading. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’ve just been reading “Captivating”, and it IS captivating. I want to feel beautiful to God and my husband.
    However – one thing in the book is niggling at me. There are a lot of quotes from films, and that’s fine, I’m a movie addict, but there is one from LOTR “The Two Towers” which is totally inaccurate; it says that Wormtongue says “a hushed, tremulsome wild thing” which is nonsense. The words given to Grima in the film are actually spoken by Gandalf in the book, about Eowyn, and he talks about her feeling as though in a cage, “a hutch to trammel some wild thing in”. (I don’t believe “tremulsome” is actually a word so I don’t know where they got this from.) I’d like to point this out so that future editions can be corrected.
    Apart from that, it’s a great book and every woman should read it!

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