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Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

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Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to" be" the Beauty of the story. And yet―how many women do you know who ever find that life? Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, striving to be Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to" be" the Beauty of the story. And yet―how many women do you know who ever find that life? Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, striving to be the women they "ought" to be but often feeling they have failed. Sadly, too many messages for Christian women add to the pressure. "Do these ten things, and you will be a godly woman." The effect has not been good on the feminine soul. The message of "Captivating" is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating.


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Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to" be" the Beauty of the story. And yet―how many women do you know who ever find that life? Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, striving to be Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to" be" the Beauty of the story. And yet―how many women do you know who ever find that life? Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, striving to be the women they "ought" to be but often feeling they have failed. Sadly, too many messages for Christian women add to the pressure. "Do these ten things, and you will be a godly woman." The effect has not been good on the feminine soul. The message of "Captivating" is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating.

30 review for Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    As requested, I've decided to review the "book" Captivating, by husband and wife team, John and Staci Elderidge. Just how much of this book actually comes from Staci, and how much she was forced to write by her chauvinist husband is unclear. But she's credited on the book jacket. I guess that's worth something. Well, where to begin? How about with the book's premise: we women, like Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella, are waiting for a man to rescue us from our sad-sack, self-esteemless lives. How does As requested, I've decided to review the "book" Captivating, by husband and wife team, John and Staci Elderidge. Just how much of this book actually comes from Staci, and how much she was forced to write by her chauvinist husband is unclear. But she's credited on the book jacket. I guess that's worth something. Well, where to begin? How about with the book's premise: we women, like Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella, are waiting for a man to rescue us from our sad-sack, self-esteemless lives. How does a man do this? By telling us that we are beautiful. I am not making this up. Basing our feelings of self-worth on a man's evaluation of our physical appearance? How new! How revolutionary! John and Staci, I've been searching for the meaning of life for years, and you've finally shown it to me! I just need a man to tell me that I'm beautiful, and suddenly all that stuff about the fallen state of the world, my own inherrent sinfullness, and the ramifications centuries of patriarchy will just pass away?!!? Wow! I feel like the mystery of my female soul has just been unveiled! I'd much rather have my future husband save me with his salvific love than Jesus, with that whole death-on-the-cross-atoning-for-my-sin thing. What a bummer. And how violent! We women hate blood. Sigh. I am tired of pop culture being repackaged as Christian truth. If I you want to unveil the mystery of your soul, good luck. St. Augstine tried to do the same thing about a millenia ago. What did he discover? Self-knowledge, like all other forms of knowledge, is corrupted by our sinful nature. Our souls are a mystery to us. "Know thyself" comes from the Greeks. And the Bible? "Trust the Lord your God will all your heart, and lean not upon your own understanding."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tommy Tran

    Dear Whomever May Be Concerned, Today I started my girlfriend's favorite book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. There are three things that I have learned in the past two hours of reading and thinking. #1 Emily is an amazing girl and I'm pretty much the luckiest guy on Earth to have her. #2 Guys suck at understanding girls. Being one of those guys who thought he understood girls in high school (arrogance is quite embarrassing) I just would like to say to every guy out there. "WE SUCK AT UND Dear Whomever May Be Concerned, Today I started my girlfriend's favorite book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. There are three things that I have learned in the past two hours of reading and thinking. #1 Emily is an amazing girl and I'm pretty much the luckiest guy on Earth to have her. #2 Guys suck at understanding girls. Being one of those guys who thought he understood girls in high school (arrogance is quite embarrassing) I just would like to say to every guy out there. "WE SUCK AT UNDERSTANDING GIRLS." Growing up I thought because I understood the two concepts "Girls like bad boys." And "Nice guys finished last." I could fully understand the concept of the girl's mind. Man was I wrong. #3 The women's heart longs to be romanced. As guys' we FAIL. Epic giant fail. I look around and I see more guys in my generation looking at porn and degrading women in their mind than I see men buying girl's roses and trying to win their hearts. Men were created in God's image but women were taken from men therefore also created with God's image. Often times we make women feel like they are not skinny enough or too emotional but sometimes we need to be thankful that they exist! God knew exactly what he was doing when He made women. Kiss your mom on the cheek. Tell your girlfriend she's beautiful. Treat the women around you with respect. Stop looking at porn because it degrades women and turns them into objects rather than sisters in Christ. Most importantly start meditating on the fact that the heart of a women is a reflection of the heart of God. sincerely, a humbled Asian boy struggling to be a man of God

  3. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    I have continued to read this book, against my better judgment, and I have become increasingly uncomfortable with it. Not only does it heighten your emotions in order to incite a reaction, it has taken scripture reserved for Israel and applied it to me. That is ludicrous. Also, as an editing side note, when referring to any member of the Trinity in second or third person, it should be CAPITALIZED!! Oh and the audacity to ask God to show me how He loves me, come on! The question should be how hav I have continued to read this book, against my better judgment, and I have become increasingly uncomfortable with it. Not only does it heighten your emotions in order to incite a reaction, it has taken scripture reserved for Israel and applied it to me. That is ludicrous. Also, as an editing side note, when referring to any member of the Trinity in second or third person, it should be CAPITALIZED!! Oh and the audacity to ask God to show me how He loves me, come on! The question should be how have I glorified You, Father? How am I loving You today? Am I living in a manner that brings You praise? These are the questions a daughter of the King should be asking, would you ask your best friend to prove his or her love for you? NO! You would love them so their beauty is evident to those you come in contact with… This book really irritates me… So as I am reading I am becoming more and more disappointed with the premise of the book. Chapter 3 is extremely judgmental... I don't know if I will finish it, but who knows maybe chapter 4 will be better...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I avoided reading this book for over two years now because I always thought it was going to be a fluffy girly book. But it surprised me. I really enjoyed reading it. When someone makes fun of this book, he/she are almost always referring to the part where Staci Elderidge talks about the three things that women desire--I can't even remember them all but...everyone makes this book sound fluffy. But really, the heart of this book is talking about why we have such extreme women...we have "rollercoast I avoided reading this book for over two years now because I always thought it was going to be a fluffy girly book. But it surprised me. I really enjoyed reading it. When someone makes fun of this book, he/she are almost always referring to the part where Staci Elderidge talks about the three things that women desire--I can't even remember them all but...everyone makes this book sound fluffy. But really, the heart of this book is talking about why we have such extreme women...we have "rollercoaster emotional women" and we have "hard as a rock emotional women." And both are unhealthy to the extreme because both have been hurt regardless of the way they are now. The roots are the same. Being hurt. So anyway, Staci and her husband talk about how our past can and will heavily influence who we are today--and the book points out many ways to get to the core of our own roots in our lives. It's solid...a solid book to read for women.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Vellacott

    This is just as bad as the male version Wild at Heart. This quote from the summary says it all really: The message of "Captivating" is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating. I don't agree with any of it and this is definitely n This is just as bad as the male version Wild at Heart. This quote from the summary says it all really: The message of "Captivating" is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating. I don't agree with any of it and this is definitely not what the Bible teaches!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Scott

    I could not get through this book. The authors are blatantly ignorant of things they pretend they are experts on- such as art. When they talk about Adam doing the action and Eve standing around, they obviously failed to look at all into history. They insist that the tone of these pieces they refer to transcend boundaries of culture, but all of the art they're referring to is Catholic and European. They really needed to study art history and the concept of the male gaze before making sweeping gen I could not get through this book. The authors are blatantly ignorant of things they pretend they are experts on- such as art. When they talk about Adam doing the action and Eve standing around, they obviously failed to look at all into history. They insist that the tone of these pieces they refer to transcend boundaries of culture, but all of the art they're referring to is Catholic and European. They really needed to study art history and the concept of the male gaze before making sweeping generalizations. The tone of the authors is smug and snooty. "Who's buying all the romance novels?" Not me. "You know this to be true." Oh, do I? I don't appreciate an author telling me how to feel. They're stance is that they're right: you are the student and they are the teacher. If you don't fit their mold something is wrong with you as a woman. They advertise and quote themselves way too much. "Buy our guided journal we wrote!" Make your friends but the book too and read it together! Look what John wrote in "Wild at Heart!" They base what women want off of what little girls want. Apparently the only thing girls want to do is put on skirts and twirl in front of Daddy and grow up to be a princess. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a janitor or a farrier, and I was inexplicably uncomfortable with my dad until I was 12 (seriously, no abuse or anything. Our relationship is healthy and normal now.) am I broken? Sure, I want to get married someday NOW, but the thought was never entertained when I was a child. This quote drove me insane: "nature is not primarily functional. Nature is primarily beautiful." It suggests that a woman's first job is to be beautiful and not functional. Have the authors ever considered how vultures pee on their feet? Is that beautiful first or functional? Do they know WHY sunsets are so many colors? Nature's beauty is within functionality, and we see beauty in nature because we recognize God's glory in it. It is a call to worship and heralds the glory of its Creator. The most grievous fault of thIs book, and John's book "Wild at Heart" (come to think of it, why did Stasi need his help but he didn't need hers?) is that it is a slap in the face to the creativity of God. It pigeonholes women into one box and men into another. The people who don't fit in either box? They're just wounded. The God I know is just not that bland. The authors claim that there is no blueprint for a woman right before they outline one. I cannot recommend this book to anyone and I wish I could give negative stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lucas

    I'm no woman, and so I have to take all of the "you" statements in the book as "women" statements. But still, I think this book is insightful, and it helps to provide some biblical justification for many of the misunderstood characteristics, needs, and longings of many women. If you're a man, read it only if you have a woman you can talk to about it. Ask her questions. Tell her what confuses you. Tell her what makes sense. She'll enjoy it, especially if she's your "special lady." This book, so fa I'm no woman, and so I have to take all of the "you" statements in the book as "women" statements. But still, I think this book is insightful, and it helps to provide some biblical justification for many of the misunderstood characteristics, needs, and longings of many women. If you're a man, read it only if you have a woman you can talk to about it. Ask her questions. Tell her what confuses you. Tell her what makes sense. She'll enjoy it, especially if she's your "special lady." This book, so far, describes how women are the pinnacle of creation, and they should be cherished as such. They are made to be beautiful, and in our fallen world, this gets perverted and abused. As a result, women's souls are damaged and their validity is challenged. Women are also created with certain aspects of God's personality written on their hearts - relationship, love, beauty, and passion. Much of what I've read in this book hasn't been revelatory, but what is helpful is not the "what" about women's needs/desires, but the "why." Most men know that women want to be told that they're beautiful. Do you know why?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book came highly recommended by a few friends and a myriad of strangers who had rated the book online. I did my best to give it a chance and to read it with an open mind. Although I made it all the way through, I gritted my teeth almost the entire time. Countless bad (and also secular) movie references aside, this book was filled with cliché after cliché about girls' dreams of being fairy tale princesses and the message that women are damsels in distress who need to be rescued by a man. John This book came highly recommended by a few friends and a myriad of strangers who had rated the book online. I did my best to give it a chance and to read it with an open mind. Although I made it all the way through, I gritted my teeth almost the entire time. Countless bad (and also secular) movie references aside, this book was filled with cliché after cliché about girls' dreams of being fairy tale princesses and the message that women are damsels in distress who need to be rescued by a man. John and Stasi Eldredge obviously share poor opinions of women's abilities to take care of themselves, viewing them as fundamentally broken and incapable of having stable emotions. Oh, and we're so pathetic as women that we need not even have ambitions, we just need to let things happen to us. "As a woman, you don't need to strive or arrange; you don't need to make it happen. You only need to respond" (Kindle location 2217). Seriously? This book might as well have been Stasi's memoir about her neglected, traumatic childhood on which she based the idea that all women have "daddy/mommy issues" that have dragged into their adult lives and impacted them in ways they can't see. I felt the whole time that the Eldredges were hoping I would stumble upon some dark, long-buried, awful memory of how my parents abused me or didn't love me enough (which is not the childhood I experienced, by the way). I imagine this book is beyond helpful for women who did suffer from abusive experiences they did not deserve as young girls or teenagers, but this book assumes more women had bad childhoods than not. And if that wasn't enough, the conceited, holier-than-thou tone of the book made me feel as if I am guilty for NOT having had a horrible childhood or having had something awful happen to me. Did (and do) I go through trials in my life? Absolutely. Did I have a perfect childhood with perfect parents who treated each other like gold and stayed married? Nope. But I always felt loved and I was blessed to have parents who instilled confidence, strength and a sense of capability and independence in me from a very early age. I won't even go into the poor writing, disregard for scriptural context and/or accuracy, calling God my "lover" or the authors' multiple references to casting out demons in Jesus' name either. That would just be too much. I would give this book zero stars if I could.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sascha

    This book is a grotesque misinterpretation of femininity. It reinforces paradigms ages old that a woman’s place is upon a pedestal, and that beauty – whether in her canoeing skills or her ball gown – is her essence. It negates the need to dabble on the hearts of wild, wilful, untameable women, simply decreeing that if you’re of that ilk, you’re broken, desolate and lost. Seduction, within a “Christian” sense, plagues this book; Women are to be pretty and needy and petty in the making to make them This book is a grotesque misinterpretation of femininity. It reinforces paradigms ages old that a woman’s place is upon a pedestal, and that beauty – whether in her canoeing skills or her ball gown – is her essence. It negates the need to dabble on the hearts of wild, wilful, untameable women, simply decreeing that if you’re of that ilk, you’re broken, desolate and lost. Seduction, within a “Christian” sense, plagues this book; Women are to be pretty and needy and petty in the making to make them alluring, and being alluring, or captivating, is the key! It is your duty to make your man feel like a real man, (apparently this means not letting him lounge about the bed naked and half covered by a sheet), otherwise you have failed. There is no place in this picture for a woman that does things on her own, but then, this book is not targeted at strong women. This book is targeted at lost women within the church searching for a sense of self, herein it becomes its own failure. What Stasi Eldredge sees as herself, whether as a woman or a creation of God, is not the essence that makes every other woman whom she is in her heart. I am not romantic, I do not like being romanced, and I prefer Stevenson to Austen and Tarantino to Cameron, but that doesn’t make me less of a woman. I didn’t want to be beautiful when I grew up, I wanted to be wise and knowledgeable; and I have memories of dressing up as a cowboy or Darth Vader, even vaguely as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but never a bride or a princess. Personally, I feel the greatest misunderstanding in this book is that there is such a severe distinction between the sexes, because honestly, there isn’t. Ultimately, Captivating, is a narrow, inconsiderate mess of modern Christian ideology. Maybe it can be seen as inspiring to women searching for their identity, but finding an identity in someone else leaves them no healthier than being lost. God won’t love you any less if your heart is fierce; God knows some of us need a fierce heart, and who’s to say that isn’t alluring?

  10. 4 out of 5

    junia

    So, I just read this today and at first, I liked it. The author seemed to embrace the ideas of women as a companion, as beautiful etc. It seemed to embrace femininity in a way that was refreshing and lively - basically, she didn't seem stodgy and repressive. But really... although there were random quotes i liked etc, she bases her "truths" on movie quotes, movie examples, scripture taken out of context, and .. a lot of personal experience... i mean, i wanted to like it. I feel like, someone shou So, I just read this today and at first, I liked it. The author seemed to embrace the ideas of women as a companion, as beautiful etc. It seemed to embrace femininity in a way that was refreshing and lively - basically, she didn't seem stodgy and repressive. But really... although there were random quotes i liked etc, she bases her "truths" on movie quotes, movie examples, scripture taken out of context, and .. a lot of personal experience... i mean, i wanted to like it. I feel like, someone should write a book for women who struggle more.. but in the end, it really felt sad that someone would go to such lengths to publish man's wisdom under the guise of counsel. there were bits of ideas that did make sense, and i liked how she went into explaining woman as a companion as the ezer kenegdo but... yeah.. some stuff was plain weird. for example: Ruth as a seductress. uhhh... pretend that Jesus Christ is Jack and you're Rose? ... ummm........... hahaha. i think i spent a lot of time frowning. and the only reason i finished it, was because i wanted to see how it ended. (maybe it would redeem itself). it didn't. the beginning was captivating enough.. but it just ... really fell flat. probably because it's what i wanted to hear rather than being anything meaty..... lastly, you probably won't understand all the "romantic" references she makes unless you read classic novels. or watch movies. yeahhh....

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    For every ten pages of lucidity and helpful ideas there's a hundred of horrifically shallow spirituality, Hollywood fluff worship, and truly absurd concepts of gender roles. Long review coming soon. Alas, books of this sort are assumed to be holy, and might be very damaging to the wrong reader at the wrong time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I was recommended this book by my twin sister. I wasnt exactly excited about reading it. However, once I started I couldn't put it down. Captivating isn't a self-help book, or a sermon; far from either. Instead, Captivating is a book about discovery. It sheds light into the areas of a woman's heart most people would dare not even look and gives the reader permission to heal wounds that one didn't even know were there. This book changed my life forever. All it took was the first page and I was ho I was recommended this book by my twin sister. I wasnt exactly excited about reading it. However, once I started I couldn't put it down. Captivating isn't a self-help book, or a sermon; far from either. Instead, Captivating is a book about discovery. It sheds light into the areas of a woman's heart most people would dare not even look and gives the reader permission to heal wounds that one didn't even know were there. This book changed my life forever. All it took was the first page and I was hooked.

  13. 5 out of 5

    April

    This book restores my soul. As a woman it is too easy to become trapped & enamored by what this world deems "beautiful" & "worthy." I, too, have followed the empty train headed towards a wasteland of so called redemption--in hot pursuit of the shoes i simply MUST have--the makeup that promises to transform me--the sparkly adornments designed to make me stand out & shine! A refreshing reminder that there is more to a woman than meets the eye & our beauty has everything to do with This book restores my soul. As a woman it is too easy to become trapped & enamored by what this world deems "beautiful" & "worthy." I, too, have followed the empty train headed towards a wasteland of so called redemption--in hot pursuit of the shoes i simply MUST have--the makeup that promises to transform me--the sparkly adornments designed to make me stand out & shine! A refreshing reminder that there is more to a woman than meets the eye & our beauty has everything to do with how God sees us-not how we see ourselves.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I'm just not connecting with this book. It comes off smug in my opinion, completely lacking the humility and honor I would expect in a book written for women who love the Lord. I've been tempted to put it down several times, but I'm trying to continue to read it with an "open mind". Ok, 2 weeks later, I'm done trying now. I just can't read any more of it, the more I read the more irritated I get. There are too many good books out there to be wasting my time on this one. I got almost 1/2 way throu I'm just not connecting with this book. It comes off smug in my opinion, completely lacking the humility and honor I would expect in a book written for women who love the Lord. I've been tempted to put it down several times, but I'm trying to continue to read it with an "open mind". Ok, 2 weeks later, I'm done trying now. I just can't read any more of it, the more I read the more irritated I get. There are too many good books out there to be wasting my time on this one. I got almost 1/2 way through, so I can't say for sure it's not worth your time, but I strongly suspect you can skip this one altogether. I wish I had.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Crystal-faith

    This book is based on opinion and tradition, not the word of God. Which is fine, unless it's trying to pass off as some kind of Biblical book. Which sadly, it is. The only thing worse, is women everywhere are reading it and accepting it as TRUTH as opposed to reading it and testing it to what they know about their faith and what the Bible says AND DOESN'T say about women and gender. Pathetically, this is how the cycle continues.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This book was given to me by my mom, after she had read it. It took me a while to get into the right mindset to have the patience to read it; however, when I did what a jewel I found - not only in the book, but in myself as well. The book is filled with metaphors and analogies that at first I found it hard to identify with because I was, as the book refers to, a woman striving and busying myself with all the worldly mundane tasks of life. I didn't "have time" for this flowery mumbo-jumbo! A woma This book was given to me by my mom, after she had read it. It took me a while to get into the right mindset to have the patience to read it; however, when I did what a jewel I found - not only in the book, but in myself as well. The book is filled with metaphors and analogies that at first I found it hard to identify with because I was, as the book refers to, a woman striving and busying myself with all the worldly mundane tasks of life. I didn't "have time" for this flowery mumbo-jumbo! A woman emotionally flat and depleted. Once I found my calm space and made time to prioritize this (because afterall, my mom has quoted it SO many times this past year...it obviously has something to offer!), i found that this book is such a refreshing read, and it truly did awaken my feminine spirit. It focuses on the purpose and heart of a woman, and how she is called to a role that is both captivating and nurturing to the relationships in her life. It opened my eyes to the ways that I have learned to defend my heart by putting up barriers to it, and how you cannot truly love without being vulnerable. This is a word that has not even been in my vocabulary for so long that I honestly hardly recognized the concept until I found myself caught up in the examples the authors gave... examples of hardships faced and innocent dreams dying when girls' fundamental questions go unanswered from their fathers: 'Am I lovely?,' and 'Am I enough?' I've been going through life with my eyes wide open, but my heart quite closed off. There were many key insights offered into how a woman should be focused on her one true Father, and operate in a feminine way in the world so as to make it (and her own heart) flourish. It describes femininity in many ways - tender, loving, beautiful, fierce. This book is inspirational, and worth a second read! Enjoy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    READ WITH SCRUTINY AND DISCERNMENT, but know you can take good things. Interesting. Loaded with cultural outlooks. Talking with others I've decided I liked it because I could relate with it, but I don't think a girl who grew up in a different place could relate to it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Neveils

    Now, I give this a 3-star rating because I do not have the option of a 3.5, and it is not quite worthy of a 4-star rating. It is a great book - or course, for women. Having already read "Wild At Heart" and impacted by it, I decided to read "Captivating" while my girlfriend read "Wild At Heart". We wanted to better understand one another, and one another's gender more. "Captivating" is a copy-and-pasted version of "Wild At Heart". They quote the majority of the same movies (mostly men's movies, at Now, I give this a 3-star rating because I do not have the option of a 3.5, and it is not quite worthy of a 4-star rating. It is a great book - or course, for women. Having already read "Wild At Heart" and impacted by it, I decided to read "Captivating" while my girlfriend read "Wild At Heart". We wanted to better understand one another, and one another's gender more. "Captivating" is a copy-and-pasted version of "Wild At Heart". They quote the majority of the same movies (mostly men's movies, at that - i.e. Braveheart, The Lord of The Rings, The Last of The Mohicans etc.) and they often repeat their main points in each chapter. The first chapter is great. It seems as though the Eldredges just rewrote it about 11 other times, as they redundantly state the same point, only adding something slightly different to have some minor impact. I know that it appears as though I did not like the book - that is incorrect. I did. I feel as though I do better understand women (though perhaps not all of them...) and I plan on seeking to become more like the warrior that I am. I do, however, feel as though Stasi and John placed much of their own ideals and interpretations into the writing. That's ok, but it seems a bit of a stretch (making certain goals/situations too easy to overcome) and sometimes a little one-sided. Yes, this book is intended for women, but it does not do a great job of making the genders equal. Women seem to be invited to play BOTH the part of the Beauty and as a Warrior - men only the Warrior. Now that is fine. I cannot see how men could be contrived as a Beauty in any fashion, but I cannot see how women are to play the role as a Warrior if that is what men are called to do. The message seems to be contradicting. Men need to offer their God-given strength (spiritually, physically, and every way) while women offer their God-given beauty (spiritually, physically, and every way) - yet they state that "since men aren't always arround" that women need to also be warriors. I did not like that portrayl. Yes, some men are not present, but they too are battling themselves and their desires just as women are. They use a lot of scripture to support their points - this is good. They use a lot of stories to support their points - this is not as good. Their stories tend to take away, in some cases, from their points as the stories are too long or vague. Stasi's personal testimonies (not all, her dizzy spells seemed a bit exaggerated) spoke to me the most... If you are woman, then this book really will help you, I feel. If you are a man, this book will shed some light into the mysteries of a woman's soul, but it may offend you somewhat - just take it with a grain of salt and then read "Wild At Heart."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shantelle

    Not sure how to rate this one. I think it was almost equally as fascinating as it was confusing, ...and disturbing. The way some things were worded was definitely over the top, and I just totally didn't agree with them. Other things I was not at all comfortable with. For one, I think there's a delicate balance between esteeming a woman for what God made her, and exulting her beyond what's right. And a delicate balance between showing God's love and care for men and women are equal, and actuall Not sure how to rate this one. I think it was almost equally as fascinating as it was confusing, ...and disturbing. The way some things were worded was definitely over the top, and I just totally didn't agree with them. Other things I was not at all comfortable with. For one, I think there's a delicate balance between esteeming a woman for what God made her, and exulting her beyond what's right. And a delicate balance between showing God's love and care for men and women are equal, and actually pushing the men down to show good qualities of the women. Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul, might have gone past the good and into the not-so-good in those areas. But as for actually unveiling a woman's soul, I think they hit that pretty straight on. While other things seemed far-fetched and some a little weird, they described the essence of a woman's soul pretty well I think. We all do long to be princesses, and pursued and protected by a courageous knight… :)  But overall, it seemed kind of self focused. Looking at and to ourselves more than to God. Maybe you want to read this book, but do so with a good dose of wariness I guess! I don’t know. If you want to read Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul, I would suggest reading it with other Christ-following women. For example, I hope to have my mom read it, and discuss it with her. It's good to understand your feminine nature and discover what God truly designed us as women to be, but we don't want to worship ourselves or anything like that. Be a woman: feminine, humble, caring… yet knowing she is a child of the King through her Savior's blood, and beautiful in His eyes. And don’t exalt yourself, exalt HIM! For He is the one who created you, loved you with an unconditional love, and put the longing to be feminine in your heart.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sara Diane

    I'm not a big fan of "self-help" books like this, but a good friend said she kept thinking of me as she read it, so I picked it up. I read the first two chapters last night and it has a lot of good things to say! After finishing, I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I've ever read about being a woman and how women were created and understanding the soul of women. I'm blown away. I think every woman needs to read this book (18 is a good point, or 16 for those who are mature enough I'm not a big fan of "self-help" books like this, but a good friend said she kept thinking of me as she read it, so I picked it up. I read the first two chapters last night and it has a lot of good things to say! After finishing, I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I've ever read about being a woman and how women were created and understanding the soul of women. I'm blown away. I think every woman needs to read this book (18 is a good point, or 16 for those who are mature enough to handle talking about marriage subjects) and every man should as well (20 and up). John Eldredge wrote Wild at Heart and I now plan on reading that one as well to better understand the journey of the Christian man (well, all men, but Christian's in specific). Captivating is the flip side for women. I'll be rereading this one, maybe before the end of the year, because it has so much great info and applicable things to help get the question of our soul answered. SO, if you are a woman and over 18, get this book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julia Winegeart

    It's over!!! She had to have one parting shot at "emasculating" women(*eye roll*) But mostly I'm just glad it's over. Let me be clear, there ARE some REALLY good parts of this book. But I can't think of a single one of those parts you can't find elsewhere in Christian literature. So I would suggest skipping this one and moving on to something that's not entirely gender essentialist and sometimes misogynist. I posted chapter by chapter statuses if you are interested but essentially the main point It's over!!! She had to have one parting shot at "emasculating" women(*eye roll*) But mostly I'm just glad it's over. Let me be clear, there ARE some REALLY good parts of this book. But I can't think of a single one of those parts you can't find elsewhere in Christian literature. So I would suggest skipping this one and moving on to something that's not entirely gender essentialist and sometimes misogynist. I posted chapter by chapter statuses if you are interested but essentially the main point is that femininity is not bad or a weakness but just another way of expressing God's image, he created male and female in his likeness and both are necessary in his kingdom. The other main point is that God wants to romance you. Annoyingly, the authors prove their points but using pretty much no scripture, some pop culture, and a false dichotomy of gender: All men are the same, they are exactly like Adam and all women are the same, they are exactly like Eve. Women are all, deep down inside, as stereotypically feminine as you can possibly be and all men are, deep down inside, as stereotypically masculine as you can be. But when men don't act as stereotypically male as possible or women don't act as stereotypically female as possible they are going against creation and are sinning. There's a lot of derogatory talk about emasculating/dominating women and passive men. Another sore point: the tiny portion of the book claiming to be for single women actually talks to women with boyfriends or fiances. There is literally no thought given to an unattached lifestyle in this book despite the many examples of single people in the bible. Last gripe: This book makes an overarching assumption that everyone hurts all the time. So if you are generally happy in life, the tone will be a bit off putting. There are constant refrains like "You've held this pain inside. You feel it, don't you?" However, everyone hurts sometime so maybe if you are struggling right now, it'll work for you? In conclusion, if you understand that God created male AND female in his likeness and that femininity and beauty are just as inherently valuable as strength and masculinity and that all can and do play a role in God's kingdom, you've got the valuable bits out of this book, spare yourself the rest of it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    UPDATE: When I read this book, I was a college student very much a part of the evangelical "purity" culture. I had been homeschooled and isolated from my peers. I had never dated because I didn't interact with boys my age and I never asked to date because that's not what "good girls did". I felt fat and ugly. I went straight from classes home because that's what my parents expected of me. I didn't do anything wrong - I didn't party, I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I didn't even go out with frien UPDATE: When I read this book, I was a college student very much a part of the evangelical "purity" culture. I had been homeschooled and isolated from my peers. I had never dated because I didn't interact with boys my age and I never asked to date because that's not what "good girls did". I felt fat and ugly. I went straight from classes home because that's what my parents expected of me. I didn't do anything wrong - I didn't party, I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I didn't even go out with friends. For an incredibly isolated, lonely young woman, I needed this book. But I'm not that woman anymore. I've grown up. I have had a boyfriend (though that was meh). I have been out on dates (though, again, meh). I'm a feminist. I've been to other cities, other states, a whole different continent and country. I've lost weight and feel attractive. I will leave this review up here in spoiler tags, but I ask you keep in mind: I was a young woman, very inexperienced, following a whole different culture when I wrote this. I almost want to reread this book with my new perspective, but I have long since given/sold the book. (Of note: Rereading this review, I find it interesting that what I wrote about wasn't how I felt the need to be pure or more feminine, critiques I've seen given to this book, but the joyful affirmation that I was beautiful and uniquely loved by God. Truly, I was in a sad place, that I didn't feel beautiful and loved.) (view spoiler)[When I was a little girl (okay, not that little, but younger than I am now), I would imagine myself being a lawyer or a Jedi. I would save the world from criminals, uphold the ways of the Force, and travel the world (or the universe on my own starship). Eventually, the hero of my dreams (either detective or Luke Skywalker) would tell me how beautiful I was and marry me. Together, we would live happily ever after. Fast forward over a dozen years and the story is much different. Today, I have a less-than-glamorous job, no significant relationships with men, and little hope that anyone outside my family will ever call me beautiful. My story is one that many women can relate to. In this book, John and Stasi acknowledge the way that women feel and encourage them to rise above it. Women are not called to mediocrity, is their cry. Women are meant to be beautiful, to be loved and to love, and to be involved in adventure and the way this can be achieved is by a meaningful, intimate relationship with the one who started it all: God, the ultimate lover. What I Liked: When I first started this book, I couldn't get into it. When my church group encouraged the ladies to read Captivating while the men read Wild at Heart, I took up the challenge--this time with better success. The entire novel absorbed me--particularly Chapter Two: "What Eve Alone Can Tell". In this chapter, John and Stasi gave me a picture of my femininity that I had never, in my wildest dreams, pictured before. Here, they assert that Creation was not complete without woman. For me, that was the most jaw-dropping moment of the book. "Creation is not complete without me?!?!" Woa. Furthermore, John and Stasi give plenty of examples--Biblical, pop culture, and real-life men and women--of what they mean. In describing God and how he wants to love us, they use examples from movies that many women have seen: Titanic, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, and Sense and Sensibility to name a few (none of the movies are endorsed, only the imagery is used). When describing how parents influence a daughter's image of herself, several women's life stories are given. This real-life approach is also given when describing interactions with men, interactions with God, and interactions in the world and lends the whole book great authenticity. But most importantly, John and Stasi made me realize how valued I was as a woman and how important it was for me to let go of all the chains and grudges and burdens I have been holding on to. In this manner, the book was a success and a delight. What I Did Not Like: Towards the end, the book begins to read like a to-do list, i.e. "So in order to feel better and be more beautiful follow the steps below". I hate this because I am the type of person who wants to do the items and conquer each before moving on in the book. But when you are just reading through a book (and don't plan on doing a step, waiting a few weeks/months, going to the next step, repeat), such a tactic does not work. And if I just read all the steps one after another without doing each one, I tend to get overwhelmed with all the "to-do" work I have in front of me. Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence: In relating a prior conversation, a woman says an expletive. John and Stasi relate others' (and Stasi's) failed relationships. These include rape, sexual assault, physical abuse, verbal abuse, and other forms of domestic violence. Definitely not for younger teens; preferably for older teens and adults. Overall: Wow. Wow. What else can I say? I've learned so much about myself in the few days this book has taken to read that I never knew in all the years before. I know why I feel the way I do--and that many other women feel the same way. I understand how my parents influence the way I do things today. And I understand that God loves me in a special way--a romantic way that church never talks about. Are you a lonely woman, looking desperately for someone to love and love you? Are you bored out of your mind in your job? Is someone calling you beautiful? This is a book that will show you that there is someone to love, to call you to adventure and who is calling you beautiful. A must read book. (hide spoiler)]

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wildoaksfarm

    The best thing this book did for me was to remind me of how great my childhood was and to give me a glimpse into the lives of women who didn't have the same kind of childhood as I did. There is one chapter that starts out talking about a little girl's dream birthday (the girl was even named Carrie). It pretty much described how I aways felt on my birthday as a little girl - at that point, I realized that this book was maybe not directed at me. I often felt like I already have what the author and The best thing this book did for me was to remind me of how great my childhood was and to give me a glimpse into the lives of women who didn't have the same kind of childhood as I did. There is one chapter that starts out talking about a little girl's dream birthday (the girl was even named Carrie). It pretty much described how I aways felt on my birthday as a little girl - at that point, I realized that this book was maybe not directed at me. I often felt like I already have what the author and his wife her describing as every women's wish. But that doesn't mean I didn't take something from this book. First of all, I realized how grateful I am for everything I have. Secondly, it reminded me of how important parents are to a little girl's life and how easy it to mess a kid up - this just reinforced how much of a priority I need to make my future children, especially if I have a girl. Thirdly, they talked about following your dreams (and not in a cheesy way...) - a very strong message that is even more important to me now as I get older and as it gets easier and easier to let dreams slip away.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sona

    One of my friends recommended this book to me. It's a faith-based book. I was weary, but luckily it turned out to be Christian without being "here are the 12 rules to follow to be a good service provider to men." Let's just say it made me rethink my whole "cold bitch" lifestyle. I would recommend it to some of the women studio execs I've known.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mikejencostanzo

    I think I was expecting something a little different from this book when I picked it up, than what I actually received in reading it. Overall, I guess I'd have to say it was a disappointment -- but one with some glimmers of good stuff that touched my heart. The book began with a look at womanhood through exploring Eve and various female archetypes through history and literature. Funny thing is, I couldn't really get into it at first. It was a discipline to push myself through the first couple of I think I was expecting something a little different from this book when I picked it up, than what I actually received in reading it. Overall, I guess I'd have to say it was a disappointment -- but one with some glimmers of good stuff that touched my heart. The book began with a look at womanhood through exploring Eve and various female archetypes through history and literature. Funny thing is, I couldn't really get into it at first. It was a discipline to push myself through the first couple of chapters, telling myself that friends have read and really benefited from this book, so it will improve. I'm not sure why I had trouble getting excited about the content of this book early on. Normally I'm a sucker for literary archetypes. I love the romance, the allegory, the subtlety captured by those who refer to Lewis, Tolkien, Shakespeare and draw out deep, meaningful principles that relate to life. I remember once being reduced to tears by a speaker who quoted a passage from Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But for some reason, in this book, it wasn't working for me. Part of me wonders if there wasn't a little bit of "formula" squeaking through the cracks of this book that just turned me off. In theory, I think Captivating is intended to be the female companion book to the wildly bestselling book Wild at Heart. Ever since I realized how the publishing industry does this, it has turned me off. Publishers (and Christian publishers are no exception) will churn out spin-offs to successful books, hoping to reach a new niche group in the market. Trouble is, they don't really have much new to say. The book just gets a new title and a few different anecdotes. Remember how after The Prayer of Jabez came out, there was The Prayer of Jabez for Teens, The Prayer of Jabez for Moms, The Prayer of Jabez for Estranged Third Cousins... Never having read Wild at Heart , I can't say for certain how true this principle carries through in Captivating, but maybe I was sensing a little of that. For me the most meaningful contributions of the book came later on -- chapters 4 through 6, particularly. The authors addressed the deep disappointments/wounds we develop in life, ways we cope with them, why they occur, and how to find true healing in the deep, deep love of God. These points especially reached into my heart as I read them on the heels of a long and disappointing job-search. A search in which I experienced fears of being worthless, of having nothing to offer. And questions of "Why does no one want to hire me?" This book's reminders of Christ's love for me and of his active efforts to woo me were laid on my pain like a salve right where it hurt the most. One more slightly annoying point that I should mention briefly, is that I dislike how some writers create principles out of thin air and then try to sell them as fact or even biblical truth. Grrr. One such point that I couldn't buy in Captivating was the supposition put forth by the authors that Satan has a special hatred for women in particular, since they are a creation of beauty. Brief quote from Chapter 5: "Satan fell because of his beauty. Now his heart for revenge is to assault beauty... now most especially, he hates Eve. Because she is captivating, uniquely glorious, and he cannot be... And there is more. The Evil One also hates Eve because she gives life... Put those two things together... Satan's heart cannot bear it... He assaults her with a special hatred..." Huh? Sure, this idea might get women fired up about standing firm in spiritual warfare. But is it true?! I need to see more data to back up this assertion before I'm able to embrace it. So overall, this book was a sweet & sour kind of book. It warmed my heart at certain points, but also left some bad tastes in my mouth at other points. Awesome book-cover design, by the way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    This book is absolutely amazing! One of my guy friends didn't like it so much--maybe too soft--however you can interpret that word...but I think it's great! It talks about a woman's journey in this world- but in a greater, purposeful perspective. It has elements of romance, adventure, childhood, and more. :) This is a look at how God made women unique and wonderful-in His own image (not that He's a girl). Our beauty reflects the glory of God. Our life is a tale of how the enemy tries to destroy This book is absolutely amazing! One of my guy friends didn't like it so much--maybe too soft--however you can interpret that word...but I think it's great! It talks about a woman's journey in this world- but in a greater, purposeful perspective. It has elements of romance, adventure, childhood, and more. :) This is a look at how God made women unique and wonderful-in His own image (not that He's a girl). Our beauty reflects the glory of God. Our life is a tale of how the enemy tries to destroy us and our hero (God) rescues us. I recommend you give this book a try. If you were like me, you won't be able to put it down. :)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Lanman

    A room painted bubblegum pink, with floral border wallpaper, sporting an immense collection of plastic unicorns is the best way to imagine the tone of "Captivating." It is written by a husband and wife team. I hate it when men try to divulge the secrets of the woman's heart to women, but the wifes commentary was even more repugnant (maybe because she should know better). The premise of the book was worthy, but ended up completely botched by the authors.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    It wasn't so captivating.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I really enjoyed this book, but with some caveats. This really made you look at God and Jesus in a different light, and it made me ponder things I never did before (especially about Adam and Eve). I also liked how blunt the authors were about certain issues like the role of women in the church (regardless of the denomination you subscribe to). One thing I didn't like was how Stasi broad-brushed women as little girls who twirled their skirts and dreamed of being princesses, put mommy's pearls and I really enjoyed this book, but with some caveats. This really made you look at God and Jesus in a different light, and it made me ponder things I never did before (especially about Adam and Eve). I also liked how blunt the authors were about certain issues like the role of women in the church (regardless of the denomination you subscribe to). One thing I didn't like was how Stasi broad-brushed women as little girls who twirled their skirts and dreamed of being princesses, put mommy's pearls and heels on. I wasn't like that... I was playing in dirt, I liked sports, and I honestly dreamed of being some kind of world renowned scientist (like the nerd I was). I felt by broad-brushing like she did, she really didn't do femininity justice since that's the beauty of it--you can go from glitz and glam to getting dirty and loving math and science and it's all still encompassed in femininity. But I digress, the authors did make up for this with their "warrior princess" chapter... bringing up pop culture women like Eowyn from LOTR, and referencing true warriors like Joan of Arc. I highly recommend reading this book with someone else to bounce ideas and thoughts off of, because if I was just reading it by myself some of their ideas would really put me off. But hearing it from someone else's point of view forced me to look at it in a different light... and I really appreciated that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    I was not a fan of this book. Eldredge took her individual experience, expanded it to encompass every woman's experience, and then infused it with some piety. I set it down after she waned theological (badly) on why women shouldn't do sports (REAL women desire to be at rest!), then later complained about her weight. It came across as petty in a pious disguise: the Christian edition of rude accusations that fit women are not truly feminine. In all, the book relied exclusively on post-19th century I was not a fan of this book. Eldredge took her individual experience, expanded it to encompass every woman's experience, and then infused it with some piety. I set it down after she waned theological (badly) on why women shouldn't do sports (REAL women desire to be at rest!), then later complained about her weight. It came across as petty in a pious disguise: the Christian edition of rude accusations that fit women are not truly feminine. In all, the book relied exclusively on post-19th century identification of women with passivity, with little self-examination or historical context, and really no sound theology whatsoever. It was "pretty" to read, a nice feel-good book for single 20-something Christian girls, but sadly gets to neither the breadth of our generation's present problem, nor an effective way to respond to it. It was an easy read that tried to get at something good, and at times came somewhat close, but overall I found theologically unsound and profoundly unhelpful to the present situation of Christian women.

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