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Captivating



Captivating


We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is the 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.That longing in the heart of a woman to share life together as a great adventure that comes straight from the heart of God, who also longs for this. 
He does not want to be an option in our lives. 
He does not want to be an appendage, a tagalong. 
Neither does any woman.
God is essential. 
He wants us to need him desperately. 
Eve is essential. 
She has an irreplaceable role to play. 
And so you'll see that women are endowed with fierce devotion, an ability to suffer great hardships, a vision to make the world a better place.
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Instead of asking, 'What should a woman do—what is her role?',
it would be far more helpful to ask, 
'What is a woman—what is her design?' and,  
'Why did God place Woman in our midst?” 
― John Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. '
It is not good for the man to be alone,
I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). 
Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' 
The various attempts we have in English are "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." 
Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? 
What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?"
Companion? A dog can be a companion. 
Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. 
Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him." 

The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. 
And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.” 
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“A mother's heart is a vast and glorious thing.
My mother's heart was expansive, having been enlarged by suffering and years of clinging to Jesus while being misunderstood, dismissed, and judged by those she loved most. 
Me included. It had cost her to love, had cost her much to mother. It always does. But she would tell you that it's worth it, that there is no other way.” 
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“Much of what we call our 'personalities' is actually the mosaic of our choices for self-protection plus our plan to get something out of the love we were created for.” 
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“Her soul is Alive. And we are drawn to her.” 
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“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.” 
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“The vast desire and capacity a woman has for intimate relationships tells us of God's vast desire and capacity for intimate relationships. In fact, this may be The most important thing we ever learn about God--the He yearns for relationship with us. "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God" (John 17:3). The whole story of the Bible is a love story between God and His people. He yearns for us. He cares. He has a tender heart.” 
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“...Often the hardest person to fight for is... yourself. But you must. Your heart is needed. You must be present and engaged in order to love well and fight on behalf of others. Without you, much will be lost." Chapter 11 "Warrior Princess” 
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful. Stop for a moment and let that sink in. We’re so used to evaluating everything (and everyone) by their usefulness that this thought will take a minute or two to begin to dawn on us. Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful. Which is to say, beauty is in and of itself a great and glorious good, something we need in large and daily doses.” 
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“What if you have a genuine and captivating beauty that is marred only by your striving?” 
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Beauty is transcendent. 
It is our most immediate experience of the eternal. 
Think of what it's like to behold a gorgeous sunset or the ocean at dawn. 
Remember the ending of a great story. 
We yearn to linger, to experience it all our days.
Sometimes the beauty is so deep it pierces us with longing. 
For what? 
For life, as it was meant to be. 
Beauty reminds us of an Eden we have never known, but somehow our hearts were created for.
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

“Call it the Human Mission to be all and do all God sent us here to do. 
And notice the mission to be fruitful and conquer and hold sway is given both to Adam and to Eve. '
And God said to them...
' Eve is standing right there when God gives the world over to us.
She has a vital role to play; she is a partner in this great adventure. 
All that human beings were intended to do here on earth all the creativity and exploration, all the battle and rescue and nurture we were intended to do together. In fact, not only is Eve needed, but she is desperately needed.

When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 
'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). 
The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Most of the contexts are life and death, by the way, and God is your only hope. 
Your ezer.
If he is not there beside you . . . you are dead. 
A better translation therefore of ezer would be “lifesaver.” 
Kenegdo means alongside, or opposite to, a counterpart.
― John Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

To love at all is to be vulnerable. 
Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it careful round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell. (C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

Because she bears the image of God. She doesn’t have to conjure it, go get it from a salon, have plastic surgery or breast implants. No, Beauty is an essence that is given to every woman at her creation.  - John Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Just like God, a woman is not a problem to be solved, but a vast wonder to be enjoyed. This is so true of her sexuality. Few women can or even want to “just do it.” Foreplay is crucial to her heart, the whispering and loving and exploring of one another that culminates in intercourse. That is a picture of what it means to love her soul. She yearns 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. (John Eldredge, Captivating Revised)

A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough. She knows in her quiet center where God dwells that he finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in him, she is enough. - John Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

You are radiant this evening. You are absolutely breathtaking. (John Eldredge, Captivating Revised)

Beauty speaks of heaven to come, when all shall be beautiful. 
It haunts us with eternity. 
Beauty says, There is a glory calling to you. 
And if there is a glory, there is a source of glory. 
What great goodness could have possibly created this? 
What generosity gave us this to behold?
Beauty draws us to God.
(John Eldredge, Captivating Revised)

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