Monday, May 19, 2008

Captivating, Chapter 3

I am currently reading and reviewing the book Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge. Each Monday morning I am posting my thoughts on a chapter. This week is chapter three...

Haunted by a Question

This chapter proposes that we are not what we are supposed to be (created to be) and are keenly aware of our own shortcomings (pg 46). The Eldredge’s use the fall of Adam and Eve, and the subsequent curse, as the jumping off point. They suggest that we have been convinced that God is holding out on us, as Eve was so convinced by the serpent in Eden.

Chapter 3 talks of 2 categories of women:

1. The Dominating Woman

“She needs no one. She is in charge- ‘on top of things constantly.’ She is a woman who know hot to get what she wants.” (pg 51)

“If she cannot secure her relationships, then she kills her heart’s longing for intimacy so that she will be safe and in control.” (pg 52)

“Controlling women are those of us who don’t trust anyone else to drive our cars. Or help in the kitchen. Or speak at our retreats or our meetings. Or carry something for us.” (pg 53)

2. The Desolate Woman
“She is naive, lost, bereft of any sense of self.” (pg 53)

“Desolate woman are ruled by the aching abyss within them… They are consumed by a hunger for relationship.” (pg 54)

Regardless of which category we might fall into, our “question” remains unanswered, and we allow ourselves indulgences to try to fill the void. Be it food, daydreaming, gossip, unhealthy relationships, whatever- we turn to other sources instead of God. Trying to fill “the ache of our hearts”. All the while trying to find the answer to our questions, “Am I lovely? Do you see me? Do you want so see me? Are you captivated by what you find in me?” (pg 59)

My Thoughts on this Chapter:
So, yeah… WOW. I know, without a doubt, what category I fall into. What about you? Is it obvious to you where you fall?

I think a lot of things really jumped out at me, but there was one thing in this chapter that really changed my perspective on how to love my husband. With women needing to know if they are lovely, men ask a different question, “Do I have what it takes?” If I can purpose to answer that question for my husband on a daily basis I am showing him love. By choosing to let go [of control] in many situations I can show my husband that indeed has what it takes.

And here’s the big thing, as I show him that I believe he is worthy, he begins to believe it himself. And as he begins to believe in his worth, he shows me I am lovely. See how that works? It’s cyclical. Yes, ultimately our self worth should be found in Christ alone however, the relationship between husband and wife is a picture of Christ love for us. (Just read the book of Song of Solomon.)

I know that is really less about me and more about my husband… but it is what stood out to me. I have been thinking of nothing else but this lately. It really was a huge revelation for me.

The workbook, as always, was a challenge. I again close with some questions taken from there…
  • With what do you tend to indulge your heart?
  • Are you aware of loneliness deep within your heart?
  • Are you aware of the ways in which you hide, trying not to be “seen”?
  • Are you aware of your own beauty?
  • Do you like being vulnerable? Are you comfortable trusting your well-being to someone else?

Previous Posts on Captivating
Chapter 1- The Heart of a Woman
Chapter 2- What Eve Alone Can Tell