A few weeks back I mentioned that I've been reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. Captivating is the girl version of John's earlier book, Wild at Heart, Discovering the secret of a man's soul, which explores the complexities of the masculine soul (just like it says on the tin).
Captivating, subtitled "Unveiling the mystery of a woman's soul" does just the same, except looking at the feminine soul instead. When I started reading it, I got extremely irritated by the fluffy American-ness of the writing style and it was hard not to be cynical at every page-turn. I stuck with it, hoping it'd get better. It did. Within a few chapters, I was starting to find bits I agreed with and in my arrogant mind, I was thinking of people I could recommend the book to who "needed to read it". A few chapters later and I was totally hooked. Suddenly needing to be totally repentant of my arrogance, I could see myself in lots of the situations they describe - could see how I need to change just like they suggest. The basic idea is that every woman, still a little girl at heart, has three main longings which underpin everything she thinks, says and does. These are; to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable part in a big adventure, and to have beauty to unveil which is recognised by those around her.
If you're anything like me, you'll read those things and think, "yeah whatever - I'm not that girly" but as I read the book I realised that I am. I think everyone is to some extent.
The book shows how these three dreams reflect the character of God in every woman (based on the fact that we are created in his likeness, just like it says in Genesis, and therefore the things in us reflect things in him) and how, if we'll let him, God will allow these characteristics to blossom as we become the women he intended us to be. For most of us, these things are hidden by the protective barriers we set up for ourselves as a result of being hurt or other previous experiences in our lives.
Every woman should read this book. And then she should read it again, for herself rather than for all the other women she was thinking about the first time around.
I want to read Wild at Heart now - I'm intrigued to know what the story is with men!