'There's Something Fierce in the Heart of a Woman'

John and Stasi Eldredge, co-authors of 'Captivating,' explain what women want.


In 2001, John Eldredge's book "Wild at Heart" explored the inner life of Christian men--and became a bestseller. Now, he and his wife Stasi have teamed up to write "Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul." The couple sat down with Beliefnet to talk about warrior princesses, men who won't commit, and how the devil is the villain in every woman's life story.

Comparing "Captivating" and John's earlier book about men, "Wild at Heart," how are the desires of men and women similar and different?

SE:

Well, they are very similar, what a man desires and what a woman desires, and they fit together really well.



JE:

And yet, they're distinctly masculine and distinctly feminine. In fact, in "Wild at Heart," I said every man wants a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. And in "Captivating"-



SE:

-every woman wants to be romanced; every woman wants to play an irreplaceable role in a heroic adventure, not just to be useful but to be irreplaceable; and every woman longs to have a beauty that's all her own to unveil, both an external beauty and an internal beauty as well. To be the beauty and to offer beauty.



JE:

There are a lot of other similarities too. Our hearts are both wounded and those wounds shape us into the men or women that we become.



"Wild at Heart" says every man wants a beauty to rescue. And in "Captivating," it says that little girls often play games about being rescued. Some feminists are against the idea of passive women who want to be rescued. What is your response?

SE:

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I think there are days when every woman on the planet Earth would love to have a man come up on a white horse and whisk her away. But that's not the reality of our lives, and women are not victims. We're not weak women saying, "Rescue me, I can't handle my life."



As a woman, your job is not to be passive, but to become all the woman that you are meant to be, to play your irreplaceable role. Don't diminish the vulnerability in you, which is a lovely and needed part of being a woman.



JE:

Women can be very strong and they can be valiant; that's why we have a chapter on warrior princesses. But one of the essential qualities of femininity is vulnerability. When a woman forsakes her vulnerability because she's been hurt or because she lives in a dangerous world or doesn't want to be used, she loses something essential about being a woman. And we want to encourage her, "don't do that." It takes great courage to be vulnerable. It takes enormous strength to be a real woman.



SE:
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