Captivating by Stasi Eldredge – Chapter 7


I just have to do it. I have to fight for it. A thought entered my mind as I read some of this, “This is what I want from man – my husband, friends, etc.” I think we tend to look in the wrong places. Sure, we recognize when people are doing this and they try to fill that place with shopping, gambling, drinking, parties, cleaning, whatever it is – but do we recognize when we try to have some person other than God fill that place?

Intimacy with anyone takes time and effort. I think it is easier to try to get people to fill that place. It’s easier because when it doesn’t work, we can blame them for not having the time, or not doing it right. But when it comes to God – he always has the time, and he always does it right – so if we aren’t getting what we need – it’s all on us. We are taking the time and we aren’t making the effort to open up our hearts. We aren’t fighting for that time.

I also thought that it was funny because as I said at the beginning, I let the ball drop on this.  I didn’t fight for the time, I didn’t fight the Thief, for a time. But as I read this, I know it was God speaking to me, and I hope to each of you, telling you to continue to fight for time with him – in what ever way works for you – keep looking for the secrets he wants to reveal to you – keep looking for his love for you – keep watch out for the ways that God is Romancing you.

Notes I took

Longing for Romance

As women we long to be loved in a certain way, a way unique to our femininity. We long for romance. We are wired for it; it’s what makes our hearts come alive. You know that. Somewhere, down deep inside, you know this. But what you might never have know is this … This doesn’t need to wait for a man.

Faithful obedience to God is vital, but it is not all God draws us to. It is not sufficient for our healing, no more than doing the laundry is sufficient for a marriage. And it will not be enough in the long run to carry us through. … It is holy, fierce passion. Hearts afire. For the root of all holiness is Romance.

God as Lover

Jesus calls himself the Bridegroom (Mat 9:15; Mat 25:1-10; John 3:29). Now, you;ll need to take the religious drapery and sanctimonious gliding off of this. “Bridegroom” simply means fiance’. Lover. This is the most intimate of all the metaphors Jesus chose to describe his love and longing for us, and the kind of relationship he invites us into.

You might recall that the Scriptures use a number of metaphors to describe our relationship with God. we are portrayed as clay, and he is the potter. We are sheep, and he the shepherd. Each metaphor is beautiful and speaks to the various seasons of our spiritual lives and to the various aspects of God’s heart toward us. But have you notice they ascend in a stunning way? From master and servant to father and child, there is a wonderful progression into greater intimacy. It grows more beautiful and rich when he calls us his friends. But what is most breathtaking is when god says he is our Lover (our Bridegroom, our Fiance’), and we his bride. This the the pinnacle, the goal of our redemption (used in the last chapter of the Bible, when Christ returns for his bride) and the most intimate and romantic of all.

If you’ll open your heart to the possibility, you’ll find that God has been wooing you ever since you were a little girl. Yes, we said earlier that the story of your life is the story of the long and sustained assault upon your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears you. But that is only part of the story. Every story has a villain. Every story also has a hero. The Great Love Story the Scriptures are telling us about also reveals a Lover who longs for you. The story of your life is also the story of the long and passionate pursuit of your heart by the One who knows you bet and loves you most.

God has written the Romance not only on our hearts but all over the world around us. What we need is for him to open our eyes, to open our ears that we might recognize his voice calling to us, see his hand wooing us in the beauty that quickens our hearts.

Opening Our Hearts to the Romancer

Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you from the One who has been pursing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. God’s version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners comes in the form of sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying tress, lush gardens, and fierce devotion.

We have missed many of his notes simply because we shut our hearts down in order to endure the pain of life. Now, in our healing journey as women, we must open our hearts again, and keep them open. Not foolishly, not to anyone and anything. But yes, we must choose to open our hearts again so that we might hear his whispers, receive his kisses.

This is not to say that life is one big romantic moment with Jesus.I live a life much like yours – full of demands, pressures, and disappointments. Right now the laundry is going, all the dishes are dirty, there’s no food for lunch, and the boys are bored with summer vacation. Like you, there are seasons in my life when Jesus seems very near and seasons where i can’t seem to find him at ll. Sometimes it feels like we’re playing a game of hide-and-seek, but he’s got all the best hiding places staked out. All relationships ebb and flow.

The ebbing is to draw our hearts out in deeper longing. In the time of emptiness, an open heart notices. What are you feeling? Like a lonely girl missing her daddy? like a teenage young woman feeling completely invisible, unseen? Often Gd allows these feelings to surface to help us go back to times when we have felt like this before. Notice also what you want to do – how you handle your heart. Are you shutting down in anger? Turning to food? To others?

What is crucial is that, this time, we handle our hearts differently. We ask our Lover to come for us, and we keep our hearts open to his coming. We choose not to shut down. We let the tears come. We allow the ache to swell into a longing prayer for our God. And he comes, dear hearts. He dos come. The times of intimacy – the flowing waters of love – those times then bring healing to places in our hearts that still need his touch.

What Does God Want from You
What is it that God wants from you? He wants the same thing that you want. He wants to be loved. he wants to be known as only lovers can know each other. he wants intimacy with you. Yes, yes, he wants your obedience, but only when it flows out of a heart filled with love for him. “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me” John 14:21. Following hard after Jesus is he heart’s natural response when it has been captured and has fallen deeply in love with him.

God wants to live this life together with you, to share n your days and decisions, your desires and disappointments.He wants intimacy with you in the midst of the madness and mundane, the meetings and memos, the laundry and lists, the carpools and conversations and projects and pain. He wants to pour his love into your heart and he longs to have you pour yours into his. He wans your deep heart, that center place within that is the truest you. He is not interested in intimacy with the woman n you think you are supposed to be. he wants intimacy with the real you.

Adoring Hearts

Our hearts are made to worship. It is what we do; we can’t help it. now, worship is one of those words made sickly by religion. We hear “worship” and we think, She’s talking about going to church. Singing hymns. Nope. Worship is far more passionate, far more abandoned. Worship is what we give our hearts away to in return for a promise of life. Some worship fashion; others worship a boyfriend or husband. We really are limitless in what we will give our hearts away to. Movies, food, shopping, gossip, you name it, I’ve bowed before them all.

But Jesus is the only one worthy of our heart’s devotion. Mary recognized who Jesus was – the source of all Life (Luke 10:38-42). Love Incarnate. She did what you and I hipe we, too, would have done. She dropped everything and sat at his feet, fixing the gaze of her eyes and the gaze of her heart upon him.

Cultivating Intimacy

To pursue intimacy with Christ, you will have to fight for it. You’ll need to fight busyness (Martha’s addiction). You’ll need to fight accusation. You’ll need tof ight the Thief that would steal your Lover’s gifts to you outright. That’s okay. There is a fierceness in women that was given to us for a purpose. Getting time with your Lover is worth whatever i costs.

Ask him to help in making you desperately hungry for him. Ask his help in creating the time and space you need to draw close to him. Ask him to come, to reveal himself to you as the Lover that he is.

Go get some worship music that moves you. … Music that draws you into intimacy with him. … Get a private place. Let everyone know tit is not a time to interrupt you. … Bring your Bible and a journal to write down what you hear God say in the depths of your heart. Kneel, sit, or lie down and ask the Holy spirit to come and help you worship Jesus. start by telling Jesus how wonderful he is. Remember when he took care of that hard situation? Or that time he answered your prayers for financial help? Recall the times he spoke to you in your loneliness or need. Thank him for being so faithful. Stay. Linger. Worship. Let the music help usher your heart into God.

The first time may not be amazing. You may feel your words and cries are bouncing off the ceiling. We grow in this as we practice.We practice the presence of God, as the Old French monk Brother Lawrence knew. We come to God in worship not to get from him but to give to him. Jesus loves it when we offer our hearts to him in devotion. You are entering the chamber only you can enter. You are brining something to the heart of Jesus only you can bring. You are his Betrothed, his Beloved, the beat of his heart, and the love of his life. Draw near, He is waiting.

the culture of women int he church today is crippled by some very pervasive lies. “To be spiritual is to be busy. To be spiritual is to be disciplined. To be spiritual is to be dutiful.” No, to be spiritual is to be in a Romance with God. The desire to be romanced lies deep in the heart of every woman. It si for such that you were made. and you are romanced and ever will be.

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