Friday, January 27, 2006

Puppy dogs' tails and everything nice.

Is it just me, or is all this stuff that the Eldredges write about in Wild At Heart (for guys) and Captivating (for girls) totally transformational?

Now, I'm not one to jump on the latest Christian-book-bandwagon (The Prayer of Jabez, The Purpose-Driven Life, and Your Best Life Now being three that come to mind when I think of books that I'd rather not least, en masse), and I really rather prefer the writing style of Salinger to almost anything sold in a Christian bookstore...but these two books on the sexes seem to be irking, inspiring, reaching, and insulting me in a way that Salinger never has. I was in tears at one point, have been wincing often, smiling wryly when not, and even had the visceral desire to shut Captivating and whip it across the room at one point this afternoon. Why?

Why do these books get under my skin? Aren't they formulaic? Aren't they written in dumbed down narrative? Don't they have cliché, soft-focus covers? They just reiterate what we all know anyway, about guys and girls, don't they? Don't they?

Why is it only now, at the age of 25, that I know what I should and shouldn't be looking for in a romantic relationship? Why is it only now, after several "dramacides", that I understand how they have left me feeling barren? Why is it only now, after years of Christianity, that I feel the wooing pursuit of God's love for me?

I guess the questions are deeper than I even know myself. Or, as John and Staci Eldredge would say, the Questions. "Do I have what it takes?" asks the little boy. "Am I lovely?" asks the little girl. It's so simple. And makes too much sense.


andrew said...

I've read Eldredge and had my own share of agreements and disagreements. I guess you'll never agree completely with any one author, but while I find myself stirred by his call to adventure and boldness, I wonder if he isn't a bit reductionist.

Visions of the ideal man or woman feel a little cookie-cutter, and don't necessarily account for the wide variety of experience, talents, and desires that God has given across gender boundaries.

As one critic puts it:

"This claim—that women want to be rescued and that guys are weasels for abdicating their heroic role—is so laden with nonbiblical cultural assumptions, it smacks of an imperialism of the “traditional values” crowd.

Who says that is what women want, and that it is what I need to do? Where does this leave single folks? What about strong women? Give me some Bible here, man!"

Sarah-Aubrey said...

You've read the book, and yet still ask questions like, "Who says that is what women want, and that it is what I need to do? Where does this leave single folks? What about strong women?"

We'll lay aside the fact that both "Wild at Heart" and "Captivating" are riddled with scriptural references, as well as the fact that I didn't agree with either book entirely myself, and I shall ask: were you not moved?

Not necessarily an emotional, tear-jerking "moved" feeling, either...but rather an "damn, they're on to something" feeling?

As a strong, single woman who assumed she knew what she wanted, I was.

Nikolas said...

I was moved. I felt like killing some orcs. It was a while ago, though. I should re-read it.

Paul said...

Well, I'm going to be starting it soon, and I could use some motivation to kill some orcs...

Sarah-Aubrey said...

Both books manage to hit the mark with as much accuracy as a sawed-off shotgun but...they manage to hit the mark all the same.

I'd like to take a look at all they said from a councelling/spiritual healing point of view, but that's another topic altogether.