Monday, November 23, 2009

On Romance and Beauty

It's been a while I last read a good book and I came across one a few days ago. Stasi Eldredge, in her book Your Captivating Heart, is spot on about what she wrote in the first chapter of the book ("The Heart of a Woman"). The beautifully illustrated and colorful book is targeted at Christian readers but this particular chapter will appeal to all women. I'm going to do something different this time by quoting all the bits that I loved. Here goes...

When I was a little girl, my favorite books were fairy tales. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty--you remember. [...] Those fairy tales told me of a life I wanted to live. They awakened my heart to mystery and beauty, to danger and adventure, and above all, to romance and the happily ever after. [...] Only a fairy tale can awaken something set deep in the heart of every little girl. - p. 9

Every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive. That's what the fairy tales were trying to tell us. - p. 13

Eldredge made an interesting observation. That the fiction books outselling all others, by millions, are romance novels. That these authors have tapped into something core to the hearts of women that is the desire to be wooed and won, to be pursued and fought for, to be romanced. Eldredge said that we don't have to be embarrassed by our desire to be romanced. We don't have to diminish it, or downplay it, or kill it when it gets us into trouble and caused us pain.

Before you dismiss this as frivolous, the author expressed that being romanced isn't all that a woman wants or finds meaning in her existence. But the point is, you (and I) do want this: to be desired, to be pursued by someone who loves us, to be a priority to someone.

From a faith perspective, she also brought up a good point that God loves romance because He created it. He invented sunsets and roses and music and love. How true...

Beauty to unveil. There's one more thing in the chapter that's gotten my attention. When we watch movies such as Pride and Prejudice, The Lord of the Rings, etc., who do we want to be? We want to be the Beauty of the story. Beauty of the story is...

The woman who not only attracts the good man but who, with her golden heart, also captures all those around her and inspires them to life. The woman who is beautiful inside and out. - p. 19

To illustrate this point, let's take Cinderella as an example. She's beautiful and she's also good. That's why we all love her. We all have a beauty to unveil. Let's celebrate our God-given identity!