CSFINAL5/22.QXP5/22/0710:59 AMPage 1CHAPTER 1The Heart of a Woman(Captivating, Chapter One)As we begin this study together, know that it is a study of discovery. A journey, really. For you to discover who Godmeant when he meant you. What does it mean to be awoman? What is my calling in life? What does God value? Whatdoes He want from me? What do I want? And is that okay?We are not carbon copies of each other. Not at all. God loves diversity and he has fashioned each one of us uniquely and well. But it is avery good thing to know that we are not alone on this journey of life;we have much more in common with each other—simply because weare women—than we don’t. We share more than most of us realize.For instance, we have a feminine heart. We have to start there,because as the Scriptures tell us, the heart is the center of it all.Look up Proverbs 4:23 and write it below.1

CSFINAL5/22.QXP5/22/07Capti v ati n g:10:59 AMPage 2S TUDY G UIDEThink about it: God created you as a woman. “God created manin his own image . . . male and female he created them” (Genesis1:27). Whatever it means to bear God’s image, you do so as awoman. Female. That’s how and where you bear his image. And notin your body. The Trinity does not have a body. No, you bear God’simage in your heart.Is this a new thought for you?Your feminine heart has been created with the greatest of all possible dignities—as a reflection of God’s own heart. You are a womanto your soul, to the very core of your being. And so the journey to discover what God meant when he created woman in his image—whenhe created you as his woman—that journey begins with your heart.Another way of saying this is that the journey begins with desire.What are some of your favorite stories or movies? In them, who do youwant to be?The stories we love reveal much of the secret desires of our deephearts. If you take a close look, talk with the women in your life,you’ll find that we share themes in our core desires. They are not allthat we want and they play out differently in our lives, but in herheart of hearts, every woman longs to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a heroic adventure and to unveil beauty.2

CSFINAL5/22.QXP5/22/0710:59 AMPage 3The Heart of a WomanIt is right that we do, for it is in these desires that we bear theimage of our God.In the DVD, Sue shared that she related to the horse, Pilgrim, in themovie, The Horse Whisperer. Why?ROMANCEDIn your own words, define the desire to be romanced.Do you remember some of the games you played as a little girl? Whatwere some that you really enjoyed?Are you aware of a longing to be someone’s priority? What would youlike that to look like?3

CSFINAL5/22.QXP5/22/07Capti v ati n g:10:59 AMPage 4S TUDY G UIDEI RREPLACEABLEHow would you describe the desire to play an irreplaceable role in aheroic adventure?What were your dreams for your life when you were a little girl? Whatdid you want to be or do?Allowing yourself to dream a little bit, think about this: If you could door be anything you wanted now, what would it be?Let your mind drift over that idea, imagining what your lifewould be like if you could follow that dream, the people who wouldbe around you. Would you characterize that dream role as one thatwould be easily replaced or one that is more on the side of essential?4

CSFINAL5/22.QXP5/22/0710:59 AMPage 5The Heart of a WomanHow would your living that life impact others? How is the life you areliving now impacting others?B EAUTYTOU NVEILWho is beautiful to you and why?Do you want to be beautiful, inside and out? Do you think you are orcould be beautiful?Describe the desire for a beauty to unveil.5

CSFINAL5/22.QXP5/22/07Capti v ati n g:10:59 AMPage 6S TUDY G UIDEThe core desires that God placed in our hearts have a great dignity to them. We don’t have to diminish them or be embarrassed bythem, for it is in our desires that we bear the image of God. Godwants us to delight in him, to seek him. God wants to be irreplaceable in our lives. God wants to reveal his beauty to us and to receiveour worship.A LOSSOFH EARTAs a young woman, I, like the women around me, got busy with thebusiness of life. I worked hard and tried harder. I slept less, aimedhigher, and failed more. At church, often I was exhorted to do more.Be more. Be better. Follow these seven steps, these six lifestyles, thesetwelve concepts. But in all of my trying, I didn’t feel I was growingas a woman. I just felt tired. I came to the place that Nicol Sponbergdescribes in her song “Resurrection”: my life had turned cold, without life and without passion.I know I am not alone in this. Most of us feel that we are failing in some areas of our lives, maybe even the most important areas.And aware of our deep failings, we pour contempt on our ownhearts for wanting more. Oh, we long for intimacy and for adventure; we long to be the Beauty of some great story. But the desires setdeep in our hearts seem like a luxury, don’t they—granted only tothose women who get their act together. The message to the rest ofus—whether from a driven culture or a driven church—is try harder.How have you felt the message of “try harder” come to you? How has itmade you feel and/or expressed itself in your life?6

CSFINAL5/22.QXP5/22/0710:59 AMPage 7The Heart of a WomanDo you believe the message of “try harder” is coming from God? Whatdo you honestly believe God thinks about you/feels about you?How do you handle your heart when your core desires are not being met?In all the exhortations—“Do this, and then you’ll be a worthywoman”—we have missed the most important thing of all. We havemissed the heart of a woman.And that is not a wise thing to do, for as the Scriptures tell us,the heart is central. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is thewellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Above all else. Why? BecauseGod knows that our heart is core to who we are. It is the source ofall creativity, courage, and conviction. It is the fountainhead of ourfaith, our hope, and of course, our love. This “wellspring of life”within us is the very essence of our existence, the center of our being.Your heart as a woman is the most important thing about you. Godloves you—more than you yet know or believe. Your heart matters tohim.God did not place these longings in our hearts to torment us.Rather, they reveal the secret of who we truly are and the role that isours to play. There is so much hope here, hope to become thewoman you secretly long to be, the woman who is romanced, irreplaceable, and utterly beautiful!7

CSFINAL5/22.QXP5/22/07Capti v ati n g:10:59 AMPage 8S TUDY G UIDEReact to that thought. What if it were true?8

Captivating: STUDY GUIDE The core desires that God placed in our hearts have a great dig-nity to them. We don’t have to diminish them or be embarrassed by them, for it is in our desires that we bear the image of God. God wants us to delight in him,