A Few Good Reads | My Top 8

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

This is a comprehensive list of books that I highly recommend and the reasons why. These are basically books that I love that really made an impact in my life.

1. Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge

I love this book because it captures the heart of a woman. It helped me understand myself more and become more aware of my innermost desires and be proud of it. I have learned to accept my uniqueness as a woman through this book and embrace what God wants me to be. It is also one of the books that triggered my desire to minister to fellow women. From the moment I started reading this, my fellowship with other women has never been the same.

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Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the Beauty of the story. Those desires are far more than child’s play. They are the secret to the feminine heart. And yet—how many women do you know who ever find that life? As the years pass by, the heart of a woman gets pushed aside, wounded, buried. She finds no romance except in novels, no adventure except on television, and she doubts very much that she will ever be the Beauty in any tale. Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, chores and errands, striving to be the women they “ought” to be but often feeling they have failed. Sadly, too many messages for Christian women add to the pressure. “Do these ten things, and you will be a godly woman.”The effect has not been good on the feminine soul. The message of Captivating is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel as a woman—they are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to come now as the Hero of your story, to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating.

2. Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

This is actually a counterpart of the first book. It came first before Captivating. This talks about the heart of a man which helped me understand my husband more (still my boyfriend at the time I red this) and other men in my life (my father, brothers, guy friends). It opened my mind to their world and become more tolerant of what I used to hate about them. Hehehe. 

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God designed men to be dangerous, says John Eldredge. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: To be a hero, to be a warrior, to live a life of adventure and risk. Sadly, most men abandon those dreams and desires-aided by a Christianity that feels like nothing more than pressure to be a "nice guy." It is no wonder that many men avoid church, and those who go are often passive and bored to death. In this provocative book, Eldredge gives women a look inside the true heart of a man and gives men permission to be what God designed them to be-dangerous, passionate, alive, and free!

3. Love and War by John & Stasi Eldredge

Are they my favorite authors? Slightly, yes. Okay fine, definitely yes! I love this book because it prepared me to the reality of marriage. It helped me overcome my frustrations over fights and become more encouraged by what God plans to do in my relationship. It capitalizes the wondrous purpose of God through marriages.

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Marriage is fabulously hard. But beneath and behind the inevitable tensions a man and woman “locked in the same submarine” are going to have, the real battle is against the work of the Enemy, who plots and schemes to tear love apart. The Eldredges show how couples can win “by fighting for each other, instead of against each other.” As they say, “We live in a great love story, set in the midst of war.”

4. Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

This book taught me to desire for what is best. Surrender my wants to what God wants for me, which is actually the best. It also inspired me to wait for His perfect timing and enjoy my season as a single woman. Elisabeth Elliot's personal love story stimulated the desire in my heart to be romanced by God hence cultivate a deeper relationship with Him and be pursued by a man in the best way he can as God being my (our) ultimate lover. Stories included in this book moved me to pursue a life that is pure, pleasing and holy to His sight.  

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Its much-needed message remains strong and hopeful in an age when doing whatever "feels right" is common practice. Using her own life as an example, Elisabeth Elliot guides singles of both genders and of any age on how to put their love lives under the authority of Jesus Christ. Passion and Purity covers dating issues such as: •how to know which person is the right one to marry •loving passionately while remaining sexually pure •the man's and woman's role in relationships •putting God's desires ahead of personal desires •how far is too far, physically This best-selling book now has a new cover, an updated interior design, and a foreword from popular author Joshua Harris. Quest for Love will be redesigned in a similar manner to help readers identify the books as a pair. While Passion and Purity shares the love story of Elisabeth and Jim, Quest for Love is a compilation of stories on how other men and women discovered love through God's direction. Together, these two remarkable books accentuate our need to commit daily to Christ all matters of the heart and to wait on his timing.

5. Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

This book is a wedding gift of Elisabeth to her daughter Valerie. As for me, it helped me understand who I am before the Lord and who I will be before my husband. It also taught me to be gracious to my future husband as God is to me.

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“In order to learn what it means to be a woman, we must start with the One who made her.” Working from Scripture, well-known speaker and author Elisabeth Elliot shares her observations and experiences in a number of essays on what it means to be a Christian woman, whether single, married, or widowed.

6. Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

I first attended a seminar on Love & Respect which is based on this book and eventually got a copy of the book for a wedding present. To be honest, I haven't finished reading this but so far it has opened my eyes to the "as a matter of fact" differences between man and woman which helped me embrace our uniqueness in our marriage. I learned that there is nothing wrong with us, only we are different. As you start reading the book, you'll find yourself smiling if not laughing because you see yourself agreeing to the stories which make you realize you are not alone.

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An in-depth study of why your communication styles are not wrong, just different. Finally, an answer for the number one problem in marriages. This revolutionary message cracks the communication code between husband and wife: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her. Based on Ephesians 5:33 and extensive biblical and psychological research, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs reveals the power of unconditional love and unconditional respect and how husbands and wives can reap the benefits of marriage that God intended.

7. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

From the title itself, this book focuses on 5 love languages every person speak for himself and for other people around him/her. This book liberates me on what is appreciative for me and how I should express my love for my husband and for other people. This book will aid you in your dealings within any kind of relationships. It has also follow up books like 1 Year-devotional book and 5 apology languages.

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Your chosen love language is the way that you would most like to receive love from your companion. He also writes that people should not use the love languages that they like the most but rather the love languages that their loved ones can receive. Each person has one primary and one secondary love language. Chapman suggests that to discover another person's love language, one must observe the way they express love to others, analyze what they complain about most often, and what they request from their significant other most often. People tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love.

8. My First, Second & Third Attempts at Parenting: Discovering the Heart of Parenting by Steve Murrell

This is not your usual "how to" book rather it focuses on the heart of parenting which I think when we learn to understand and embrace, we will know that there is no perfect formula but the intention and the purpose of what we do to our children is all that matters.

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It's a collection of stories and reflections designed to help you discover the elusive, yet most important, part of parenting: the heart. Chapter by chapter, story by story, we will examine God's heart toward children and our hearts as parents, as well as how we can prepare our children's hearts to know and love their heavenly Father.

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