In reading and preparing my notes for commentary of Wild At Heart, I realized that I skipped addressing something important in the course of the Captivating commentary on what Christian women are being taught (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), since the idea is brought up repeatedly in Wild At Heart.
This is the idea of beauty. Captivating devotes a section to the definition of beauty. Beauty speaks. Beauty nourishes. Beauty comforts. Beauty inspires. Beauty is transcendent.
All these things are true for any experience of Beauty. But they are especially true when we experience the beauty of a woman–her eyes, her form, her voice, her heart, her spirit, her life. She speaks all of this far more profoundly than anything else in all creation, because she is incarnate, she is personal. It flows to us from an immortal being. She is beauty through and through. (1)
Justification of vain efforts aside, what is woman? In the name of beauty, woman is the pure reflection of God. After all, God speaks. God nourishes. God comforts. God inspires. God is transcendent. Yes indeed, woman is the full reflection of God’s glory. Woman is the Holy Spirit. But she is not fully realized because of “the long and sustained assault upon your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears you.”
Eldredge reminds us that one is Satan and quotes Ezekiel 28:12-14, 17 in the process.
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:12-18)
Whether you believe this an allegory of Satan or not, we are reminded of this and given a comparison (note what wasn’t quoted):
Satan fell because of his beauty. Now his heart for revenge is to assault beauty. He destroys it in the natural world wherever he can. Strip mines, oil spills, fires, Chernobyl. He wreaks destruction on the glory of God in the earth like a psychopath committed to destroying great works of art.
But most especially, he hates Eve.
Because she is captivating, uniquely glorious, and he cannot be. She is the incarnation of the Beauty of God. More than anything else in all creation, she embodies the glory of God. She allures the world to God. He hates it with a jealousy we can only imagine. (2)
So it seems we are being told that woman in all Her Glory is attacked by Satan because she has a glory he does not. She is Queen. She is Princess. She is Beauty Incarnate. She is even…God incarnate? When a woman, who shares God’s desires, is frustrated in her will, it’s not that she is prideful and arrogant (the world doesn’t orbit her), it’s that Satan thwarts her because he hates her.
Put those two things together–that Eve incarnates the Beauty of God and she gives life to the world. Satan’s bitter heart cannot bear it. He assaults her with a special hatred. History removes any doubt about this. Do you begin to see it?
And most of you are living with the guilt that somehow it’s your fault you aren’t more deeply pursued now. That you do not have an essential role in a great adventure. That you have no beauty to unveil. The message of our wounds nearly always is, “This is because of you. This is what you deserve.” it changes things to realize that, no, it is because you are glorious that these things happened. It is because you are powerful. It is because you are a major threat to the kingdom of darkness. Because you uniquely carry the glory of God to the world.
You are hated because of your beauty and power. (3)
Projection much? The irony is almost too delicious here, if it wasn’t for the destruction that comes to mind from the pride of these women. One could almost imagine Satan using this exact rationalization for his plight before the Lord. In fact, one could read Ezekiel 28 and apply the qualities stated there to Prideful Woman. It’s not that woman lifts her heart up in rebellion against God, saying she will be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:14). It’s not that woman has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It’s not that woman is receiving her just due for her thoughts and actions. It’s not that woman is just like man, and just as bad as man.
It’s because she is beautiful. She is powerful. She is glorious. She is the glory of God incarnate.
How nasty is the rebellious heart against the Lord God?
(1) Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge p 41. (2) ibid p 85. (3) ibid p 86.