I asked myself when I first picked up The Role of a Lifetime if an author dealing with gender issues could be both frank and encouraging at the same time. Can a writer be really truthful and still communicate encouragement and gentle solace? Claudia Barba proved to me that it’s possible. This Bible study succeeds in telling it like it is and how beautiful it can be, “it” being life as a woman, and─yes─that in today’s world.
The curtain rises in The Role of a Lifetime at Creation. Then comes . . . the Fall. What begins as exquisitely harmonious becomes devastatingly divided. Our Creator establishes something special for us, which, when severed from the Divine, ends up twisted, marred, and spoiled beyond recognition from what was meant to be. Barba is frank here and refreshingly real. We all experience the consequences of the Fall every day, and knowing the devil’s game is exceedingly helpful.
After highlighting the promise given in Genesis that the woman would crush her enemy’s head, Barba comes to the New Testament. A woman conceives her Savior, and a glorious hope is born. He is there in the beauty of meekness for us to behold. From manger to tomb, the Lord Jesus loves to Himself a colorful variety of women from a smorgasbord of backgrounds and circumstances. Barba shows that His instructions are always appropriate, His manner always gracious. And He always, always opens the women’s eyes to His beauty, so they can in turn see their own.
The Role of a Lifetime goes beyond just dealing with gender-role dos and don’ts. It’s for the woman who wants to dig and to use what she learns in fruitful service. For women married or single, it sets the stage for a rich and compelling study of Scripture and vividly sets forth God’s plan of salvation for us.
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