Longing for More: A Woman's Path to Transformation in Christ, By Ruth Haley Barton

Longing for More

A Woman's Path to Transformation in Christ

Transforming Resources

by Ruth Haley Barton
Foreword by Lynne Hybels

Longing for More
  • Length: 251 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: June 07, 2007
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 3506
  • ISBN: 9780830835065

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In the quiet places of your heart, do you ever yearn for something more?

Many Christian women, if we are honest, feel discontented about aspects of our lives. Some of us long to be married, while others long to escape from marriage. Some of us struggle with our roles in the church, wondering why God would give us gifts that are not allowed to flourish. Some of us feel we have no voice. Others of us have no idea what we would say if we did.

Ruth Haley Barton believes that what lies underneath all our confusion is a longing for freedom—not the freedom to do as we please, but the freedom to discover our full identity in Christ and use our gifts to serve God.

With wisdom and charity Barton's exhilarating book explores the many areas of a woman's life that need the freeing touch of Christ such as vocation, relationships, spirituality, identity, sexuality, singleness, marriage and motherhood. Avoiding both feminist and fundamentalist trappings, she affirms our longings as important markers which point us toward God's renewing love. Barton's honesty, biblical insight, practical examples and loving encouragement combine to form a powerful, empowering book that will transform the way you live out your identity and purpose in God's kingdom.

"As I was reading this manuscript I circled many paragraphs, scribbled down many quotes and scattered hundreds of exclamation points in the margins—but I keep going back to one line in particular: 'It is time,' writes Ruth, 'to stand for what you believe and never look back.' I spent many years of my adult life plagued by fear and by a litany of falsehoods. In the future I want to stand strongly and firmly on the side of courage, on the side of truth, on the side of goodness, on the side of the revolutionary gospel of Jesus. Longing for More challenges, encourages, motivates and empowers me toward that end. Thank you, Ruth."

From the foreword by Lynne Hybels, author of Nice Girls Don't Change the World

"I have often wished that women would tell each other the truth—that we would not stand idly by and watch our sisters scrounge around in the dirt of trial and error searching for answers. I am deeply grateful to Ruth Haley Barton for being brave, honest and loving enough to share Longing for More with all who seek to know a God who gives us the courage to be our best selves."

Rev. Brenda Salter McNeil, author of The Heart of Racial Justice

"This is a book filled with wisdom, truth-telling, encouragement and practical help for today's Christian woman struggling with issues of marriage and parenting, identity and work, as she seeks to know and follow Jesus. I found it enjoyable reading as well as challenging."

Rev. Dr. Roberta Hestenes, minister-at-large with World Vision International, and founder of the Hestenes Center for Christian Women in Leadership

"This book is a substantive, gut-level, practical and well-researched piece of writing that deals with real-life issues from a vibrantly biblical perspective. To women and men who are confused by the welter of conflicting definitions of gender, roles and sexuality that is currently thrown at them, the author offers excellent, biblically grounded guidance for the development of authentic Christian womanhood. I predict that this work will become a classic textbook for Christians in quest of wholesome, God-honoring, biblically accurate answers to some of the most urgent personal issues of the day."

Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian, professor emeritus of biblical studies, Wheaton College, and author of Beyond Sex Roles

"With an honest voice, Ruth Barton helps women move away from small ideas of what we should be, think and do, and instead embrace the enormity of our calling in Christ. This book is an invitation to drink in the rich truths that free us to live as his disciples in the whole of our life—in marriage, motherhood, friendships, and in service to the church and the world."

Andi Ashworth, author of Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring

"I see dozens of women who are walking a straight line to frustration and bitterness. Longing for More really could bring them freedom. Ruth Haley Barton offers a straight line—a narrow but liberating way—to joy in the Spirit."

Dr. Larry Crabb, author of Shattered Dreams and The Pressure's Off


Foreword by Lynne Hybels

Introduction: An Invitation to Transformation in Christ

1. Finding Our Identity in Christ
2. Saying Yes to God's Purposes
3. Serving God in the Way That He Calls
4. Living in Truth
5. Escaping the Tyranny of the "Never-Enough" World
6. Cultivating a Marriage That Works
7. Embracing Our Sexuality
8. Experiencing the Transformations of Motherhood
9. Finding God in the Midst of Difficulty
10. Reaching Across Generations
11. Being Christ in the World

Appendix A: A Look at 1 Timothy 2: 11-12 and God's View of Women
Appendix B: Guide for Discussion with a Spiritual Friend
About the Author


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Ruth Haley Barton

Ruth Haley Barton is founding president of the Transforming Center, a spiritual formation ministry to pastors and Christian leaders. A trained spiritual director, teacher, and retreat leader, she is the author of multiple books, including Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Sacred Rhythms, and Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership.