Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding And Nurturing Deep And Lasting Relationships by Christine Hoover is written for Christian women who find themselves wondering when friendship became so difficult.
In elementary school, friends were easy to come by. Kids in our class or that we ran into on the playground, the neighbors or children of our parent's friends. Our friends were other kids that we spent time with, had very little in common with, and found things to do together anyway.
As we got older, our choice in friends became more personal and less situational. Enter adulthood, and things like political views and marital status suddenly play a factor in deciding who our friends are. And yet, we feel like we're missing out on so much.
Christine walks us through personal stories (many from her own life) to demonstrate what our new idea of friendship should look like, things that are hazardous to friendships, how to discover friendships or deepen the ones you already have (and often times don't value enough), how to be a friend, and how to be open to receiving the gift of friendship in your life.
Throughout the book, Christine frequently reminds us that our greatest friend (and highest priority) is our relationship with Jesus. All of our earthly friends are to be considered a gift from God, not a replacement for Him. He is the first one we should take our troubles to or share our joys with. After that, we thank Him for our friends here on earth that will also share in our sorrows and our celebrations. Christine emphasizes that while some friendships last much longer than others, the only one that we can count on eternally is the one with our Heavenly Father. He is our greatest friend and our greatest treasure.
There are discussion questions, key concepts, and Scripture verses referencing friendships included in the back of the book, to make this an engaging personal study and journey to discover what friendship means to you, and what you can do to better cherish the friendships that God has already blessed you with. 5/5 stars.
*Disclaimer: I received a free print copy of this book from Baker Books for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*
About The Author (copied from back cover):
Christine Hoover is a pastor's wife, mom, speaker, and the author of From Good to Grace and The Church Planting Wife. She has written for The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, and Christianity Today. Blogging at www.GraceCoversMe.com, she enjoys helping women apply the gift of God's grace to their daily lives. She lives in Virginia.Purchase Links: