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Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships Paperback – April 18, 2017
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From the Back Cover
Friendship is one of God's greatest gifts.
We long for deep and lasting friendships, but they can be challenging to make--and keep. Our expectations of ourselves and our friends can often leave us feeling insecure and isolated. With engaging true stories and guidance drawn from Scripture, Christine Hoover offers a fresh, biblical vision for friendship that allows for the messiness of our lives and the realities of our schedules. She shows you:
- what's holding you back from developing satisfying friendships
- how to make and deepen friendships
- how to overcome insecurity, self-imposed isolation, and past hurts
- how to embrace the people God has already placed in your life as potential friends
- how to revel in the beauty and joy of everyday friendship
"This book will minister to you no matter what season of life you are in and no matter what your current perspective on friendship may be."--Gloria Furman, author of Missional Motherhood and Alive in Him
"Filled with biblical wisdom, practical advice, and compelling personal stories, Messy Beautiful Friendship reminds us exactly why friendship is a gift from God and how we can give and receive it with grace, gratitude, and joy."--Michelle DeRusha, author of Katharina and Martin Luther: The Radical Marriage of a Runaway Nun and a Renegade Monk
"Finally, here is a timely word to women, using God's Word as guidance, on how to do this crazy thing called friendship well."--Sara Hagerty, author of Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet
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.
About the Author
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
“A rich opportunity for friendship exists when we reject the ideal wish-dream, understand God’s design for friendship, and embrace those imperfect women who are right in front of us.” -Christine Hoover
One of the reasons I love Christine’s writings is because she is pretty transparent without feeling like she’s airing her dirty laundry for all to see. This book is no different. She admits where she did the friendship thing right and where she did the friendship thing not so right. While reading almost every chapter I could write a different friend or acquaintance’s name when I had a similar situation happen in my life. But also she’s pointing to the gospel. Not just to remind us that God was the original friend to Adam and Eve in the garden when He walked with them but also to remind us that “God is God and people are people.”
All too often in our lives we place unrealistic expectations on people as if they are God and we expect them to comfort us only the way God can comfort us. They are not God. We should never expect people (mere humans) to satisfy needs only God can satisfy. On the topic of God in our friendships Christine also reminds us that, “God isn’t afraid to enter brokenness, and we shouldn’t be either, because all we’re really doing is bringing him into the situation anyway.” People are messy because the world is messy, and the world is messy because sin is messy. We should count it a blessing that God let us have friendships. He could have ended the whole friendship thing after Adam and Eve but He did not.
In her last chapter she offers this wisdom, “May our friendships in the present day be received as gifts from God for us–but may they not be only for us. May they be signposts, guiding any who will stop and seek directions toward what our hearts innately crave most, pointing the seeker toward a Person and a place where all longings will be longings no more.”
This book would be great for book clubs! Not only are the chapters short enough to read on a lunch break or waiting in a car line but it also includes a discussion guide at the end! There is really no excuse not to read this book!
Moreover, reading the book was a breath of fresh air as I realized that I was not alone in this struggle. Especially in the online world we live in, it is so easy to think everybody else has such an easy time being friends- and through the funny and heartfelt stories she shares, I was so encouraged to find this is not the case. I highly recommend this book on a subject which is not too often addressed. Christine really wants us to use, nurture, and create friendships for their true meaning- the glory of God.
Christine Hoover is a Texas-loving pasttor's wife who left her beloved Texas roots (and friends) to follow her husband's ministry call to Virginia. This is not her first book, but it was my introduction to her, and my goodness, do I ever appreciate the heart, soul, and deep transparency she put into this book!
It's hard to write about friendship. I think it's harder now than ever, because friendship is so confusing (thanks, social media!) anymore. Facebook has redefined the word "friend" entirely, and we all have to stop and translate in our heads to know for sure where each person in our "friend" life actually fits.
Friendship is hard because we can be catty. Friendship is hard because we compare. Friendship is hard because we're busy. Friendship is hard because we're prideful. But friendship is a gift from the Lord designed (amazingly enough) NOT to fill our social media feed, but to fill our souls and push us closer to Him.
I've heard that about marriage before. I've never thought of it being the same for friendship until I read Christine's book. If we're doing friendship the way the Lord designed, we are friends filled with grace, we aren't afraid of conflict, we dig deep, we walk through the hard stuff just as faithfully as the fun stuff, and in the end, we both know we're nearer to the Lord because this friendship exists.
Christine shares many vulnerable stories from her own life and shows through her own successes and failures how to have honest conversations, move past assumptions (and their lies), walk through valleys, and believe the best from friends.
This book was very convicting to me. I'm not always the friend I want to be, and I read many reminders of why I need to do some things differently, as well as many convicting words about the proper role of friendships in my life.
This book isn't a fast read, and I mean that as a high compliment. If you do blow through it, I think you'll miss so many key points you should pause to digest, savor, and even implement.
If you're frustrated by your friendships, whether the lack or state of them, pick up this book. She has many wise nuggets to share (even a list of them in the back!) and she's safe to learn from, because she's not a perfect friend either. (And what a relief that was to know!)
* Baker Books sent me a copy of this book; all opinions are my own!*