We all want friends. We crave meaningful companionship where we can safely share our hearts and be real.
And yet many times we feel isolated and alone. We struggle keeping friendships and being the kind of friend we want to be.
I love my friends deeply. And yet I know that although I long to be a good friend, I often miss the mark.
My busy schedule gets in the way and I don’t always take the initiative that I should to nurture the friendship.
The title of this book, Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding And Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships by Christine Hoover captured my attention right away because I want to be a better friend.
I think we often dismiss friendships as soon as they feel messy. But this book challenges us to give up our “wish-dream” of perfect friendships.
In our “wish-dreams” we tend to look to our friend to meet our needs, to be there when we want them near, to love us unconditionally and perfectly.
When I am disappointed with my friendships and I take time to dig a little deeper in my heart, I inevitably find that I’m looking for my friends to relate to me as only God can.
This book explores how we give and receive friendship, even when it gets messy.
This book is divided into 5 parts.
- A New Vision For Friendship
- Threats To Friendship
- Discovering and Deepening Friendship
- Being A Friend
- Receiving Friendship
I really appreciated Christine’s authenticity in sharing specific examples of conflict in her own friendships. In the chapter, “Ashes of Insecurity” she and her friend both write about false assumptions they had about one another that created tension in their friendship.
Often times we make assumptions about our friends based on our own insecurity.
I also appreciated her sharing the feelings she sometimes has as a pastor’s wife,
I often felt confused about blurred lines between life and church and ministry and friendships and felt at times like there could be no distinctions. Across the street was a woman who was a friend, a neighbor, a church member, a fellow women’s ministry leader, and a person whose pastor was my husband. That was confusing to me at times.
I enjoyed the metaphor she used of friendship being like a campfire.
We should be seeking to kindle the fire of friendship.
She encourages us not to wait for what we want in a friend but to go out and be that friend for others by giving “God-compelled generosity.”
Self-preoccupation that hinders initiation is, simply put, a major hindrance to friendship. Instead, we should want to be seekers. Initiative-takers. Kindling-gathering-fire-builders.
I also loved this quote:
A woman who knows Christ’s finished work on the cross cannot help but be a joyful and free person. She sees that she is loved by God and that nothing can separate her from that love. She is secure in his approval, safe to reveal herself to God and allow his work in her heart. Because of this, the snare of craving approval and validation from others is loosed, and she discovers that she can approach others without weighty, idolatrous expectations but rather with love and service and delight.
After reading this book I felt inspired to pray for my friends, listen to them, ask questions, and take initiative to show that I care.
In order to deepen friendships we must make the necessary sacrifices of time, effort, and energy.… Click To TweetI was given a free copy of this book from Baker Book Publishing in exchange for my honest review.