Bible teacher Kelly Needham debunks our world's constricted, small view of friendship and casts a richer, more life-giving, biblical vision for friendship as God meant it to be.
As the family unit grows more unstable and the average age of marriage increases, a shift is taking place in our culture: for many people, friends now play the role of family. And just as with family relationships, our friendships often don't turn out quite as we envisioned or hoped, and we wonder, Is there a better way to do this?
In Friend-ish, Kelly Needham takes a close look at what Scripture says about friendship. She reveals the distorted view most of us have of it and recasts a glorious vision for a Christian understanding. By teaching us how to recognize symptoms of idolatry and dependency, she equips us to understand and address the problems that arise in friendship--from neediness to discord and even sexual temptation. With hard-fought wisdom, a clear view of Scripture, and been-there perspective, Needham reorients us toward the purposeful, loving relationships we all crave that ultimately bring us closer to God.
- A Must Read for Every Christian
Friendish is the debut book from Bible teacher and author Kelly Needham. The book's title is derived from the idea that as Christians, we need to cultivate friendships that are genuine. Kelly begins the book with the example of when she was visiting some friends and they went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. Kelly was really looking forward to enjoying Mexican food but became disappointed as her friends explained that the restaurant served "Mexican-ish" food rather than authentic Mexican food. In the same way, we long for friendships that genuine. On page xiv of the Introduction Kelly explained, "It is because of my love for friendship that I am so dissatisfied with anything less than the best - anything merely friend-ish." Friendish is a very compelling read that I found hard to put down. As a busy mom with two young children, I have really been wrestling with what authentic friendship looks like in a season of unceasing needs and constant interruptions. Reading Friendish gave me many simple, practical ideas that have been truly helpful. I appreciate how Kelly included many candid examples in the book that most people have probably experienced. She detailed times she was left out and felt alone but shared with readers how she found comfort in Christ during those times. Friendish is a comprehensive look at all things friendship related through the lens of Scripture. In addition to learning how to make friends, Kelly also discusses how to keep friends from becoming idols and also what certain friendships look like in different seasons of life. In some ways this book opened my eyes to the cultural standards for friendship. I didn't know that there are people fighting for those experiencing same-sex attraction to be able to participate in non-sexual covenant friendships so they may be, in a sense, "married" yet still obedient to the Bible's standard of sexual ethics. I also learned that bromance style relationships are increasingly common and can even include non-sexual physical aspects (this really struck me as odd), and that there is a wedding photo trend in which in which the bride and her bestie are holding hands behind the groom's back to insinuate that nothing will really change about the friendship even though a marriage has occurred. Honestly, learning about what is happening culturally was surprising. I have a general feel for what occurs within culture but was really unaware of these trends. This made me not only want to be a better friend for the sake of showing the love of Christ to others. It made me want to be a better, godlier friend to be a light in the world. If ever there was a need for genuine, Christ honoring friendship, the time is now. Learning about these trends caused me to grow in appreciation for the time and work Kelly put in to writing Friendish. Overall, I found Friendish a humbling, convicting, and intriguing read and I am pleased to offer it my highest recommendation. I received Friendish compliments of Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.
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