Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships

Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships

by Christine Hoover

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Overview

Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships by Christine Hoover

Women long for deep and lasting friendships but often find them challenging to make. The private angst they feel regarding friendship often translates into their own insecurity and isolation. Christine Hoover offers women a fresh, biblical vision for friendship that allows for the messiness of our lives and the realities of our schedules. She shows women

- what's holding them 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 their lives as potential friends
- and how to revel in the beauty and joy of everyday friendship

With stories of real friendships and guidance drawn from Scripture, Hoover encourages women to intentionally and purposefully invest in one of the most rewarding relationships God has given us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801019371
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 638,842
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: This One's for the Stragglers 9

Part 1 A New Vision for Friendship

1 When Did Friendship Become Such a Struggle? 15

2 The Dreams We Have for Friendship 23

3 How God Gives Friendship 33

4 Messy Beautiful Friendship 41

Part 2 Threats to Friendship

5 Fear of Being Burned 51

6 Ashes of Insecurity 59

7 Kindling for the Campfire 69

8 The Spark 78

Part 3 Discovering and Deepening Friendship

9 Be Kevin Bacon: Take Initiative 89

10 Back Doors: Open Your Home and Heart 94

11 No Makeup: Share Your Story 99

12 Dance Card: Make Space for Friendship 105

13 Friend Magnet: Honor Others 111

14 Naming: Know Who Your People Are 115

Part 4 Being a Friend

15 Back and Forth: Listen Well 123

16 Honey: Use Words Wisely 129

17 What Friends Are For: Enter the Adversity of Others 136

18 One Word: Pray for Your Friends 142

19 Room to Breathe: Temper Expectations 148

20 Faithful Wounds: Speak the Truth in Love 156

21 Homesick: Display Joy in Jesus 163

22 Hashtag Friendship: Enhance Offline Relationships Online 169

Part 5 Receiving Friendship

23 SOS: Ask for Help 177

24 Heed: Embrace Correction 183

25 Savor: Unwrap Imperfect Gifts with Gratefulness 189

Conclusion: The Sweetest Thing 197

Acknowledgments 203

Questions for Friends to Discuss Together 205

Lessons on Friendship 217

Wisdom from the Bible on Friendship 223

Notes 235

About the Author 237

Customer Reviews

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Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
“Messy Beautiful Friendship” by Christine Hoover is a great book on the true meaning of friendship. Christine discusses what it truly means to be a friend. We, as women, all crave relationships. God made us that way! Sometimes, between crazy schedules and just life in general, we have a hard time making and keeping friends. Christine shares stories in her own life of how she struggled with friendships and how she overcame those struggles. There aren’t many books out there on Biblically-based friendships. This is a really good book on the topic. I would recommend this book to every woman who wants to be a better friend and cultivate more lasting friendships. I received this book from Baker Books for my honest opinion.
Amaack More than 1 year ago
In Messy Beautiful Friendship, Christine Hoover shares how those messy packages can often be the most beautiful. Hoover invites us to consider how we're viewing friendship as a whole. She gives us a whole new vision for how we see and approach friendship. When we hold an ideal of friendship in our minds, believing it's attainable, we hold a standard above the heads of real women God has placed in our lives, and then we wonder why we're constantly disappointed by the realities, complexities, and difficulties in our relationships. This quote sums up a good portion of the book for me. It's the reminder that when we dream of things, we can often blow things out of proportion - whether it's good or bad. When we bring those unrealistic dreams into friendship, Hoover suggests - and I'm inclined to agree - that's where disaster strikes. We find ourselves alone because we fail to be vulnerable with one another. We fail to step into the others' shoes and explore what it looks like to be open and honest. I so appreciated Hoover's look at what threatens our friendships too. When we look at how fear interrupts our ability to be friends, we can break through those barriers with truth. Without being pushy, Messy Beautiful Friendship will push you towards stepping out and going first. I'm not one who likes being told what to do, but Hoover isn't pushy. She just shows you how it can be better when you do step out of your comfort zone. It will take you deeper and help you discover friendships you might not have imagined. Relationship isn't the same as friendship. It's more. So much more. One of the biggest takeaways from this book for me was the reminder to make space. There was a beautiful reminder to examine the priorities in life. I say that I want friendship to be valued in my life, but am I actually making that space? Am I placing a priority on spending time with friends, or am I allowing all the other things of life to get in the way? Another big value is the idea that more than friendship, we are building relationships. We are building a way of doing life with one another. We build those Messy Beautiful Friendships when we step into life together. When we allow the muddy handprints on the windows and dirty laundry on the floor to stop deterring us from spending time together. When we embrace the idea of Messy Beautiful friendship, we find greater relationships and learn how to do life with one another. I received a copy of this book from Baker Books. This review is my own, honest opinion.
JustCommonly More than 1 year ago
Messy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover is one insightful book. I love how it doesn't focus just on the "messy" parts but more on the meaning of friendship through Christ, our ultimate and perfect Friend. It is through our relationship with Christ that guides our lives and how to be a friend, as well as "nurturing deep and lasting relationships." “… the goal of friendship is to secure ourselves to the sure, steadfast anchor of Christ and, while holding to that anchor, give and receive the gift of friendship as we have opportunity. The goal is to enjoy God together with others and, as we move through life, to sharpen and allow ourselves to be sharpened by friends. We imitate Jesus with one another, willing to face the stark realities and consequences of sin, all the while persevering in our efforts to offer love, grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, comfort, and care to one another. In doing so, we display to one another and the world how God loves and, through this, bring him glory. This is our destination, the point on the map we move toward: bringing God glory.” (39) Finding deep and lasting friendships aren't easy, and as an adult, it's even more so. Do you think so? And good friends are quite sweet and important. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” - Proverbs 18:24 I love the gentleness of the author's voice when she talks of the mishaps and our own faults that cause rifts amongst our friends. The rebuttals are done in kindness and with encouragement, and like a good friend, it was done out of love. And that's what I felt when reading Messy Beautiful Friendship, reading it from a good friend. When we are hurt by friends, she reminds us to turn to the One that gives us the comfort we need. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble.” - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Thank you, Ms. Hoover. I am grateful for this book, and I pray it will be a blessing to all those who read it. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very succinct and clear book written by Christine on friendships. She is honest and candid of her failings , which are really all our failings to understand friendships with a gospel mindset. She has drawn on scripture and theologian insight to present clear chapters on what Christian community and friendships can be when Christ is in His rightful place . She includes real ' case studies' of working through friendship scenarios which feels as though you can gain wisdom from the experience . She also has very readable short chapters that address specifics and biblical consul on how to work through them. This makes it for an easy read but a vital one. If I has enough money I would buy a book for as many women I can think of! Instead I highly recommend it to you - and that as I have , you too would grow in freedom in the area of friendships and joy as you maturely handle desire for friendship and serving others in Christian community.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very succinct and clear book written by Christine on friendships. She is honest and candid of her failings , which are really all our failings to understand friendships with a gospel mindset. She has drawn on scripture and theologian insight to present clear chapters on what Christian community and friendships can be when Christ is in His rightful place . She includes real ' case studies' of working through friendship scenarios which feels as though you can gain wisdom from the experience . She also has very readable short chapters that address specifics and biblical consul on how to work through them. This makes it for an easy read but a vital one. If I has enough money I would buy a book for as many women I can think of! Instead I highly recommend it to you - and that as I have , you too would grow in freedom in the area of friendships and joy as you maturely handle desire for friendship and serving others in Christian community.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you’re like me, you’ve found adult friendship to be much more complicated than the friendships of our youth. We’ve traded in sleepovers and BFF bracelets for conflicting schedules, miscommunication, & varying expectations. Messy Beautiful Friendship brings the Scriptures to bear on our messy attempts at friendship. Christine Hoover uses short, digestible chapters packed with practicality to offer biblical wisdom on the topic of friendship. Her encouragement & instruction tease out what it actually looks like to love one another as Jesus commands. I believe every woman would benefit from giving this book a read.
JavaMamma More than 1 year ago
Christine is an amazing author and blogger at gracecoversme.com who has been a blessing to me and my walk with the Lord for years
Everymorningnewmercies More than 1 year ago
I have been so blessed by Christine's writing over the years. Often, I have wandered over to her blog when I needed encouragement as a pastor's/ministry wife. Her honest reflections were full of wisdom and comfort. When I saw that Christine was writing a book about friendship, I was immediately thrilled and planned to read it as soon as possible. It has been a very good journey reading through the book. At times, with tears and many times, with laughter, Christine presses into the key areas of friendship that most women struggle with - in fact I am sure every woman I have ever met has struggled in these ways. Reading so many thoughts and ideas that have echoed my own through the years was like finding a kindred friend who knew exactly what I was thinking! Something awakens in us when we find someone who can relate to a shared value, struggle, or lesson learned. That is what I found when reading Messy Beautiful Friendship. The book is laid out in short, concise chapters, much like a devotional book, focusing on specific themes. Each of the five sections leads the reader through a pilgrimage of facing the very real challenges of friendship while leading the reader on to a gospel-centered perspective on friendship that reflects how we are to live in community as Christians. Far from a worldly, static perspective on friendship, Christine offers water for the parched soul that is longing for friendship that goes beyond mere surface talk, common interests, and vacationing together. Interspersed along the way are quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, Life Together. I love it when authors find an old, Christian classic like this and weave the wisdom of those from another time and place into a message that is meant for our generation today. It not only reinforces what God was doing in a community from a culture and political climate of years gone by, but also shows that what God was doing then, is what He is continuing to do today, bringing the redemptive power of His Son to a hurting, broken world, a world that He will one day make new. We need the messages that are written for today as well as those words, sometimes ancient words, that connect us to times past. Throughout the book, Christine unravels many of the reasons our friendships get so messy. It is that unspoken wish-dream of friendship that hinders so many of our relationships and prevents us from embracing the people who are right in front of us. Our idealistic expectations for community get shattered every time we put that wish-dream on its pedestal. She delves further into why its so important to enter into that messiness to find the beauty of friendship on the other side of our “ashes of insecurity”. This is a book I will return to and read again in different seasons of life, or perhaps yearly, to remind me of the way Christ desires us to live in community and deep friendship together, and that I am not alone in my struggle, but to offer grace as we stumble along in this grace-drenched life! I also plan to read through this book with my daughter and use themes from this book to discuss friendship with my sons. I highly advise church youth and college ministries to share this book with their young women. It will bless them greatly! ~Jen @ Every Morning New Mercies To read my full review, please visit: https://everymorningnewmercies.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/book-review-messy-beautiful-friendship/
ErinM0715 More than 1 year ago
This book beautifully written, and I was both challenged and encouraged by Christine's words on biblical friendship. Friendships can be messy, but when we allow Scripture to be our guide in navigating them, we get to experience the beauty and joy of one of God's most precious gifts. For the Christian woman who is a friend, has a friend, and/or wants to go deeper with a friend, this book is for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Christine has such a natural way of writing, you feel like you're just chatting over a cup of coffee as you read the wisdom, shortfalls and room for grace she's gleaned and experienced over her years as a pastor's wife, mom and friend in an area that seems to be a common struggle for women, especially after the college years have come and gone. Her focus is not on idolizing friendship over Christ, which I found refreshing. She pushes readers to see that when your relationship with Christ is primary, Biblical, Gospel-centered friendship with others can be extremely life-giving to the participants and attractive to others. Christine is also incredibly honest in her experiences in making friends as well as struggling with other women and her own sinful heart, but her desire to pursue others and push through conflict in order to restore broken relationships and honor, love and serve others is challenging, helpful, encouraging and convicting all in one. Whether you have a plethora of good solid friendships or you find yourself avoiding gatherings for fear of being ignored, left out or rejected, I highly recommend this book for women of all ages and life stages, as we seek to pursue the Lord and serve one another!