7 Christian Books on Friendship and Restoring Relationships

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November 22, 2020

It seems as if this year, more than ever, there has been more division. There is division among our nation, our communities, our relationships, and yes, even our families. It can be challenging for us to love those who may look, act, or believe differently than us. But God calls us into a relationship with one another despite our disagreements! So, how do we do that? How do we build healthy friendships or mend broken ones?

In a recent episode of “The Link,” Pastor Chris and the panel discussed the highs and lows of friendships and relationships and shared seven resources on this topic. We have compiled them here for you to access easily! We have given a brief description of each and linked them. You can also purchase them at a discounted price through our Woodside Bookstore! Be sure to comment on your favorites as you read them and let us know some of your favorite chapters, quotes, and more!

1️⃣ The Gospel Comes with a Housekey by Rosaria Butterfield — https://tinyurl.com/y6ej7unl

What did God use to draw a radical, committed unbeliever to himself? Did God take her to an evangelistic rally? Or, since she had her doctorate in literature, did he use something in print? No, God used an invitation to dinner in a modest home, from a humble couple who lived out the gospel daily, simply, and authentically.

With this story of her conversion as a backdrop, Rosaria Butterfield invites us into her home to show us how God can use this same “radical, ordinary hospitality” to bring the gospel to our lost friends and neighbors. Such hospitality sees our homes as not our own, but as God’s tools for the furtherance of his kingdom as we welcome those who look, think, believe, and act differently from us into our everyday, sometimes messy lives―helping them see what true Christian faith looks like.

2️⃣ Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer — https://tinyurl.com/y6rga5cc

In Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, renowned Christian minister, professor, and author of The Cost of Discipleship, recounts his unique fellowship in an underground seminary during Germany’s Nazi years. Giving practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups, Life Together is bread for all who are hungry for the real life of Christian fellowship.

3️⃣ Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt — https://tinyurl.com/yy4wec3m

Even if they want to, many Christians find it hard to talk to others about Jesus. Is it possible this difficulty is because we’re trying to speak a language we haven’t actually spent time practicing?

To become fluent in a new language, you must immerse yourself in it until you actually start to think about life through it. Becoming fluent in the gospel happens the same way―after believing it, we have to intentionally rehearse it (to ourselves and to others) and immerse ourselves in its truths. Only then will we start to see how everything in our lives, from the mundane to the magnificent, is transformed by the hope of the gospel.

4️⃣ Finding Holy in the Suburbs by Ashley Hales — https://tinyurl.com/yxz67a5a

More than half of Americans live in the suburbs. What does it look like to live a full Christian life in the suburbs? Suburbs reflect our good, God-given desire for a place to call home. And suburbs also reflect our own brokenness. This book is an invitation to look deeply into your soul as a suburbanite and discover what it means to live holy there.

5️⃣ Them: by Ben Sasse — https://tinyurl.com/y58u5tnk

Something is wrong. We all know it. American life expectancy is declining for a third straight year. Birth rates are dropping. Nearly half of us think the other political party isn’t just wrong; they’re evil. We’re the richest country in history, but we’ve never been more pessimistic. What’s causing the despair? Our crisis isn’t really about politics. It’s that we’re so lonely we can’t see straight―and it bubbles out as anger.

As traditional tribes of place evaporate, we rally against common enemies so we can feel part of a team. No institutions command widespread public trust, enabling foreign intelligence agencies to use technology to pick the scabs on our toxic divisions. We’re in danger of half of us believing different facts than the other half, and the digital revolution throws gas on the fire.

There’s a path forward―but reversing our decline requires something radical: a rediscovery of real places and human-to-human relationships. Even as technology nudges us to become rootless, Sasse shows how only a recovery of rootedness can heal our lonely souls. America wants you to be happy, but America needs you to love your neighbor and connect with your community more urgently. Fixing what’s wrong with the country depends on it.

6️⃣ Girl’s Club by Sally Clarkson — https://tinyurl.com/y4u3lz2a

In a time when many women feel lonely and isolated, Girls’ Club calls us to embrace the delight and comfort that can be found in life-giving friendships with women― and to cultivate relationships that not only offer emotional affirmation and acceptance, but also inspire, educate, and stretch us to live out our God-given potential.

7️⃣ Beyond Awkward Side Hugs by Bronwyn Lea — https://tinyurl.com/y3e3vkls

Jesus’ pattern for church living was one of family — of brothers and sisters living in intimate, life-giving community with each other. With story, sensitivity, and hope, Beyond Awkward Side Hugs invites us to leave behind eroticized, fear-based patterns and move toward gendered, generous relationships between men and women of character as we love one another as Jesus did.

Be sure to take a moment and check out the episode of The Link “Who Influences You?” Senior Pastor Chris Brooks is joined by Lauren Frith and Barrett Wimer to discuss the underestimated doctrine of Scripture of friendship, the importance of friendship, and leveraging our influence to share and show the love of Christ.

Again, all our resources are available at a discounted price in the Woodside Bible Bookstore! Call 586–710–1259 or stop by our Troy Campus to grab your copy!