In this era of social media “friends,” Baker calls us back to biblical friendship, to being a neighbor like the Samaritan. She encourages us to concentrate on being a friend rather than trying to get friends.
The book has several parts and they do not have to be read in order. The first part of the book deals with our fears, like the fear of being hurt (again). She helps us understand our relationship baggage and the need for forgiveness. The second part deals with aspects of a friendship over which we have no control and cannot fix. The next part relates what we can do about friendships and lastly, how to initiate them.
Baker includes great examples and stories to illustrate her principles. One that comes to mind was when she started a Bible study after being in a new church for a while. The women who came? Some had no close friends, even though they had been attending the church for years. Others felt useless and lonely. Baker was shocked. Wow, what a lesson on the opportunities we might be missing in facilitating friendships.
This is an encouraging book but it is also very realistic. Baker reminds us that we cannot successfully establish friendships in our image, exactly as we'd like them to be. We must accept others as they are, not trying to make them into our preconceived idea of a friend. Baker also tells us that we are not going to get all our needs met by our friends and disaster may result if we try. I really liked the sections on being willing to be imperfect and the importance of just being there in times of need.
I recommend this book to those who are ready to embrace the cost of true friendship. As Baker reminds us, the reward can be priceless.
Food for thought: “...the act of offering yourself and your faith to a friend who's lost hers is an act of heroism, plain and simple.” (119)
You can find out more about the book and sign up for free chapters at http://neverunfriended.com/.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Lisa-Jo Baker has been the community manager for www.incourage.me, an online home for women all over the world, for nearly a decade. She is also the author of Surprised by Motherhood, and her writings have been syndicated from New Zealand to New York. She lives just outside Washington, DC, with her husband and their three children. You can find out more at http://lisajobaker.com/.
B & H Publishing, 208 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Icon Media. My comments are an independent and honest review.