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Friend-ish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Friend-ish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Cantrell

    I’ve been following Kelly’s blog for years after seeing a post on Facebook linking to a blog post she wrote about friendships. I recognized her name because I’d been a fan of her husband, Jimmy Needham’s music since college. I don’t even remember what her post was specifically about, but I remember reading it and saying “wow.” It was a lot of what I’d needed to hear for a while and also things I had strong feelings about, but had never seen someone else put into words in such a honest way. I was I’ve been following Kelly’s blog for years after seeing a post on Facebook linking to a blog post she wrote about friendships. I recognized her name because I’d been a fan of her husband, Jimmy Needham’s music since college. I don’t even remember what her post was specifically about, but I remember reading it and saying “wow.” It was a lot of what I’d needed to hear for a while and also things I had strong feelings about, but had never seen someone else put into words in such a honest way. I was hooked! When I saw she was writing a book on friendship, I was so excited to read it, but I also wanted to be able to share it with my Christian friends. I just finished reading an early copy of the book and have so many passages highlighted. Kelly writes in such an honest way. I felt convicted in parts, and in others learned a lot of things I’ve already started to put into practice in my own friendships. My favorite parts of the book talked about how the rise of social media has changed friendships and how we no longer understand or know how to accept seasonal friendships. I’ve definitely felt pressure and stress to maintain tons of different friendships that, before social media, would have just naturally faded out. That isn’t to say we cut out friends who move away—and that isn’t what Kelly is saying either. But she explains how we as people have limits—we are human after all. This is a book I will be reading again and recommending to my friends. I think it’s an important one for the church as a whole—this book isn’t just for women! Kelly interviewed many men as well when she was writing the book and there is a wealth of growth opportunity in this book for both men and women.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Morgan

    Encouraging and challenging book on friendships- I find it to be very applicable as a single but I think it would be very helpful in any stage of life! Essentially Kelly hammers home the idea that friendships exist as an opportunity to serve to the glory of God. Am I using my friendships to accomplish *my* ends, or as an opportunity to love and serve *them*? I also loved how she outlined a healthy friendship. Good friends should a) deepen our joy in Christ, b) battle with us, c) carry out our we Encouraging and challenging book on friendships- I find it to be very applicable as a single but I think it would be very helpful in any stage of life! Essentially Kelly hammers home the idea that friendships exist as an opportunity to serve to the glory of God. Am I using my friendships to accomplish *my* ends, or as an opportunity to love and serve *them*? I also loved how she outlined a healthy friendship. Good friends should a) deepen our joy in Christ, b) battle with us, c) carry out our weakness, and d) be there for us. And we ourselves should be that friend.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Douglas

    Friendish was a good read on Biblical friendship. Kelly Needham addresses issues that are left out and missing from other Christian books on the same topic. She shares personal stories but also consistently points back to the Bible. I would definitely recommend this book and plan to use points from it in the future for my own friendships and when teaching my children about the proper view of friendship.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Mullins

    Friendish- by Kelly Needham is a fabulous book on Godly Friendships. It has opened my eyes to so many ways I have misunderstood/misused God's blessing of friendship. It has also been so helpful explaining true friendship to my young children. My oldest child is currently navigating his first month in Kindergarden and all the social interactions that are involved. What I love most about this book is that it isn't just Kelly's opinion on friendship with one or two scriptures as support. Instead sh Friendish- by Kelly Needham is a fabulous book on Godly Friendships. It has opened my eyes to so many ways I have misunderstood/misused God's blessing of friendship. It has also been so helpful explaining true friendship to my young children. My oldest child is currently navigating his first month in Kindergarden and all the social interactions that are involved. What I love most about this book is that it isn't just Kelly's opinion on friendship with one or two scriptures as support. Instead she has studied God's word as well as sought counsel from various people and resources on how to interpret what friendship looks like as it is laid out in the scriptures! It addresses male, female, young, old, child, sibling, parent, empty nester, single, married, widow/widower- all stages and seasons f life. One of my favorite quotes "Loneliness is not primarily a people problem but an unbelief problem; it's an unwillingness to turn to God to meet our souls' deepest needs." Praying this teaches, equips, and encourages your heart as it has mine to cultivate a heart that longs to put the Lord first in our lives and friendships.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    One of my Facebook friends recently shared an article by this author that shared some of the main points and content from this book. As soon as I got to the end, I preordered this on Amazon, because I wanted it immediately, and there was no way I was going to wait six months to inter-library loan this. I'm so glad that I did, and it was well worth the money, especially since I can now loan it out to people. Friendship is one of the most important things in my life, and always has been One of my Facebook friends recently shared an article by this author that shared some of the main points and content from this book. As soon as I got to the end, I preordered this on Amazon, because I wanted it immediately, and there was no way I was going to wait six months to inter-library loan this. I'm so glad that I did, and it was well worth the money, especially since I can now loan it out to people. Friendship is one of the most important things in my life, and always has been, but very few resources exist on how to navigate it faithfully and well through different pitfalls, challenges, and life changes. By the grace of God, I have managed to avoid codependent friendships and have pushed back against urges for jealousy and possessiveness in my relationships, but I wish that I'd had more than marriage-advice-turned-into-friendship-advice to help me navigate conflict, disappointment, the temptation of idolatry, and difficult feelings. This book is everything I wish I could have read as a teenager. It is incredibly well-written, personal, biblically grounded, and refreshing. It was emotionally overwhelming for me to read it at times, especially as the chapters on dysfunctional friendships brought back my undying rage from how other people's toxic best friendships affected me in youth group several years ago, but I appreciate the conviction of how unforgiving I have been, and saw myself in some of the relationship pitfalls. A couple sections made me cry because I felt like they were talking directly to me about issues that are largely invisible to Christian culture. When you've only found two helpful, targeted resources on a topic, there's something unspeakably reassuring about reading chapters that feel like they were written to you and affirm the choices and beliefs you synthesized about your experiences. This book is primarily written for women, but it also shares some stories from men's friendships, and I love this, both because it welcomes in a male audience and shows women that men's friendship experiences aren't very different from their own. Overall, this book is inclusive and accessible to men and women, singles and marrieds, teenagers and adults, and people with and without kids. I appreciate the attention and care that the author put into making this book as theologically sound, gospel-oriented, practical, and accessible as it is. I'm going to recommend this to so many people, and I already know who I'm going to loan my copy to first. As a closing note, I have two small complaints about this book. One is a single paragraph that was dismissive towards online friendships. Yes, we shouldn't overextend ourselves and think we can maintain meaningful relationships with everyone we've met in our whole lives, and yes, we need local friends who are physically present with us, but almost all of my deepest friendships began online, and I consider that a blessing from God. Some of these friendships exist over long distances and only occasionally have opportunities for face-to-face contact, but they are still profoundly meaningful to me, and I have also traditionally used Facebook chats to keep up with local friends when we can't see each other in person. This author is writing from her own experience and perspective as a thirty-something, so I'll give her lots of grace for not understanding the dynamics of my teenage years, but because of my peers' fast-paced, over-scheduled, hectic lives and the limitations of who had a driving permit, I wouldn't have been able to maintain friendships well outside of church without the grace of Facebook chat and Gmail video chat. I never turned to the Internet because I thought I was infinite and could be friends with everyone; I turned to the Internet to maintain my closest friendships during the times when we weren't able to connect in coffee shops. My second, more minor complaint is that the author never provides examples of books or movies that display the beauty of healthy friendships. I totally agree with what she wrote about the toxic, misleading messages about friendships and BFFs within popular culture, but I wish that she had given examples of alternatives to this in the media. Granted, most of my examples date back to the early 1900s, since I grew up reading post-Victorian children's literature, but there are more modern examples! Given the enduring popularity of Lord of the Rings, I was somewhat surprised that a book on friendship that so often criticized media portrayals of friendship never mentioned this as a profoundly refreshing corrective. Overall, this book is incredibly gospel-focused, helpful, and full of wisdom, providing guidance for how Christians can pursue friendships that avoid common pitfalls and are ultimately grounded in Christ. I hope that someday, there will be more resources like this, but until then, this book is gloriously unique and I will recommend it endlessly.

  6. 4 out of 5

    A Van

    Well-written, convicting, and biblically-based exploration of friendship...what it is, what it should be, and how it must be sourced in a personal relationship with our true Friend, Christ Jesus! Whether you have lots of friends or very few, are blessed with deep and close relationships or struggle to connect well with others, Kelly is a humble and competent guide to help you navigate the world of interpersonal relationships by turning first to God's Word. Read this prayerfully and be encouraged Well-written, convicting, and biblically-based exploration of friendship...what it is, what it should be, and how it must be sourced in a personal relationship with our true Friend, Christ Jesus! Whether you have lots of friends or very few, are blessed with deep and close relationships or struggle to connect well with others, Kelly is a humble and competent guide to help you navigate the world of interpersonal relationships by turning first to God's Word. Read this prayerfully and be encouraged to glorify God more through your friendships as well as be a greater source of blessing and encouragement to those around you. I was so blessed by reading this book and will recommend eagerly!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This book has come at the perfect time in my life, as I work through how to navigate my friendships and seek to honor God in my friendships. Kelly did a wonderful job exploring problems in friendships, how to seek out God as our most highly prioritized and accessed friend, and how to find healthy friendship/be a healthy friend who points her friends to Jesus always. I highly recommend!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bailey Edrington

    Holy moly this book!!! This book is easily in one of my top three favorite gospel-centered resources! I am so thankful this book exists! It has sharpened me, discipled me in the area of friendship, and encouraged me in my faith. I can’t stop talking about it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This book really challenged me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    So much more than expected! “Following Jesus transforms more than simply how we do friendship; it transforms why we do it.” (from the book) If you think you’re a pretty good friend and have surrounded yourself with the same, or if you have no friends and think people don’t like you, you should read this book. I began reading Friendish expecting that, as a long-time single who greatly values friendships, I would likely be nodding my head a lot in agreement. I wasn’t wrong, b So much more than expected! “Following Jesus transforms more than simply how we do friendship; it transforms why we do it.” (from the book) If you think you’re a pretty good friend and have surrounded yourself with the same, or if you have no friends and think people don’t like you, you should read this book. I began reading Friendish expecting that, as a long-time single who greatly values friendships, I would likely be nodding my head a lot in agreement. I wasn’t wrong, but I had no idea what I was in for! Reading this book has forced me to reexamine each relationship in my life and consider whether or not my actions there are glorifying God. As a Christian, glorifying God has always been my outward goal, but I can see now many times where that has clearly not been the motive of my heart. If she had stopped there, this would have been a pretty good book. The fact that she goes on to offer specific helps and encouragement toward creating healthy, God-glorifying relationships is the reason I’ll be recommending it to all my friends. Kelly outlines practical, specific, and very biblical steps we can take to build strong relationships that bring us closer to Jesus. She also tackles some of the big questions: What does it look like to idolize a friendship? Are there friendships that simply need to end? She even touches on the topic of same-sex attraction in friendship. But even with as wide a subject as friendship could be, the book doesn’t feel rushed or scattered. Instead, it’s well thought-out and insightful. It might be cliché to say I wish I had read this book when I was 20, but the truth is probably more like my FRIENDS wish I had read this book when I was 20! I see now that I spent so much time “digging in treasureless fields,” doing what seemed like the right things, but so often for the wrong reasons. Thankfully, I still have friends, and there is still time to grow! Highly recommended. You should read this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    What Kelly Needham has done in friendish is openly, honestly, and boldly shared about a topic that the world and myself desperately needs to read, learn more regarding, and talk about; which is idolatry in friendship. Knowing the topic and theme of this book, I was therefore incredibly excited to read through a copy of it. The overall topic and Kelly Needham’s willingness to publicize it deserves 5 stars! However, I found the book to be more suited to a devotional study or bible-study type group What Kelly Needham has done in friendish is openly, honestly, and boldly shared about a topic that the world and myself desperately needs to read, learn more regarding, and talk about; which is idolatry in friendship. Knowing the topic and theme of this book, I was therefore incredibly excited to read through a copy of it. The overall topic and Kelly Needham’s willingness to publicize it deserves 5 stars! However, I found the book to be more suited to a devotional study or bible-study type group discussion. The chapters appeared to me to be better suited for group discussion, rather than for personal study and learning. They included many personal anecdotes from Needham and/or her friends which provided nice examples but I feel may have inhibited a more general or broad biblical view of the topic. For this reason, I think a version of this book adapted for small group study would be a hit! One important note here, I will say that the appendices of the book were incredible! They were well-informed, Biblically-based, and articulate sections that I feel could’ve stood alone or perhaps been models for how the book could’ve been structured in another way. Additionally, though I was (and continue to be) grateful for this book being written and for the topic of idolatry in friendship to be discussed, I worry that the casual style of writing will make the book well-received and perhaps even popular in the current time, but outdated within the next 5-10 years. Overall, I’m grateful to see this book in print and wildly inspired by and further grateful for Needham’s vulnerability in writing and sharing. It’s clear she is serious about following Jesus and advancing His Kingdom, particularly by advocating for and encouraging godly friendships. Yet, I feel my review had to reflect the parts of this book that could’ve been stronger. In either case, I think this is a great start to what I hope can be a resource for many Christians struggling with, convicted by, or longing for redemption in their friendships.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    I read this book for a book club and I don’t like to speak ill of anyone trying to do God’s work but the author seemed so immature to me. I didn’t feel like she had the wisdom to deliver this book effectively, she gives examples from when she was in middle school. I think she needed to wait another ten years to write a book like this when she’d been though more seasons in her life or target preteens or teenagers for her audience.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy Weintraub

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is NOT “Girl, wash your face”. Kelly takes the world’s view of friendship and drops it on it’s head. She hits hards right out of the gate with why friendships fail. God created us to be relational but when we put our relationships in the place of God himself, it becomes idolatry. This flies in the face of the current cultural rhetoric that puts friendships at the pinnacle of all relationships (bromances and besties). Kelly is quick to point out that it is not wrong to desire friends but the This is NOT “Girl, wash your face”. Kelly takes the world’s view of friendship and drops it on it’s head. She hits hards right out of the gate with why friendships fail. God created us to be relational but when we put our relationships in the place of God himself, it becomes idolatry. This flies in the face of the current cultural rhetoric that puts friendships at the pinnacle of all relationships (bromances and besties). Kelly is quick to point out that it is not wrong to desire friends but they must never be the substitute for the true forever friend that we have in Jesus. If Christ is our stability, then we are able to truly love others in the way that God intended, sacrificially and with open hands. There are so many amazing nuggets of truth throughout this book and the author does a beautiful job of supporting her findings with God’s word. If you are looking for a book about how friendship should complete you and is the ultimate cure for loneliness, this is not the one for you. If you are looking for a book that helps you identify why your friendships have failed or you can’t seem to get them right, and you are ready to feel the sting of conviction, then this book will give you that in spades. I am still feeling the sting myself and I know that this will be one of the books that I will find myself reaching for time and again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lauren DuPrez

    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 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    4.5/5 Where was this book when I truly needed it? After all the struggles I've faced over the years regarding friendships, this was the only thing which has managed to point me in a clear direction. Since high school, I've constantly gone around asking people why I feel like my friendships have been unfulfilling, disappointing, and shallow. One of the most valuable answers this book gave me is that I've been holding my friends accountable for the loneliness, emptiness, and purposeless 4.5/5 Where was this book when I truly needed it? After all the struggles I've faced over the years regarding friendships, this was the only thing which has managed to point me in a clear direction. Since high school, I've constantly gone around asking people why I feel like my friendships have been unfulfilling, disappointing, and shallow. One of the most valuable answers this book gave me is that I've been holding my friends accountable for the loneliness, emptiness, and purposelessness I've had, and, as with all things, the answer should have been to turn to Christ. That's not the answer everyone wants to hear, especially for those who do not follow Christ, but it is an answer that is of great comfort to me. This book is great at addressing how idolatrous we have become in our friendships and relationships. This is meant in the way that we expect our friends to be everything for us - savior, satisfaction, mediator, judge - and thereby disappointed when they are not. If we are to take lessons from the Bible, then we realize that earthly commitments are not meant to fulfill us in this way, but rather to bring us closer to Him. As much as I loved this book, there was one modern issue which did not seem to be addressed at all - accountability. This book places immense focus on how to stop over-inflating the importance of our relationships. It even speaks against the idea of having covenants with friends and instead talks about holding our friends open-handed. However, when people around me speak about problems with their friends, it is more often to do with friends being "flakey" and unavailable, especially when the going gets tough. So to how much do we owe our friends? How do we decide how to spend our energy with them? There is no real model throughout this book for what a God-centered friendship should look like. There is a long list of things not to do and a short list of basic things we should do. The examples of friendship in this book are unfortunately quite juvenile and act more as a "my friend told me a story once of..." instead of anything complex. This book is a great introduction to the idea of Biblical friendship and I'm truly happy to have found this. It provided honest answers to questions I've been asking for years, and I already know that I have much to pray for. However, this book rarely feels modern when talking about issues (particularly in regards to social media) and lacks sophisticated examples of problems in friendships or model friendships. Not to mention how ardently I disagree with the section regarding same-sex attraction being related to friendship. But all in all, this book worked for me and my needs, and I cannot be more grateful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Monet Carpenter

    "Our first step to cultivating healthy friendships with people is cultivating a friendship with God... without [ it ], we have no hope of rightly befriending one another.” Kelly Needham jumps right in to reordering everything we ever thought, consciously or not, we knew about healthy friendships. Contrary to today’s culture, Needham expresses the importance of properly posturing God as head over all relationships, thus fulfilling those desires of belonging, comfort, and need, that we "Our first step to cultivating healthy friendships with people is cultivating a friendship with God... without [ it ], we have no hope of rightly befriending one another.” Kelly Needham jumps right in to reordering everything we ever thought, consciously or not, we knew about healthy friendships. Contrary to today’s culture, Needham expresses the importance of properly posturing God as head over all relationships, thus fulfilling those desires of belonging, comfort, and need, that we may wrongly place on our friends to satisfy us. No stone is left unturned as Needham boldly addresses today’s world of friendships in light of the gospel. From diving in to concepts like: how we deal with friends whose life circumstances have changed, and thus forever change the dynamics of our friendship, to the “You’re my person” mentality of Grey’s’ Meredith and Cristina. Furthermore, she tackles the topic of same sex attraction in friendship with a balanced perspective of humility and grace as she lays out the facts of sin that separate us from God, while providing a restorative hope and solution through Christ. Personally, this book has helped me to view my friendships as good gifts, but not the source of my joy, worth, and belonging. Being challenged to seek the only Source that can completely sustain and fulfill my needs has helped me to see how I can be a friend that gives out of that secure place, rather than being a friend who is a selfish consumer of friendship. I would undoubtedly recommend this book to any person who has experienced the painful loss of a friendship, is questioning if and how to end an unhealthy friendship, or desires to be a friend that gives freely out of God’s graces instead of falling into the consumerism and neediness trap that often accompanies today’s friendships.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tristany

    I first discovered Kelly and her book in an episode of the Journeywomen Podcast. I loved what she said about unhealthy friendships, and I knew that I would have to buy her book when it finally came out. I began following Kelly on Instagram, and when I saw that she opened an application for her book launch team, I had to join! What’s better than getting a free book to read and review that addresses one of your biggest struggles? Kelly begins her book by stating that friendship is very I first discovered Kelly and her book in an episode of the Journeywomen Podcast. I loved what she said about unhealthy friendships, and I knew that I would have to buy her book when it finally came out. I began following Kelly on Instagram, and when I saw that she opened an application for her book launch team, I had to join! What’s better than getting a free book to read and review that addresses one of your biggest struggles? Kelly begins her book by stating that friendship is very important for Christians, but that friendship is not our most important pursuit. Only God can truly satisfy are deepest longings for relationship. She reminds her readers that to have good relationships with others, we must first have friendship with God. In the book, Kelly addresses three types of counterfeit friendships and how they can manifest themselves in our lives. She then goes on to redefine what friendship looks like and the importance of friendship in our everyday lives. Kelly concludes her book by declaring that our purpose in friendship must be focused on eternity. “Because, when our friendships find their purpose in something bigger than ourselves, they will shine with the rare brilliance God intended all along.” I LOVED Friendish! The truths that she brings to life were so needed in my life, and I felt super convicted about my own friendships several times throughout the book. Kelly has a down-to-earth writing style, and her writing is so simple, yet practical. This book is definitely near the top of my favorite books list, and I would recommend it to every Christian who has, wants, or needs friends (which is everyone!). (Taken from my own personal blog post)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    Simply put, I both enjoyed this book and benefited from it in some deep and needed ways. Whether you think you're "good at friendship" or not, you still probably need to read this book. Here's a quick overview of the structure of the book that might help you see why: -- Kelly expresses at the beginning the NEED we all have for genuine, healthy friendship - the real thing. -- 3 chapters outline different counterfeits we can stray to, thinking we have "good" friendships (and they vary). -- 2 Simply put, I both enjoyed this book and benefited from it in some deep and needed ways. Whether you think you're "good at friendship" or not, you still probably need to read this book. Here's a quick overview of the structure of the book that might help you see why: -- Kelly expresses at the beginning the NEED we all have for genuine, healthy friendship - the real thing. -- 3 chapters outline different counterfeits we can stray to, thinking we have "good" friendships (and they vary). -- 2 chapters in the middle mark the deep, root issue with our counterfeits - the idolatry in our own hearts and our lack of really believing God is enough. -- the last 4 chapters walk through some "re-definitions": Redefining our Friendships, Our Needs, Our Enemy, and Our Mission. EVEN BETTER ... the book contains 4 appendices that are super helpful and expound on some different topics that she touches on in the book. Those are as follows: 1) Jonathan and David (Allies for God's kingdom, not covenanters against loneliness); 2) Friendship idolatry as a catalyst for same-sex desires; 3) How to know when it's time to end a friendship; and 4) a chart analyzing healthy vs. unhealthy friendships. With all the talk these days about "toxic friendships," I think it's really important that we not just walk away from people because they're hard to be around or because we feel drained by them. Friendship IS hard - and only staying around people we're comfortable with ISN'T biblical friendship. So I thought this was a great examination of genuine, Christ-centered friendship and had some really challenging and important things to say on the subject.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jaci

    I don't think I could overstate how much I loved this book. It's now on my list of "Books every Christian should read." I think it's that necessary. It's written to young people and adults, men and women. This is exactly the kind of Christian Living book I love: pick a subject and just explore what the Bible says about it. It's saturated with Scripture and had a high view of ecclesiology. This needs to be in your library. . TBH, I've always felt like I was a sucky friend. Turns out I w I don't think I could overstate how much I loved this book. It's now on my list of "Books every Christian should read." I think it's that necessary. It's written to young people and adults, men and women. This is exactly the kind of Christian Living book I love: pick a subject and just explore what the Bible says about it. It's saturated with Scripture and had a high view of ecclesiology. This needs to be in your library. . TBH, I've always felt like I was a sucky friend. Turns out I was right - but not for the reasons I thought. Like a lot of things, our standards for friendship have been shaped by culture and pop culture, but a lot of those ideas aren't actually the way God wants us to live. . At the same time, much of her message was very freeing. Living the military lifestyle means friendships are both essential and fluid, and the peculiar relationship of "battle buddies" adds a diferent layer of pressure when we aren't stationed together anymore, and social media isn't always helpful. She speaks to this reality (though not the military specifically) very helpfully. . I would also very much say, if you have teens or work in youth ministry I'd strongly encourage you to screen this book for a Bible Study (she's also releasing a study guide!). There are SO many good lessons here for young people, lessons I think all of us wish we had learned at an earlier age. Like the importance of BEING a friend as opposed to just HAVING lots of friends.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    Friend-ish Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion by Kelly Needham Nelson Books Thomas Nelson Christian Pub Date 27 Aug 2019 I am reviewing a copy of Friend-Ish through Thomas Nelson and Netgalley: In this book Bible teacher Kelly Needham debunks the world’s constricted view of friendship and casts a richer, more life-giving, biblical vision for friendship as God meant it to be. Everyone wa Friend-ish Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion by Kelly Needham Nelson Books Thomas Nelson Christian Pub Date 27 Aug 2019 I am reviewing a copy of Friend-Ish through Thomas Nelson and Netgalley: In this book Bible teacher Kelly Needham debunks the world’s constricted view of friendship and casts a richer, more life-giving, biblical vision for friendship as God meant it to be. Everyone wants a friend who is consistent, who is present and a friend who values us. A friend who values us, the longing for this type of friendship is something God wired in us. We are reminded too that Eternal Life is found in knowing God. Eternal life is not separate from God, as if it were a gift given by him. Eternal life is him. We search for stability in our friendships but it is Jesus who is our stabilizer. Friend-ish points out that friendship is important but our most important relationship is our relationship with Christ. This book points out that as the family unit grows more unstable and the average age of marriage increases, a shift had taken 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? I give Friend-Ish five out of five stars! Happy Reading!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Laws

    Friendish is a book I wish were written years ago when I was deep into struggles with emotional dependency and anxiety in my friendships. How easy it is for us to turn friends into idols and selfishly pursue friendships to fill our needs, rather than seek Jesus above all else. In this book, Kelly speaks truth and points us to the One who satisfies our souls so we can rightly pursue friendships for their God-intended purpose: to pursue God’s Kingdom and encourage one another towards knowing God a Friendish is a book I wish were written years ago when I was deep into struggles with emotional dependency and anxiety in my friendships. How easy it is for us to turn friends into idols and selfishly pursue friendships to fill our needs, rather than seek Jesus above all else. In this book, Kelly speaks truth and points us to the One who satisfies our souls so we can rightly pursue friendships for their God-intended purpose: to pursue God’s Kingdom and encourage one another towards knowing God and making Him known. There are definitely some hard truths in this book, but they are coupled with the grace and freedom provided through the cross and gospel of Christ, who redeems and sanctifies our desires and relationships. The message of relationships having the potential to become idols is not a popular one in our culture today, but I believe these truths will ultimately allow us to enjoy friendship as God intended. I highly recommend this book as wisdom on friendships in our culture of confusion knowing that you will be faced with truth, and that may not always be easy to swallow. I pray that God will use these words to lead you to deeper intimacy with Him, and thus free you to enjoy healthy friendships as well.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Baylie Hartley

    I do not know of another resource like this for biblical friendship. It isn't just about Christians who are friends with other Christians. The heart of God is clear in this gospel-centered approach to friendship: it is about what kind of friend I am to others, to all. Kelly reveals truth in a no-fluff kind of way that, if you'll receive it, can pull you in to the Father's heart. My relationship with God is growing and my ideology of how friendship with others should look has changed. I don't rea I do not know of another resource like this for biblical friendship. It isn't just about Christians who are friends with other Christians. The heart of God is clear in this gospel-centered approach to friendship: it is about what kind of friend I am to others, to all. Kelly reveals truth in a no-fluff kind of way that, if you'll receive it, can pull you in to the Father's heart. My relationship with God is growing and my ideology of how friendship with others should look has changed. I don't read for pleasure, I read because I want to grow. If you're anything like that, this book is for you. I thought I had good, healthy friendships and this would help me in my mission to love my neighbors well. It has blown my expectations out of the water. Friendish exposes the faults in our culture's approach to friendship and uncovers lies we have been believing that keep us in loops of hurt and offense. It offers hope and victory through Jesus and practical steps to walk out of these loops through recognition, confession, and redemption from sinful tendencies toward friends. I did not know I needed this book. I learned I had unexposed sin in regard to friendship and now I can say my soul has found a freedom I didn't know I lacked. Praise God! 5 stars!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Kelly Needham’s book speaks straight to the root of a problem I hardly realized was problematic for me and many of my peers. Her timely word on the importance of selfless, “others-focused” friendships is far more (but certainly not less) than a self-help book for codependents seeking freedom from relationship addiction. It also isn’t a “how to make friends” manual either, so both of my initial presuppositions about the book were quickly debunked. Kelly, in the book, writes poignantly in a way th Kelly Needham’s book speaks straight to the root of a problem I hardly realized was problematic for me and many of my peers. Her timely word on the importance of selfless, “others-focused” friendships is far more (but certainly not less) than a self-help book for codependents seeking freedom from relationship addiction. It also isn’t a “how to make friends” manual either, so both of my initial presuppositions about the book were quickly debunked. Kelly, in the book, writes poignantly in a way that points her readers to look to Christ for dependency and purpose and she draws attention to the unseen and hardly recognized idolatry between same sex and guy-girl relationships. She shows how, from a biblical standpoint, living a friend-dependent existence creates expectations and commitments that only marriage was meant to fulfill. Kelly rightly points readers to the Christ, the one who established marriage to show our dependency on Him alone! I’m so grateful for this book and would recommend it to believers who think there might be something wrong with their relationships (and also those of us who assumed we had everything right...).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Richardson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. God used Kelly to write these words in ways I can’t fully express here. It’s clear that much prayer went into this book from the beginning to the very end. After 10+ years, I am JUST NOW getting clear and Christ-centered clarity about what it means to have godly friendships and what it means to be a godly friend. All I could do after reading was thank the Lord and let the tears fall. God knew what I needed and I’m so thankful to Him. I love how the 1st 1/2 of the book hits on what cou God used Kelly to write these words in ways I can’t fully express here. It’s clear that much prayer went into this book from the beginning to the very end. After 10+ years, I am JUST NOW getting clear and Christ-centered clarity about what it means to have godly friendships and what it means to be a godly friend. All I could do after reading was thank the Lord and let the tears fall. God knew what I needed and I’m so thankful to Him. I love how the 1st 1/2 of the book hits on what counterfeit relationships actually look like (hard to read at times because some of it really hit home for me) but right in the middle, she beautifully unfolds, intentionally and purposefully, that we can’t be a godly friend or recognize counterfeit friendships without a relationship with Jesus Christ. A needed call to repentance. Then, finally the latter chapters focuses on what godly friendships and what being a godly friend looks like. Powerful and so freeing. I’m so thankful for this book. As a mom to 2 kiddos, I’m so glad that God allowed me to read this, convict me of these truths (so that I begin to apply them, by His power) to now being able to share this truth with the next generation.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Julie Fuller

    Not good to be Alone The last year I have been on a journey of trying to understand what a friend truly means to me. I don’t know about you, but I am always looking to grow, learn, and become a better disciple of Jesus. This book has led me to view friendship in a different light which will only help me love others better than I do now. Everyone has different definitions of friendship. Friendish, discusses how the Lord views friendship and how to have a friendship that point to Jesus and is Not good to be Alone The last year I have been on a journey of trying to understand what a friend truly means to me. I don’t know about you, but I am always looking to grow, learn, and become a better disciple of Jesus. This book has led me to view friendship in a different light which will only help me love others better than I do now. Everyone has different definitions of friendship. Friendish, discusses how the Lord views friendship and how to have a friendship that point to Jesus and is healthy. Needham, weaves in scripture every chance she can which makes you want to study more. It’s refreshing to read a book that is truly scripture focused. Kelly is inspiring, relatable, empathetic, and encouraging. Her desire to help others walk closely with the Lord shines through this book. I will continue to grab truths from this book as I fine tune the friendships in my life and how I view friendship as a whole. Stoked to see the workbook that goes along with this.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Friend-ish is a must needed resource on biblical friendships. She points to cultivating our friendship with God first above all, which will allow all our other friendships to honor God and bless the people around us. In a world that is shifting the definition of friendship, and especially same-sex friendships, Needham reminds us what friendships are really meant for--to serve one another and further the kingdom of God. She includes research, interviews, and anecdotal examples to help us understa Friend-ish is a must needed resource on biblical friendships. She points to cultivating our friendship with God first above all, which will allow all our other friendships to honor God and bless the people around us. In a world that is shifting the definition of friendship, and especially same-sex friendships, Needham reminds us what friendships are really meant for--to serve one another and further the kingdom of God. She includes research, interviews, and anecdotal examples to help us understand how society is influencing our views of friendship, and then uses God's Word to remind us of what God has to say about our relationships with friends. I learned much from her on the topic and appreciated that she didn't try to comprise her biblical stance, even when there are many other voices speaking the opposite. She is unapologetically solid in her understanding of friendships, which makes this a great resource!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This book is a blessing for the heart & soul. It is biblical, well-written and easy to read... but this does not mean that it will not have you reflect! In this time & age where friendship is used to fill the hole in our heart, this book is great at pointing us back to the source of our joy: Jesus. I am blessed with good friends but I had not really stopped to wonder if my friendships were healthy and if I am a good friend. Friendish made me realize that I do have some unhealthy pat This book is a blessing for the heart & soul. It is biblical, well-written and easy to read... but this does not mean that it will not have you reflect! In this time & age where friendship is used to fill the hole in our heart, this book is great at pointing us back to the source of our joy: Jesus. I am blessed with good friends but I had not really stopped to wonder if my friendships were healthy and if I am a good friend. Friendish made me realize that I do have some unhealthy patterns that I repeat in my friendships and it re-directed me in Word of God to find the reason and the "solution". This book is meant for Christians but I find that it contains great reflexions for those who do not believe in Jesus but feel that there is something missing in their friendships. As Kelly Needham said, we all need friendship (and it is part of God's plan) but are we looking for the right thing in the wrong places? Want to know more... get the book! Totally worth it!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Lundy

    Friendish is a timely and much-needed look at friendship from a biblical perspective. Kelly Needham has written a book filled with wisdom and truth. She takes the reader straight to Scripture to find guidance for the way we do friendship. Kelly warns of specific dangers to avoid in friendship, and she gives a heartfelt call to true, genuine friendship. She helps the reader to see that the ultimate purpose of friendship is to glorify Christ. With so many bad examples of friendship in t Friendish is a timely and much-needed look at friendship from a biblical perspective. Kelly Needham has written a book filled with wisdom and truth. She takes the reader straight to Scripture to find guidance for the way we do friendship. Kelly warns of specific dangers to avoid in friendship, and she gives a heartfelt call to true, genuine friendship. She helps the reader to see that the ultimate purpose of friendship is to glorify Christ. With so many bad examples of friendship in the culture around us, it is easy to lose sight of what friendship should be. And because of our own sinful hearts, it is easy to fall into unhealthy patterns and self-centered thinking in friendship. Friendish will help you to see patterns and pitfalls to avoid, and it will encourage you to grow as a godly friend to others. For anyone wanting to learn how to honor God in their friendships, this book is a must read! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Reyna

    This is the first book I read by Kelly Needham (is it her first?) and Im ashamed to say that sometimes kind of skeptical with new authors... but this one was so good! I think she did a great job. I like the order in the topics, no bluff, very actual examples, very useful ideas, practical, down to earth. Im so happy I got this book. I was convicted of several things and praying the Lord to change my heart... I think this book would be great to discuss with friends about friendship and how our rel This is the first book I read by Kelly Needham (is it her first?) and I´m ashamed to say that sometimes kind of skeptical with new authors... but this one was so good! I think she did a great job. I like the order in the topics, no bluff, very actual examples, very useful ideas, practical, down to earth. I´m so happy I got this book. I was convicted of several things and praying the Lord to change my heart... I think this book would be great to discuss with friends about friendship and how our relationship and limits are. I think this would be great for a graduation gift (when a girl is moving away and starting new friendships), or birthday present for young ladies. Why young? because I´d like to read this when I was younger. Also, it is for grown-up ladies because we still having friends and we need to grow in this area. Thankful about this one!. I wish I´d know Kelly. She sounds pretty wise, nice and kind. #Friendish

  30. 5 out of 5

    Meagan Bender

    A great book for people of all ages and walks of life. It is not just a conceptual book about the importance of friendship, or a guide to self-improvement. It gives practical, applicable wisdom for navigating friendships. I love the entire set-up of the book. There are several chapter devoted to the marks of counterfeit friendships, and how to identify them. It works on deconstructing our current framework. Then once our framework is razed, the foundation is laid. Kelly emphasizes that before we A great book for people of all ages and walks of life. It is not just a conceptual book about the importance of friendship, or a guide to self-improvement. It gives practical, applicable wisdom for navigating friendships. I love the entire set-up of the book. There are several chapter devoted to the marks of counterfeit friendships, and how to identify them. It works on deconstructing our current framework. Then once our framework is razed, the foundation is laid. Kelly emphasizes that before we can truly have God-glorifying friendships, we must be God-glorifying individuals. The remaining chapters rebuild our framework to display how Chrisitan friendships should function and what our roles really are in each other's lives. I found several points in this book convicting, and I am thankful for the wisdom Kelly has so beautifully shared.

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