As women, our friendships are so important to our well-being, and yet we don’t always know how best to nurture them, particularly in relationship to our need for spiritual support.
Friendship is a natural enough thing, but that is part of the problem. Like falling in love, marriage, sexual intimacy, birth, breastfeeding, and parenting, just because it’s “natural”, doesn’t mean we really know what we’re doing, or why it doesn’t always turn out the way we hoped. We can end up feeling desperately inadequate if everyone else is pretending it’s easy and perfect.
The object of this book is to see how we can better nurture and navigate our “Ship of Friends” in a faithful way. I have chosen a nautical theme as a reminder of the concept, and Yours Faithfully because it sums up true friendship. It’s amazing to realise that through the Bible God wrote to us, that Jesus wrote to us, and that the apostles wrote to us. And I like the thought that we can, in our prayers, as it were, write back, and also sign off ‘Yours faithfully.’ This communication and sharing of thoughts and ideals is a beautiful demonstration of Divine friendship, implicitly signed, “Yours faithfully”, and it’s our model for human friendship as well.
Friendship is not a trivial matter for Christian women and yet its importance can be underestimated.
Whether intentionally or otherwise, some of us are much better at what we might call Acquaintanceship.
Acquaintanceship is far easier, less complicated, less demanding, and involves far less responsibility. It can even be made or maintained at arms’ length with a few smiles, clicks, comments or emoticons. It doesn’t change your life if an acquaintance drops out of your circle, or off your radar. Your interest is more social than deeply personal. But ecclesial life — Christianity in action, developing spiritual support for each other — requires more than this.
There are many secular books and self-help psychology manuals dealing with friendship in general, but this is not one of them.
This is a Bible-based exploration of female friendship in all its aspects, with a few thought-provoking exercises to help make it individually relevant. It is by necessity, extremely personal, a frank discussion rather than a study. The subject is considered in the light of scripture, but as the only point of theory is a practical outcome, I particularly want to address the ‘nuts and bolts’ of real, everyday life.
Yours Faithfully, by S. J. Knight, price £8.00 plus postage.