In this article, I will share with you a total of 17 Christian books on friendship.
Forming godly friendships is a life-long journey that requires hard work, but the payoff is a life that is enriched by relationships.
God created us in His image and He is relational. It’s by design that we strive for good godly relationships in our life, friendship being a good portion of the time we spend in our Christian life.
10 Christian Books On Friendship
- Friend-ish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion by Kelly Needham
For so many of us, our friends are like family members–we lean on them through our highest highs and our lowest lows–but sometimes those friendships don’t turn out quite as we hoped. Bible teacher Kelly Needham debunks our world’s constricted, narrow view of friendship and casts a richer, more life-giving, biblical vision for friendship.
In Friend-ish, Kelly Needham reminds us that we were called to more than halfhearted friendships and lukewarm connections. We need something more stable, secure, and sacred. We were designed for real friendship–but the difficult truth is that too many of us are settling for less.
Kelly deconstructs what Scripture says about the gift of friendship and takes a closer look at the distorted view that most of us have instead. As she shares the lessons she’s learned from experience, Kelly paints her own glorious vision of what Christian friendship could look like. View on Amazon
2. The Relationship Principles of Jesus by Tom Holladay
What would you give to radically improve, even transform, what matters most in your relationships? You can thrive in your career, acquire wealth, or build a great reputation. But if your relationships aren’t thriving, nothing else matters.
This 40-day journey will bring new depth and health to your marriage, your family, and your friendships. Saddleback Church teaching pastor Tom Holladay helps you explore and begin to practice six foundational principles including how to give your relationships the highest value, love as Jesus loves you, and communicate from the heart. You’ll be equipped with insights and a practical path for fulfilling God’s intention for all your relationships–even the difficult ones.
The Relationship Principles of Jesus walks you step by step through learning the foundational relationship truths taught by Jesus. Shaped after Rick Warren’s monumental bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life, this book invites you to learn from the Master of relationships. View on Amazon
3. Boundaries by Henry Cloud
Boundaries is the book that’s helped over 4 million people learn when to say yes and know how to say no in order to take control of their lives.
Does your life feel like it’s out of control? Perhaps you feel like you have to say yes to everyone’s requests. Maybe you find yourself readily taking responsibility for others’ feelings and problems. Or perhaps you focus so much on being loving and unselfish that you’ve forgotten your own limits and limitations. Or maybe it’s all of the above. View on Amazon
God made you for friendship.
Friendship is one of the deepest pleasures of life. But in our busy, fast-paced, mobile world, we’ve lost this rich view of friendship and instead settled for shallow acquaintances based on little more than similar tastes or shared interests.
Helping us recapture a vision of true friendship, pastor Drew Hunter explores God’s design for friendship and what it really looks like in practice―giving us practical advice to cultivate the kinds of true friendships that lead to true and life-giving joy. View on Amazon
5. 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. View on Amazon
6. The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship by Jonathan Holmes
Friendship: it’s one of the simplest of human relationships in comparison to marriage or family relationships, yet it’s one of the least understood and practiced. For all of our progress in making connections through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, people are consistently experiencing loneliness and growing disenchanted with the whole notion of friendship.
Could it be that our understanding of friendship has been more informed by pop culture and social media, and less informed by the vision of friendship offered in Scripture? Is it possible that friendship exists for a greater purpose than merely our enjoyment and comfort? Does real friendship involve more than just hanging out on a weekend, participating in a book club, or hitting the golf course together? These questions and more are answered in this book.
Broader and deeper than simple fellowship, biblical friendship is first and foremost about a relationship with Jesus Christ. As you are brought into friendship and relationship with the Father, Jesus Christ calls you a friend! It is out of this friendship that our human friendships find their beginning and their purpose.
Aelred, a Cistercian monk who wrote a profound treatise on friendship, said, “And so in friendship are joined honor and charm, truth and joy, sweetness and good-will, affection and action. And all these take their beginning from Christ, advance through Christ, and are perfected in Christ.” This is the core of biblical friendship, and what sets it apart from what the world is offering: it all flows from Jesus Christ. Friendship finds its origin, purpose, and power in Jesus. Our human friendships then must be shaped by this life-changing truth.
Biblical friendship is deep, honest, pure, transparent, and liberating. It is also attainable. Dig into this book, and learn how your friendships can embody this amazing and wonderful reality. View on Amazon
7. Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Timothy S. Lane
Hope for messy, conflict-ridden relationships.
Your best friend is suddenly cool and distant. Your spouse can’t stop complaining about your bad habits. Your son refuses to talk to you. What are you supposed to do? Plans A, B, and C might be to shut down, lash out, or get out. But consider Plan D: Recognize that God has the last word on those messy, conflict-ridden relationships. He can use them to make you into a Christian who can give and receive love with God and others. Impossible? Idealistic? Not really.
In Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, Tim and Paul discuss the relational disappointments that we all suffer both in and out of the church. But they are also optimistic about the power of Christian beliefs to redeem and restore our relationships. Rather than presenting new or sophisticated techniques to make relationships flourish, the authors instead focus on the basic, Christian character qualities that can only be formed in the heart by the gospel. View on Amazon
“HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME?”
We’ve all had friendships that have gone bad. Whether it takes the form of a simple yet inexplicable estrangement or a devastating betrayal, a failed friendship can make your life miserable, threaten your success at work or school, and even undermine your romantic relationships.
Finally there is help. In When Friendship Hurts, Jan Yager, recognized internationally as a leading expert on friendship, explores what causes friendships to falter and explains how to mend them — or end them. In this straightforward, illuminating book filled with dozens of quizzes and real-life examples, Yager covers all the bases, including:
The twenty-one types of negative friends — a rogues’ gallery featuring such familiar types as the Blood-sucker, the Fault-finder, the Promise Breaker, and the Copycat
How to recognize destructive friends as well as how to find ideal ones
The e-mail effect — how electronic communication has changed friendships for both the better and the worse
The misuse of friendship at work — how to deal with a co-worker’s lies, deceit, or attempts at revenge
How to stop obsessing about a failed friendship
And much more
The first highly prescriptive book to focus on the complexities of friendship, When Friendship Hurts demonstrates how, why, and when to let go of bad friends and how to develop the positive friendships that enrich our lives on every level. For everyone who has ever wondered about friends who betray, hurt, or reject them, this authoritative book provides invaluable insights and advice to resolve the problem once and for all. View on Amazon
9. True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness by John Cuddeback
We all want true friends. But how many of us really know what friendship is, or where to find it? In these pages, philosopher John Cuddeback weaves together the timeless wisdom of Scripture, of the ancient Greeks, and the saints to map out the steep and beautiful path to man’s greatest joy—true friendship.
Following Aristotle’s teachings on the unbreakable connection between happiness and virtuous living, Cuddeback sees friendship at the very center of the human drama. Although there are different kinds of friendship, the deepest kind can only be achieved through a life of virtue, and this is where the human person comes most fully alive. True Friendship offers simple yet rich advice on how to tap into this reality in our own lives. Such friendship demands much of us, but it gives us even more, as individuals and as a society.
Both the Old and New Testaments place a premium on friendship. In the Christian vision, the philosophers’ insights attain a broader supernatural perspective. Christ transforms human friendship and expands it. With help from the writings of Saints Thomas and Aelred, Cuddeback discovers what lies at the heart of the Christian life—the wondrous and unsurpassable reality of friendship with God in Jesus, the Divine Friend, who is at work in all our authentic friendships. View on Amazon
10. True Friendship by Vaughan Roberts
In a culture where online communications and communities can be set up in seconds, it is striking that loneliness is still rampant. Even in the church, a place where we might hope for an oasis of love and acceptance, we can find interactions awkward and superficial.
It is for this reason that Vaughan Roberts takes us back to the Bible, and challenges us to consider our need for true friendship. He is both honest and clear in his approach as he shows us that knowing and being known by God is the hope we need to begin to deal with the sickness of our self love society.
So whatever the state of your friendships, take heart and take hold of this book because as you do, you’ll see that we can live out our true humanity as we sacrificially love others for God’s glory.
Each chapter includes thoughtful reflection and discussion questions to help change us as we read, as well as practical suggestions for how we can make a real difference to our friendships. View on Amazon
7 Christian Books That Help Build Stronger Friendships
- Deeper: Real Change For Real Sinners by Dane C. Ortlund
“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” ―2 Peter 3:18
How do Christians grow? Few question the call of the Bible to grow in godliness, but the answer to exactly how this happens is often elusive.
In this book, Dane Ortlund points believers to Christ, making the case that sanctification does not happen by doing more or becoming better, but by going deeper into the wondrous gospel truths that washed over them when they were first united to him.
Drawing on wisdom from figures throughout church history, Ortlund encourages readers to fix their gaze on Jesus in the battle against sin, casting themselves upon his grace and living out their invincible identity in Christ. View on Amazon
2. The Death of Porn: Men of Integrity Building a World of Nobility by Ray Ortlund
Your Battle against Porn Isn’t about Porn. It’s about Hope.
Pornography may seem inescapable, but God can free us from its destructive power. The gospel replaces the dehumanizing lies of pornography with this surprising truth: God created us as royalty. How then can we reclaim our God-given identity to take a stand against―and ultimately starve―the predatory porn industry?
In The Death of Porn, Ray Ortlund writes six personal letters, as from a father to his son. Ideal for individuals and small groups, it will give hope to men who have been misled by porn into devaluing themselves and others. Through Scripture and personal stories, Ortlund assures readers that God loves them the most tenderly in their moments of deepest shame. The Death of Porn inspires men to come together in new ways to fight the injustice of porn and build a world of nobility for every man and woman―for the sake of future generations. View on Amazon
3. The Ones We Choose by Julie Clark
The powerful forces of science and family collide when geneticist Paige Robson finds her world in upheaval: Her eight-year-old son Miles is struggling to fit in at his new school and begins asking questions about his biological father that Paige can’t answer—until fate thrusts the anonymous donor she used into their lives.
Paige’s carefully constructed life begins to unravel as the truth of Miles’s paternity threatens to destroy everything she has grown to cherish. As Paige slowly opens herself up—by befriending an eccentric mother, confronting her own deeply buried vulnerabilities, and trying to make sense of her absent father’s unexpected return—she realizes breakthroughs aren’t only for the lab. But when tragedy strikes, Paige must face the consequences of sharing a secret only she knows.
With grace and humor, Julie Clark shows that while the science is fascinating, solving these intimate mysteries of who we are and where we come from unleashes emotions more complex than the strands of DNA that shape us. View on Amazon
During our chaotic times, discover five forgotten values that can spark internal growth andhelp us reconcile our Christian faith with the complexities of race, sexuality, and social justice.
WINNER OF THE CHRISTIANITY TODAY BOOK AWARD
Most believers live in the state of “being a Christian” without ever being deeply formed by Christ. Our pace is too frenetic to be in union with God, and we don’t know how to quiet our hearts and minds to be present. Our emotions are unhealthy and compartmentalized. We feel unable to love well or live differently from the rest of the world—to live as people of the good news.
New York pastor Rich Villodas says we must restore balance, focus, and meaning for our souls. The Deeply Formed Life lays out a fresh vision for spiritual breakthrough following five key values:
• Contemplative Rhythms Value: slowing down our lives to be with God.
• Racial Justice Value: examining a multi-layered approach to pursuing racial justice and reconciliation.
• Interior Examination Value: looking beneath the surface of our lives to live free and love well.
• Sexual Wholeness Value: exploring how our sexuality connects with our spirituality.
• Missional Presence Value: living as the presence of Christ in a broken world.
The Deeply Formed Life is a roadmap to live in the richly rooted place we all yearn for: a place of communion with God, a place where we find our purpose. View on Amazon
5. The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder by Richard Rohr
“We are indeed ‘saved’ by knowing and surrendering to this universal pattern of reality. Knowing the full pattern allows us to let go of our first order, trust the disorder, and, sometimes even hardest of all—to trust the new reorder. Three big leaps of faith for all of us, and each of a different character.” —from the introduction
A universal pattern can be found in all societies and in fact in all of creation. We see it in the seasons of the year; the stories of Scripture; the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus; the rise and fall of civilizations; and even in our own lives. In this new version of one of his earlier books, Father Richard Rohr illuminates the way understanding and embracing this pattern can give us hope in difficult times and the courage to push through messiness and even great chaos to find a new way of being in the world. View on Amazon
We are at war. Not with a foreign government or domestic terrorists or a creepy new artificial intelligence hell-bent on taking over the world. No, it’s a war we feel deep inside our own chests: we are at war with lies.
The problem isn’t so much that we tell lies but that we live them. We let them into our bodies, and they sabotage our peace. All around us in the culture and deep within our own body memories are lies: deceptive ideas that wreak havoc on our emotional health and spiritual well-being, and deceptive ideas about who God is, who we are, and what the good life truly is.
The choice is not whether to fight or not fight, but whether we win or surrender.
Ancient apprentices of Jesus developed a paradigm for this war; they spoke of the three enemies of the soul: the devil, the flesh, and the world. Live No Lies taps into this ancient wisdom from saints of the Way and translates the three enemies for the modern era, with all its secularism and sophistication. As a generation, we chuckle at the devil as a premodern myth, we are confused by Scripture’s teaching on the flesh in an age where sensual indulgence is a virtue not a vice, and we have little to no category for the New Testament concept of the world. View on Amazon
7. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer
“Who am I becoming?”
That was the question nagging pastor and author John Mark Comer. Outwardly, he appeared successful. But inwardly, things weren’t pretty. So he turned to a trusted mentor for guidance and heard these words:
“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. Hurry is the great enemy of the spiritual life.”
It wasn’t the response he expected, but it was—and continues to be—the answer he needs. Too often we treat the symptoms of toxicity in our modern world instead of trying to pinpoint the cause. A growing number of voices are pointing at hurry, or busyness, as a root of much evil.
Within the pages of this book, you’ll find a fascinating roadmap to staying emotionally healthy and spiritually alive in the chaos of the modern world. View on Amazon
What Does God Say About Friendship?
God has a lot to say about friendship in the Bible. God’s Word is where Christians should search first for answers to life’s questions. It’s the best when it comes to Christian books on friendship.
The friends we have matter not only to us but to God. Having good Christian friends who help “sharpen” you in your knowledge of Scripture and in truth will be some of the closest relationships you ever have in life.
They will encourage you to have godly habits and to be more trusting of God by their own good life and testimony of God’s goodness.
God also warns us in the Bible about having bad friendships. Toxic or abusive people will drag you down no matter how good of a Christian you think you are. God’s warning is clear.
So, find the right friends that will sharpen you and cultivate more good and godly behavior in your life.
How To Find Godly Friends
Finding godly friends in today’s world is more difficult than ever before. Most coffee shops and other public places are full of people staring at their cell phones and the ability to connect with others seems difficult.
There’s good news though.
Church is still a great way to find godly friends who share your beliefs and convictions in life.
Hopefully, you already attend a physical church, but if not, start going to church!
Attending church for just the main service won’t magically bring friends into your life usually. I say ‘usually’ because a lot of churches have super friendly Church-goers who will walk right up to you and become your friend.
That’s the exception, not the rule.
What you will need to do is join a small group, start attending Sunday school, or just ask an acquaintance you know at church over to your home for a meal.
This can be scary and uncomfortable for some people, but God will give you strength.
You need friends.
Another thing you can do is find Christian groups on Facebook or at other local churches. Often churches will have outreach nights like game night or an event where the public is welcome to join them.
Forming godly friendships takes time and effort, but with prayer and dedication to seeking them out, God will bring these relationships into your life.