Known: Finding Deep Friendships in a Shallow World by Dick and Ruth Foth reveals how our technologically sophisticated age may take us wide with a variety of options, but only genuine relationships with others can take us deep. God declared we were created to live in community,

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

It is significant to note that this declaration came before the fall. The authors wisely observe, “We have discovered something in our nearly one hundred fifty combined trips around the sun: apart from the great ideas that move us, life revolves around two things – relationships and money. And only one of those makes us rich” (p. 16).

The authors present the key principles necessary for the formation of deep relationships coupled with practical tips and inspiring stories. They identify a key prerequisite for healthy relationships, “If we are not experiencing God’s love, we will always be seeking from others what only God can give. They will always fail us because we have expectations from the friendship that they cannot meet” (p. 34).

Authenticity in a relationship requires vulnerability and vulnerability implies risk. “Truth be told, we identify more readily with suffering than we do with victories. Victories are unique. Suffering is universal” (p. 89). They build the case through personal examples that, “Trust is the oxygen for every relationship” (p. 185).

If you’re looking to deepen your relationships with others, you will find this a helpful resource. The authors show that good relationships are the key to a happy and healthy life. (I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review).

RickAssociate Pastor – Discipleship.  The Church at LifePark

Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University

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