Book Review: Getting to the Heart of Friendships by Amy Baker

As Vision of Hope Intern, we are given a wide variety of opportunities for training in Biblical counseling methods and crisis management with our residents, but with the addition of some new training tools and curriculum, we’re now being given lots of chances to connect the dots between our “on duty” learning and our personal lives.

The personal lessons were taken to a whole new level when we were asked to read the book Getting to the Heart of Friendships by Amy Baker.  The VOH residents also worked through this book in group counseling with Jocelyn, and benefitted greatly, but the value of this book is now more near and dear to our hearts, after having read and connected with it ourselves.  Fellow Intern Nickey Barnhizer has kindly agreed to share a few of the lessons she’s taken away from this book by Dr. Baker.

Overview of the book: “Basically, there are 7 types of friendships that are referred to as ‘Orientations’.  Amy lovingly explains and points out why and how each orientation has its downfall and tendencies toward sin.  She goes on to give you hope, as you identify with each of the styles of friendship, based on God’s expectations for our human relationships. It’s exciting because we don’t to be the type of friend that burns bridges, exhausts and frustrates people and is more of a burden than blessing!  This book is so helpful!”

Three lessons you’ll take from this book:

  1. God has really been changing my sinful thinking, since reading this book.  I now see that I used to have a very sinful perspective toward serving others.  I would keep record of the deeds I did for others, expecting to be repaid and always ended up in disappointment. It is exhausting to keep an account of what I do for others, because Christ was the ultimate servant.
  2. I definitely see, from this book, that I have areas within each of the seven orientations that need refinement.  Even the areas that I am strong in have room to grow!
  3. I’ve already passed the book along to another friend, so she can be challenged and encouraged in her perspective on friendships. As Amy said, “To grow into God’s opinion of friendship” is so cool!

Getting to the Heart of Friendships is such a conversational book that a new or mature Christian can read it and be challenged and encouraged.  It’s almost like you are sitting down for coffee with Amy herself, having a conversation about these areas in your life that need refinement!