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Real: The Surprising Secret to Deeper Relationships

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Every woman longs for authentic friendships with othersbut in a world of carefully-curated social media, most of us are merely keeping up appearances. Both online and offline, we're all prone to only presenting the best side of ourselves. This book shows us that the secret to growing the relationships we crave is in developing a biblical habit of repentance. By being hones Every woman longs for authentic friendships with othersbut in a world of carefully-curated social media, most of us are merely keeping up appearances. Both online and offline, we're all prone to only presenting the best side of ourselves. This book shows us that the secret to growing the relationships we crave is in developing a biblical habit of repentance. By being honest about our sin before God and receiving his forgiveness, we're freed be honest about our sin with others. When we drop the act and allow ourselves to be vulnerable by sharing our struggles, not only are we strengthened in our fight against sin, but we experience authentic fellowship and real friendship. Catherine Parks empowers women to fight side by side against their sin, and shows how by getting real about our struggles, we can create genuine community in an ""I'm fine"" culture. This book is great for reading with your book group, women's group, accountability partner, or one-to-one mentordiscussion questions are included for every chapter.


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Every woman longs for authentic friendships with othersbut in a world of carefully-curated social media, most of us are merely keeping up appearances. Both online and offline, we're all prone to only presenting the best side of ourselves. This book shows us that the secret to growing the relationships we crave is in developing a biblical habit of repentance. By being hones Every woman longs for authentic friendships with othersbut in a world of carefully-curated social media, most of us are merely keeping up appearances. Both online and offline, we're all prone to only presenting the best side of ourselves. This book shows us that the secret to growing the relationships we crave is in developing a biblical habit of repentance. By being honest about our sin before God and receiving his forgiveness, we're freed be honest about our sin with others. When we drop the act and allow ourselves to be vulnerable by sharing our struggles, not only are we strengthened in our fight against sin, but we experience authentic fellowship and real friendship. Catherine Parks empowers women to fight side by side against their sin, and shows how by getting real about our struggles, we can create genuine community in an ""I'm fine"" culture. This book is great for reading with your book group, women's group, accountability partner, or one-to-one mentordiscussion questions are included for every chapter.

51 review for Real: The Surprising Secret to Deeper Relationships

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Catherine Parks is kind to help her readers find a way to be honest: first, with themselves and later, with their community. This is an excellent companion read for anyone who has enjoyed Brene Brown's words on vulnerability--Brown uncovers the painful power of vulnerability, but Parks adds the gentle beauty of forgiveness and continual confession before a community that is committed to fighting sin together. (Full Review coming later @Servants of Grace!)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Eason

    “We can’t ignore the fact that our sin - whether we view it as big or small, shame-inducing or shruggable - can deeply affect our relationships with the people we love most.” I really enjoyed how Catherine Parks emphasizes repentance in relationships, especially because our sense of authenticity and realness have become an actual facade through social media and feeling like we have to “have it all together.” I wish she would have gone more in depth with topics she addresses such as the effect of “We can’t ignore the fact that our sin - whether we view it as big or small, shame-inducing or shruggable - can deeply affect our relationships with the people we love most.” I really enjoyed how Catherine Parks emphasizes repentance in relationships, especially because our sense of authenticity and realness have become an actual facade through social media and feeling like we have to “have it all together.” I wish she would have gone more in depth with topics she addresses such as the effect of social media on relationships, how diversity can be good in friendships through the cross, and what we can do, say, and act out to further deepen relationships (hospitality, small groups, etc). These were all mentioned, but I wish she would have spent more time on this instead of going extremely in depth on repentance (which isn’t bad, but it is a book about both repentance and relationships). But overall, wanting more from an author isn’t bad in my opinion.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Pollock

    This beautiful, well-written book packs a real punch in its few pages. If you're struggling to build deep relationships, Catherine Parks suggests, the solution could well be repentance. What is holding us back from being real with one another, she argues, is not that we’re not yet perfect, but that we’re not yet assured of our forgiveness. If we truly grasped the depths of our sin, and if we took that sin to God and repented of it, and if we believed and accepted his forgiveness, the freedom we w This beautiful, well-written book packs a real punch in its few pages. If you're struggling to build deep relationships, Catherine Parks suggests, the solution could well be repentance. What is holding us back from being real with one another, she argues, is not that we’re not yet perfect, but that we’re not yet assured of our forgiveness. If we truly grasped the depths of our sin, and if we took that sin to God and repented of it, and if we believed and accepted his forgiveness, the freedom we would experience would be so great that we would no longer have to hide behind our façade of perfection. Containing incredibly helpful advice, too, like how to gently confront others with their sin, how to repent well (learning from David in Psalm 51) and what not to say when someone confesses their sin to you, this book is both inspiring and practical. I highly recommend it for anyone struggling to build deep relationships, or anyone involved in any kind of pastoral relationships, mentoring or just friendships with other believers. A gem of a book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Scott Kedersha

    Geared towards women, but certainly applicable to men and women. Gospel-centered, encouragement towards keeping it real, confession, grace, and the importance of relationships in our spiritual growth.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Beth Ann Kistler

    Excellent. Insightful. Challenging. Encouraging. Takes you straight to the cross. Freeing. A new approach to true and lasting relationships. I wish the church would grasp this!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hembry

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hunter Beless

  9. 5 out of 5

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  10. 4 out of 5

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  12. 4 out of 5

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  13. 5 out of 5

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  14. 5 out of 5

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  15. 4 out of 5

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  16. 4 out of 5

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  17. 5 out of 5

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  18. 4 out of 5

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  22. 4 out of 5

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  31. 5 out of 5

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  40. 5 out of 5

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  51. 5 out of 5

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