Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends. –John 15:13
Our culture idolizes romance and the love of parents for their children. But Jesus said there was no greater love than sacrificial friendship love. What's more, He issued a command to His disciples that they live into this kind of love. Christian friendship isn't just a nice-to-have. It's vital. But it's also dangerous.
Friends can pull us up when we're knocked down, embrace us with their love, and spur us on to follow Jesus better. But friends can also grind us to the ground, exploit, or invite us into sin.
In No Greater Love, Rebecca McLaughlin walks us through the highs and lows of friendship love—a love that's been neglected and malnourished in our modern world. She draws especially on Jesus in the Gospels and on Paul to show how powerful and precious Christian friendship is and how we can walk through the hurt, loss, and disillusionment that comes from broken friendship trust. Beginning with the words of Jesus on the night he was betrayed and abandoned, she points us to His battle-tested love as the unending source of our best love for one another.
Male or female, single or married, joyful or lamenting, lonely or embraced, we all need friendship love. This book will help us give and receive it in a way that calls us back to Jesus's commandment: that we love each other just like He loves us.
"In a time of such profound loneliness and isolation it's hard to think of a more urgent book than this one. The health of our churches and strength of our witness are both bound up with our understanding of the beauty and importance of the kind of friendship Jesus is inviting us into. This is the most significant book I've read in many years."
—SAM ALLBERRY, associate pastor, Immanuel Nashville; author of 7 Myths about Singleness and Is God Anti-Gay?
"Friendship is a dying art. In an age in which any strong emotion toward another person is interpreted as romantic or sexual, Rebecca offers Christians a much-needed corrective. Not only can we love one another deeply and genuinely, we must. Where else will the world witness the pricelessness of a friend who sticks closer than a brother, if not in the church? Imagine what a light in the darkness we would be if we committed to love one another and to love our neighbors as only those unbound from the fear of relational loss can do. No Greater Love gives us an excellent place to start the work of reclaiming the essential art of Christian friendship. I absolutely loved this book."
—JEN WILKIN, author and Bible teacher
"I haven't read a book on friendship in a decade, and this felt so fresh. Whether you are single or married, young or old, male or female, this is the book you need to read this year. Rebecca demonstrates that friendship is a lost art and the missing element in most churches. Its absence robs every other part of our lives. This is a delightful, important, and (crucially) biblical book."
—J.D. GREEAR, pastor, The Summit Church; author of multiple books, including Essential Christianity
"We crave authentic friendships where we can be known, accepted, loved, and challenged to grow. Most of us have experienced the pain and heartache of friendships that have not delivered what we expected. In No Greater Love, Rebecca offers us a transparent, vulnerable, and challenging view of the costs and benefits of biblical friendships, and their necessity for our spiritual growth and witness in the world. This book will cause you to rethink popular notions of friendship and encourage you to pursue God's plan for healthy relationships."
—CHRISTINE CAINE, founder, Propel Women & A21
"Every so often a book comes along that masterfully weaves together the compassion of Christ and the spiritual muscle of practical theology. No Greater Love does this through Rebecca's real-deal wisdom regarding friendship. Readers will be discipled and helped in the beautiful calling to lay down our lives for each other as friends."
—ELLEN MARY DYKAS, director of Equipping for Ministry to Women, Harvest USA; author, Toxic Relationships: Taking Refuge in Christ
"I know of no one better to write a book on friendship than Rebecca, who is the very best of friends. Though she would be quick to protest and point to her failures, the people who love her and have been loved by her will testify that everything she writes here, she lives. But this is not a book about Rebecca; it is a book about what is available to us in Christ, our supreme, unfailing friend. No matter what your past experience has been, you will find encouragement, hope, and conviction in these pages to take the risk of deep friendship and enjoy its reward."
—RACHEL GILSON, writer, speaker, and author
"For far too long, many Christians have been taught that friendships are a luxury. Rebecca has written the most compelling case for why the church should see friendships as absolutely central to spiritual formation and the biblical vision of the Christian life. In the spirit of Bonhoeffer, No Greater Love challenges our minds and hearts to take seriously the gospel's call for us to embrace life together. This is a must-read for every Christian leader."
—CHRIS BROOKS, Senior Pastor, Woodside Bible Church