Christina Fox’s new book Closer Than a Sister is all about friendships between Christian women – what Christian friendship should look like, why it’s important to build community, and how we go about doing that. We thought it would be good to get to know a bit about Christina, and what prompted her to write this book. So we asked her a few questions:
Tell us a bit about your life, what does an average day look like for you?
There is no average day! I am a homeschool mom so most days are spent with my children, working through their schoolwork. I am also their chauffeur, so I drive them to sports practices and other activities. I squeeze in writing somewhere in between!
What do you do for fun?
I love to read, browse antique shops, hike in mountains, and spend time with friends over a cup of coffee.
Can you tell us something about how God has worked in your life?
My life is filled with “I’ll never’s” which God has turned inside out. I celebrated my 20th college reunion last year and am amazed at what God has done in my life since then which I never expected—and often never sought out. I am a lot like Moses, telling God I am not capable of the things he calls me to and then finding him working in me to do things completely beyond what I would ever expect. One area which has surprised me most is the area of leadership. I’m not a natural born leader but have found God pushing me toward leadership roles over the last decade. For a while I resisted, but now I just sit back and watch God at work.
You’ve written a couple of books, most recently one called ‘Closer than a Sister – How Union with Christ Helps Friendships to Flourish’. What prompted you to write this book?
I long struggled to find community and the book is really born out of the lessons I learned in that search. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how the Bible describes community and what I’ve experienced in the church. Often, there was a disparity there and I wondered why. In truth, community and friendship in the church is hard. But I believe it is worth the work and effort and I wanted to encourage women to seek it out and cultivate it in the life of their own church.
Why do you think there’s that disparity between the community that the Bible describes, and the reality of what is often experienced in churches?
For the NT church, many of them were experiencing intense persecution. They needed each other in a way that we can’t understand in our current time. For some, community was a matter of life and death. Often, people were rejected by their biological family when they came to faith so that their church family became their life. In some sense, because we haven’t felt the need for one another in the way they did in the NT, we don’t see our own communities reflect what we see in Scripture. For many, church is an add–on to everything else in their life. They are already busy with their own families, they don’t have capacity to open up their lives to the people in their churches. I’d like to see this change and I hope that the book encourages people to see the members of their church in a new way. I hope it encourages them to develop the kind of community we see in Scripture.
Is there any one thing that you’ve learned while thinking about and writing this book?
I’ve seen in a new and fresh way how hard it is to develop community. When I had the idea for the book, I was in a strong church community but when I started writing it, I had just moved to a new community. I wrote the book community–less. It’s easy to talk about community when you are in it but a lot harder when you have to do the hard work to cultivate community. Though it is hard and takes intentional effort, I believe it is worth it. Our Savior did when he died to create this community; we should do no less than he did for us.
Who do you think should be reading your book?
Closer than a Sister is written for women who desire to grow in community with other women in their local church.
Christina Fox is the author of A Heart Set Free and a blogger at www.christinafox.com where she chronicles her faith journey. She writes for a number of Christian ministries and publications, including Desiring God and The Gospel Coalition. She lives with her husband and two sons in Atlanta, Georgia.