The Surprising Secret to Deeper Relationships

Catherine Parks

How being real with others will help us fight sin and grow authentic friendships


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Every woman longs for authentic friendships with others—but 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, surprisingly, 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 are real with others, we are both strengthened in our fight against sin and can start to grow authentic friendships.

Catherine Parks encourages women to resist the "I'm fine" culture, get real with each other about sin and experience authentic fellowship.

This book is great for reading with your book group, women's group, accountability partner, or one-to-one mentor—discussion questions are included for every chapter.

Product details


  • Introduction
  • 1. Finsta and rinsta
  • 2. The way we were
  • 3. True to yourself?
  • 4. The joy of repentance
  • 5. Your roots are showing
  • 6. Dealing with sirens
  • 7. True authenticity
  • Epilogue: a land without repentance


Author Catherine Parks
ISBN 9781784982959
Format Paperback
Dimensions 129mm x 198mm x 12mm
Language English
Pages 160
Publisher The Good Book Company

A deeply perceptive account of how to live real life—in the only way that matters.

Dr Kirsten Birkett

Author and Dean of Women, Oak Hill College, UK

This book is really helpful in showing us why we will only be able to grow in our relationships with each other as we are honest about the heart issues beneath our surface sins and then come to God in repentance and faith. Catherine helps us to see that the wonder of God's grace and forgiveness and the knowledge that we are secure in Christ is what enables us to begin to be more open with each other about our sins and struggles and so to experience the surprising but immense joy that comes with being honest and vulnerable. I realised as I read how much I am missing out by holding back in relationships that are a precious gift from the Lord and a huge opportunity for us to help each other grow more like Jesus. All Catherine says is rooted in God's word, she writes with great warmth and honesty, and her joy and delight at wanting to share this wonderful secret she has discovered is very evident.

Andrea Trevenna

Associate Minister for Women, St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks and author of The Heart of Singleness

We’re all looking for relationships that go beyond the surface and delve into the heart—we want to be known and know others. However, often we hide who we truly are, in fear and shame, concerned that our lives aren’t as picture perfect as our friend’s social media story. In Real, Catherine Parks writes with warmth and insight, inviting us out of the shadows of our sin and into the mercy of Jesus.

Melissa Kruger

TGC blogger and author of In All Things: A Nine-Week Devotional Bible Study on Unshakeable Joy

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