5 Challenges & Tips for the Middle-Aged Man with No Friends


Anyone can suffer from loneliness. You might think of yourself as a middle-aged man with no friends and start to feel hopeless. But the truth is many men have a hard time making friends as an adult and feel like they’re missing out on friendship.

You might ask yourself, “Why don’t I have friends?”. There are tons of contributing factors that lead to you being a middle-aged man with no friends.


5 Challenges for the Middle-Aged Man with No Friends


1. Your career

Many men are ambitious and prioritize their careers. There’s nothing wrong with putting in the time and hard work to create a stable, meaningful life for yourself. But you might have also got caught up with the lie that our society tells us—that we’re only as good as our job. It makes guys spend extra time and effort focusing on their careers when they could be spending time with friends.


2. Your family

A lot changes from our twenties and thirties into middle age. Typically, this is when men get married, have children, buy a house, and have to make sure they’re making enough money to keep up with all of that. It doesn’t leave a whole lot of time in your schedule, does it? Plenty of well-connected, affable guys in their 20s turn into middle-aged men with no friends simply because friendships fell by the wayside while they started a family.


3. Friends change

When we’re young, many of our friendships simply happen. We were in the same grade, lived in the same dorm room, or played pick-up basketball together. But once we leave those social groups, guys start to move away or follow a different path. Sometimes, you or your friend start to have different interests and values, weakening the friendship until there’s nothing there anymore.


4. Social skills

As a middle-aged man with no friends, you might find that your social skills have gotten a little rusty over time. Like with anything, you’re out of practice and don’t have the ease or confidence to navigate the complexities of forging a new friendship as an adult.


5. Fear of Rejection

Everyone has fears in their heart and mind. It can be intimidating to jump back into socializing for a middle-aged man with no friends. You might internalize it as a flaw of your own when you ask yourself, “Why don’t I have friends?” or someone doesn’t appear to want to be your friend.


5 Tips for Making Friends as a Middle-Aged Man

If you’re wondering, “Why don’t I have friends?” there is hope! Here are some simple steps you can take to rediscover the joys of friendship.


1. Self-Reflection

Think about who you are and your story. Sometimes, we have illusions about ourselves. Other times, we have patterns of distancing ourselves or driving others away. It’s not your fault—they usually go back to deep-seated behavior we learned from our parents. Understanding this can free you from these patterns and preconceived limiting ideas about ourselves. It gives you a fresh start when you begin relating to others and building friendships. Instead of wondering, “Why don’t I have friends?” I hope it excites you about the prospect of making friendships.


2. Seek Support

If loneliness is affecting your well-being, don’t be afraid to approach a mentor, an elder at your church, your dad or father-in-law, or a therapist. Simply being able to voice these thoughts can go a long way in getting out of your head and getting some good, personalized advice.


3. Join Clubs or Groups

What are the hobbies or pastimes that really excite you? Maybe it’s something you haven’t allowed yourself to spend time on while you built your career or started your family. Consider joining a club or group related to your interests so you can meet like-minded individuals.


4. Reconnect with Old Friends

You might feel like a middle-aged man with no friends because you’ve moved away or your friends have moved away—and you all have busy lives that have kept you from reconnecting. Reach out to old friends and catch up with them. This can give you the joys of friendship and rebuild your confidence so you can make new ones, too.


5. Be Intentional

This is the most important advice. Being intentional about making friends puts you in the vulnerable position of being rejected. But most guys probably feel just like you and would welcome a guy taking the initiative to start a friendship. But it’s so important for another reason—turning a good acquaintance into a true friend is about being intentional about being there for each other, being open, and going through life together.


It’s never too late to make friends

Remember, it’s never too late to make new friends and enrich your life with the bonds of friendship. Learn how to achieve deeper friendship and download Playbook for Level 5 Friendship.

Why Jesus is the Only Way to the Father

Brother, I have some great news for you: Jesus is the only way to the Father. Now, that might sound restrictive to some. In reality, it radically opens up human understanding beyond what’s otherwise possible, invites you into a life full of meaning, and guarantees your salvation.   


“Jesus is the only way to the Father.”

What does it mean? It means that the only way to know and follow God is to know and follow Jesus. Jesus unpacks what that means further in John Chapter 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”


Breaking Down Salvation Through Jesus.

If you look at the verse above, there are some concepts that you might not see right away that come up throughout scripture.


1. Jesus is the WAY.

What does Jesus mean when He says that He is the way? In the Old Testament, the Word of God and His law were handed down to guide humanity. But Jesus came down to earth to give us a new, direct way to communicate and engage with God and receive His blessings. Through Jesus, we are able to speak directly to God. He also showed us the way to act like Him and get closer to God. It was so important to early Christians, many of them described themselves as following “the Way,” while others knew them as those who “proclaim to you the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17).


2. Jesus is the TRUTH.

When Jesus told His followers that He was “the truth,” He meant that He was the Word of God incarnate (“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,” John 1:14). He was the true Son of God, so everything He said was the will of the Father and everything He taught was and is true. In this way, also, Jesus is the only way to the Father. Only believers who follow the Way can know God. As 1 Corinthians 2:11 says, “who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the spirit of God.” With the holy spirit dwelling in you, you can understand God’s truth.


3. Jesus is the LIFE.

Jesus is life. When you choose to follow Jesus, you understand this in the daily life-giving effects Jesus has on you. That’s your salvation on earth—Jesus saving you from your old ways of doing things by teaching, showing you, and helping you live by His way. He also tells us, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25). Here, Jesus is talking about your heavenly salvation. Jesus is the only way to the Father and an eternal life spent with Him.


“the way, the truth, and the life,”

In each word, Jesus calls Himself “the way, the truth, and the life,” He is inviting us into a relationship with Him and the Father—because God wants to re-Father you. You might have had a great dad. You might have had a not-so-great dad. Either way, your dad was not perfect and left you with insecurities. 

But when you believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father, you receive God as your Dad. And you enjoy the unconditional love that comes with it. Sure, that comes with a higher standard and a greater calling that might seem impossible. But He doesn’t expect you to be perfect or win His approval. And every day of receiving your identity as his son brings spiritual growth.

How do we know how to interact with God as a Son? By knowing that Jesus is the only way to the Father, we can follow the example He’s given us. Spend time with Him, study His word (“the truth”), and keep Him at the center of your life. 



Find Your Way With Deeper Friendship.

Here’s a hint: It’s even better when you do it with friends (just as Jesus did). Download the PLAYBOOK FOR LEVEL 5 FRIENDSHIP and see how a MenHuddle can enable men to help each come to the Father through Jesus. 

Understanding the 9 Fruits of the Spirit

How important are the 9 Fruits of the Spirit? Consider two types of teams…

For the winning team, it’s easy for all the players to gel. Mistakes are met with, “It’s okay. You’ll get it next time.” You celebrate each other’s accomplishments even if you’re having an off day. And you’ll do anything—sacrificing your own ambition and comfort—for the sake of the team. 

But when a team is losing, the opposite is true. Teammates fly in fits of rage when someone messes up. They’re envious of their teammates’ success. They only care about their own selfish ambitions, form factions, and have open hatred for each other. 

Of course, it’s the old chicken-and-the-egg problem. The winning team’s good habits lead to more wins, and the losing team’s destructive behaviors lead to more losses. 

That’s why the first job of any new head coach is to “change the culture.” They know that implementing an explosive offense or stalwart defense is impossible without teamwork

My friend and Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said, “The No. 1 thing a new coach has to do…set the identity of the team. That is so much more important than the X’s and O’s.”

In the NFL, sometimes coaches are afforded a year or two to set the culture, while the fans (and the owner) weather losses in hopes that he’s setting up a foundation for success. 

That’s exactly what an early Christian apostle was doing for the church in Galatia when he outlined each fruit of the spirit.


Who talks about the 9 Fruits of the Spirit?

In the Book of Galatians, Chapter 5, the apostle Paul asks the church in Galatia not to live by the old law as outlined in the Old Testament. To continue the team metaphor, he’s telling them not to follow the team rulebook and think that it’s going to change the culture. 

Paul tells them they’re free from following the law, but not to waste this freedom on the flesh (our selfish, pleasure-seeking desires).


What does Paul call the behaviors of the flesh?

Paul says that the behaviors of the flesh are “sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.”

Notice something? Most of the list are hallmarks of a bad team—of which there’s no room for them on God’s team. As Paul says, “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”


Why follow the 9 fruits of the spirit?

Paul wants the church of Galatia to use their freedom, granted by Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, to deny their flesh and choose the 9 fruits of the spirit.


What are the 9 fruits of the spirit?

  1. Love: unconditional, selfless care for others.

  2. Joy: a deep, God-given sense of contentment that transcends circumstances.

  3. Peace: Tranquility, harmony, and a composed attitude in the face of conflict. 

  4. Patience: The ability to endure difficult circumstances and deal with others in a long-tempered manner.

  5. Kindness: Being considerate, gentle, and generous with others.

  6. Goodness: Having integrity and character, and that are morally upright and beneficial.

  7. Faithfulness: Being trustworthy, true to your word, and steadfast in your beliefs.

  8. Gentleness: Acting with humility and treating others with tenderness and respect.

  9. Self-control: Exercising restraint and discipline over your desires, words, and actions.


Produce the fruits of the spirit in your life.

Paul tells us that the presence and work of the Holy Spirit give you the ability to live out each fruit of the spirit and reflect the character of Christ.

What kind of team do you want to be on? Of course, everyone would choose the winning team with the winning characteristics (fruit of the spirit) every time. But all too often, our actions show that we’ve chosen the losing team. 

How can you exemplify the fruit of the spirit and make your family, your friends, or your work better? 


Bring the Fruits to Your Friendships with MenHuddle.

What about your group of friends? Are you lifting each other up or bringing each other down? Want a game plan to get you started? Download the PLAYBOOK FOR LEVEL 5 FRIENDSHIP.

What Does it Mean to Make Disciples?


Did you know that you’re called to make disciples? What does it mean to make disciples, and how do you do it?


Sounds like a huge task, doesn’t it? 


Now, imagine you’re one of the apostles standing before Jesus after He’s risen from the dead and gives you this mission: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-19). 


Facing this huge, important task, they didn’t ask, “What does it mean to make disciples?”


How come? 


Like any hard task, it helps to have a model. I got pretty good at throwing a football because of my dad. A quarterback himself, he molded my fingers to the laces, guided my hands to where I should hold it and showed me how to throw with a quick release and a strong spiral. 


I didn’t have to learn from a set of instructions. It had already been shown to me.


That’s the beautiful thing about Jesus giving this mission to His disciples at this point in the story. When He first met them, they’d have no idea what to do. But Jesus had intentionally showed them exactly how to make disciples with His perfect example throughout His ministry. 


Jesus had already modeled it for them—and He’s modeled it for you, too!



What Does it Mean to Make Disciples?


1. Share the Good News.

Jesus told his disciples about a different kind of Kingdom. Each of his disciples followed Him because they understood He was offering them something new. No longer were they waiting for a Messiah. No longer were they playing the rule-following religious thought of the self-righteous Pharisees. 


Jesus showed them they didn’t have to be perfect or act perfect in this Kingdom. In fact, what the culture calls weakness was strength. And that life, through Jesus, was eternal. That is the good news that you received, beginning your discipleship. And that is the good news Jesus wants us to share with others.



2. Jesus showed the Word.

As John the Baptist proclaimed, Jesus didn’t need to get baptized before going forth and starting His ministry. “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?”  


But he was showing us how new believers who have received the word are to be baptized to symbolize their new life in Christ. In Matthew 28, after telling his followers to make disciples, He includes “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” 


Beyond the act of baptism, Jesus wants us to have real relationships with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Throughout scripture, Jesus spoke to the Father and showed us what it meant to live with the Holy Spirit inside of us.


What does it mean to make disciples and show them the word? We go through life with them as true friends, show them how to speak to our Heavenly Father through prayer, and live with Holy Spirit inside of us—by “being rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17) and spending time alone with God.



3. Jesus showed his disciples how to teach the Word.

At certain points throughout the gospels, Jesus tells a parable to the crowd and only reveals its meaning to His disciples. It wasn’t because Jesus wanted to make the interpretation exclusive. Instead, he knew some people listening would reject anything for their own personal reasons. Consider the rich young man who could not sell everything he owned to begin his discipleship and follow Jesus. 


The disciples on the other hand were all open to Jesus’ message, so He teaches it to them. In the same way, by spending time with Jesus and His Word, we can learn how to teach it to new disciples. 



4. Jesus modeled the servant attitude.

The night before Jesus was crucified, He got down and served the disciples by washing their feet. He was showing us that discipleship is always about serving. We must remember that God has put us there to serve their needs, as physical as their dirty feet and as spiritual as their eternal salvation.



Jesus Painted the Picture for Making Disciples

So, what does it mean to make disciples? Jesus gave us a clear picture. But He also gave us an important promise.

He assures us, “I am always with you to the end of the age.”



Build Deeper Friendship with MenHuddle.

If you’re looking to deepen friendship and mutual mentoring, check out the LEVEL 5 FRIENDSHIP PLAYBOOK—a guide that will help you connect with other men in a meaningful way and catalyze spiritual growth in each other’s lives.

How to Receive God’s Blessings in Your Life

Wondering how to receive God’s blessings? You’ve already received more than you even realize. A blessing is any kindness, mercy or good thing that comes from God. 


God can give you everything you need and more to share with others, the Apostle Paul tells the church in Corinth. But it’s not always the blessing you expect, and it’s not simply the next thing you want in life. It’s according to God’s will—and so much better for it!


Now that we know what they are, let’s look at how to receive God’s blessings. 


How to Receive God’s Blessings.


1. Receive your identity from God.

Bill Walsh was the head coach of the 49ers when I played for them in 1986. One of his great skills was helping his players overcome self-doubt and play up to a potential they didn’t know they had. Together, Bill and I would watch my film, the “Good Jeff” plays and the “Bad Jeff” plays. 


Importantly, he defined me by my “Good Jeff” plays without ignoring the bad. That affirmative distinction gave me the confidence to step up my game in leadership and execution to become the better player I could be. 


God does the same thing for us by calling us his sons. That is your real identity—you don’t have to earn anything else. And when you learn to listen closely, He also calls you what you can become. 


In Judges, Gideon is a young, poor Israelite who has been hiding from the oppressive Midianites for seven years. But the angel of the Lord visits him and calls him a “great warrior” and a “mighty man of valor.” It’s not who he is yet, but the man he will become.


God sees the entire story and blesses you with the identity, vision and confidence to become who you were meant to be. 


Practical tip on how to receive God’s blessings: Pray to God and call Him “dad.” Let Him tell you who you are to Him and how He feels about you.



2. Receive your purpose.

Your perfect Heavenly Father wants to bless you. It’s God’s will to give you all kinds of blessings: healing, forgiveness, understanding, freedom from sin…the list is infinite. 


One of the most rewarding things He gives is a specific mission. According to a men’s survey, 50% of respondents say that a lack of purpose causes them significant stress. 


God blesses you with certain traits, passions and gifts. You’re meant to use them and carry out God’s will and benefit others. For Gideon, it was to free his people from the Midianite’s rule using his ingenuity. For me, it’s to inspire families and men to work as a team to lift each other up and thrive. 


Practical tip on how to receive God’s blessings: Ask God how He can use your gifts to benefit others. Where is that sweet spot of what God needs and what you can offer? 



3. Receive the blessings of God’s work.

In John 15:5, Jesus tells us “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” 


This verse shows us one of the most important aspects of how to receive God’s blessings. It’s not a one-time “reception,” if you will. The act of receiving makes up your daily relationship, one that you invest time, care and attention into. 


But it’s also a promise from God. If we do receive God’s blessings every day, we will bear his fruit. 


You’ll see God’s blessings everywhere—in the improvement of your relationships with your wife, children and friends. You could see this transformation yield results in your spiritual growth. And you’ll see how God has used you to become a blessing to others—that is one of the most powerful blessings of all. 


Practical tip on how to receive God’s blessings: Set aside time every day to be with God and receive his blessings. You’ll begin to appreciate all the blessings He’s already given you even more and see opportunities to pass your blessing onto others. 


Build Deeper Friendship with MenHuddle.

If you’re looking to deepen friendship and mutual mentoring, check out the LEVEL 5 FRIENDSHIP PLAYBOOK—a guide that will help you connect with other men in a meaningful way and catalyze spiritual growth in each other’s lives.

Spiritual Growth and Its Seasons of Transformation


God asks every man to go on an epic journey with him. It’s a beautiful and difficult one, filled with obstacles that demand spiritual growth to overcome. Deep down, most people know they were meant to take such a journey. 74% of U.S. adults say they want to grow spiritually, according to a recent Barna survey. 


So, What is Spiritual Growth?

It’s the process of making yourself more like Jesus—turning away from what you want and being how Jesus was and wants you to be. 

Like any great adventure, spirits are high at the outset. Then we slip up. We get stuck. You might have good days, followed by bad ones. You think, “How do I know if I’m growing spiritually at all?” 

You’re not alone. Thousands of men have told me they feel the same way. I’ve also witnessed the way spiritual transformation takes place. Not only in my own life but in the lives of mentors and the men I’ve talked to about spiritual growth. 

I’ve found that we often can’t see spiritual growth until we’ve traveled long enough to understand our story and the spiritual seasons in it. 


4 Seasons of Spiritual Growth

My friend and mentor Robert Lewis has coached countless men to help them understand the seasons of growing spiritually. Metaphorically speaking, it starts in the winter of a man’s life.


1. Struggle

This is when we try things on our own, wrestle with insecurities, and try to position ourselves to win and feel good. We slip, slide, and crash. We can’t see the sun. It’s a hard season but very important.  If we move past it, it’s only because we’ve humbled ourselves. Plus, we’ve made ourselves vulnerable enough to talk about it, so we can later bond with others and positively impact them. Because we all struggle. 


2. Surrender

When we surrender our life, and take Jesus as our purpose, we move out of the bitter winter of Struggle and into the refreshing spring of Surrender. It’s often a time of rejuvenation, of seeing ourselves and our purpose with clarity. The ego-driven self-image fades away and you receive your identity as God’s son. 

Instead of thinking we have it all figured out, we turn to Jesus and mentors. We discover grace and follow God, receiving His unconditional love and guidance.


3. Significance

Then comes Significance. God has led us to our unique mission in relation to His purpose. We learn that spiritual growth is not a solo act. Our talents, passions, and story are repurposed to benefit the lives of others. We start making our part of the world better. Like an abundant summer, he produces good character in us and good fruit in our lives. 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). 

Unlike the un-productive Struggle, our efforts bring growth and goodness with God. He has transformed us into men who live for others.


4. Satisfaction & Sharing

Our spiritual growth is never finished. But in the season of Satisfaction and Sharing, we are mature, grateful, and focused on others. God has rewritten our worst chapters. Now, it’s time to share our story to raise a new generation. This is mentoring and giving back. Like a perfect fall season, we gratefully share a full harvest with family, those in need, and tomorrow’s leaders. 

Try to take a step back and understand how God is leading you on a path of transformation and spiritual growth. What season are you in? Are you able to better understand how you are growing spiritually? 


Build Deeper Connections with MenHuddle.

If you’re looking to find a mentor or become one, check out the LEVEL 5 FRIENDSHIP PLAYBOOK—a guide that will help you connect with other men in a meaningful way and catalyze spiritual growth in each other’s lives.