Men are going through a blitz right now—and they need male friendships to turn the obstacles into growth.
For years, technology has been growing all around us, encroaching on our lives and building walls of isolation. It certainly didn’t help when the pandemic arrived, further cutting people off from others and their communities.
Both men and women are feeling lonely, but we guys aren’t as “comfortable admitting” it, a recent study suggested. Maybe that’s why they carry on without taking action. 3 in 4 men report not having “a close and trusted friend.”
At the same time as loneliness has grown, the #MeToo movement called out some of the widespread abuse of men using their power and influence for their own selfish gratification. The word masculinity became a word charged with all kinds of negative meanings. But masculinity is not inherently toxic. A healthy, positive masculinity can and should be fostered among friends.
“As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.”
Male Friendships Are More Important Than Ever Right Now
Male friendships provide something unique.
If you’re married or in a committed relationship, you know there’s nothing like the closeness between you and your wife or your girlfriend. But even if it’s the central relationship in your life, it shouldn’t be the only close one you have. Male friends can relate to you better in some ways. They can understand some of your dreams and struggles intimately because they’re going through them too. They can even help you grow spiritually as you go through life together.
Men miss male friendships.
Many men look back on the glory days of their youth. But more than any athletic accomplishments, they’re nostalgic for spending a bunch of time with a group of guys. Male friendships take up less and less space as family and work take up more. The result is that men feel something is missing, and rightfully so. It’s a camaraderie that brings joy and meaning to our lives.
Men need dependable friends who they can be totally honest with.
Men have all kinds of insecurities that they never share with others. They think it will make them look weak and lose the approval that they’re seeking. Nowadays, some men seek to unburden themselves by posting anonymously in an online forum. But you need a true friend you can trust who knows your story—someone who is there to listen to and provide personal advice.
Men need friends to hold each other accountable—and uphold positive masculinity.
Without accountability, men have the tendency to tell half-truths and indulge in destructive behaviors. But a group of men can hold each other, without judgment, to a higher standard of masculinity—one that puts others first and care for them as Jesus cared for His disciples, encouraging them and washing their feet. This way, men can positively use their strength to challenge others to be better. Remember Jesus standing between the angry mob and the woman (John 8:1-11).
Stronger Male Friendships Build Stronger Men.
I hope the reasons above give you the courage to make new male friends, remind you to reconnect with an old friend, or compel you to get some guys together for a MenHuddle—that’s what I call a group of friends who have committed themselves to intentional, deep friendship that brings them closer to Jesus. If you’re ready to do that with your male friends, download the Playbook For Level 5 Friendship now.