Why Men Need Friends
- Wednesday, August 15, 2007
“I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar” — Robert Brault
An even better friend is one who does not consult his watch.
Success is rarely found alone. Beside or behind every successful person, is someone who has encouraged, supported, challenged, and fought with them. Moses had Aaron, Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak (Apple Computers), David had Jonathan, and Batman had Robin.
David and Jonathan shared common values, love, trust, commitment and loyalty to one another. They became “one in spirit” immediately upon meeting and stood side by side throughout their lives. But when Jonathan died, David lost more than a friend; he lost a part of himself. Isaiah’s words in 47:10 could have been describing David in his later days, “Your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have caused you to turn away from me and claim, ‘I am self-sufficient and not accountable to anyone!’”
The danger comes when we think we don’t need anyone else and we become self-sufficient (in our own mind). We get so independent that we feel as if we don’t need to answer to anyone. I would like to think that if Jonathan was alive, David and Jonathan would have had a friendship where they were accountable to each other. In the end, David had no close friend to go to, no one to be accountable to.
John Eldredge in Wild at Heart says, “Don’t even think about going into battle alone. Don’t even try to take the masculine journey without at least one man by your side. Yes, there are times a man must face the battle alone, in the wee hours of the morn, and fight with all he’s got. But don’t make that a lifestyle of isolation. This may be our weakest point, as David Smith points out in The Friendless American Male: ‘One serious problem is the friendless condition of the average American male. Men find it hard to accept that they need the fellowship of other men.’”
Men are raised to be naturally independent, to not depend on someone else and to not show “need.” As a result, we (men) think that if we do ask for help we show weakness, and that’s one of the underlying reasons that men can find it more difficult to give their lives over to Christ.
Go out and find someone who shares your values and experiences, someone to connect with and to commit to, someone to trust and be accountable to, and someone to walk with under the protection of God’s Word.
If we learn from the knowledge we gained from the past—and from biblical examples of friendship like David and Jonathan—we can turn it into wisdom to be used in our future.
Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books). An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to CYdmg@yahoo.com.
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