Men, who taught us to be macho? Who taught us that being untouchable, like a lone wolf, is the way to live? Who taught us to push others away the moment anyone tried to come close to us? That’s no man. That’s a selfish, conceited boy stuck inside a body that can grow a full beard and wear flannel.
Men, we need each other. No, it’s not a sign of weakness. It’s connection, trust, strength. We want to be known just as much as women, but it looks different. Men tend to connect over similar interests, hobbies, and experiences. They need to meet in person, or at least a phone call. Texts can get um, distracting, wordy, pointless at times. Men don’t want to theorize and contemplate all day. At some point, they need swing an axe, go surfing, hike a mountain, or build their wife something special. We admire men who exemplify manliness and encourage us to discover our own masculinity. Beyond that, words like “intimacy” and “vulnerability” scare us. We know we’re emotional. Talking about them is simply unnatural and underdeveloped.
That’s where brothers come in. And by brothers, I’m talking about close friends that would stop what they’re doing at any given moment and help a guy in need. It may sound extreme, but brothers would die for each other. They would prevent a friend from committing suicide. They would be on the phone with someone who lives far away that is going through a crisis, feeling depressed, is mourning the loss of a loved one, or simply needs to hear someone else’s voice. And it’s not all of the heavy stuff. Brothers laugh together, grab a burger and a shake together, dream together, and mature together. Brothers ask each other advice, grow in their faith, and celebrate a guy who is dating a girl for the first time since his ugly breakup three years ago. Brothers transcend age, time, and experience to meet where life has brought them together. And brothers choose each other.
Men need to choose each other. We need to move from casual friends to brotherhood. We need to have at least a few other men who know our life stories well in order for us to make it. And especially when it comes to marriage, dating, and getting to know women, it’s the ability to connect with our brothers that will test our availability to be intimate and vulnerable with the opposite sex.
We need to have at least a few other men who know our life stories well in order for us to make it.
Women, if you’re reading this and you’re having trouble connecting with your man, take a look at his guy friendships. When was the last time he hung out with the dudes? Does he even have men that are close to him? Does anyone keep up with him consistently or just occasionally? Can you name one guy that he has told “everything” to? It might not be you that’s causing disconnection. It might be that essential aspects of a man have waned within him: confidence, adventure, risk, courage, joy, fulfillment, gratification, recognition, the list goes on. These things can be reignited when brothers spur each other on. Women, your man WILL talk to you, WILL share deep things with you, and WILL cherish you. I’m not saying to divvy up his love tank with other people so you get the leftovers. But if you’re the only one to refine him, you will try to be more than just his spouse or significant other. You will be his therapist, his mom, his coach, his sister…Yeah that doesn’t sound very romantic does it?
The point that I’m getting at is, people have specific roles in our life. Other than Jesus Himself, we can’t find all of the things in one person. What we can do, is be selective with who our friends our, what we share with whom, and how we develop as men. We can love our lady well. We can choose her above everyone else, and practice what we preach through practical, unconditional love and service to her day in and day out. Pause there and think about who she is to you and how God has revealed his deep care for you by bringing her into your life. Wow, what a blessing. Don’t take that lightly. Thank God now and find time in your day to thank her. Unpause. We can choose everyone else too: our acquaintances, friendships, mentors, and close brothers. They may vary in depth, commonality, and beliefs. But they all have a role.
Women, your man WILL talk to you, WILL share deep things with you, and WILL cherish you.
I hope you’re catching on here. Each person you decide to do life with is a reflection of your choices. If you have removed all of your brothers in life because you got married, you’ve lost something great. You have become the lone wolf. If you are lonely and decide to surround yourself with people you only party and get wasted with, you will always be lonely. But if you make an effort to form true friendships, they will improve your marriage, your faith, your family, your employment, your finances, your passions, and your future. They will strengthen how you make time for God in this hectic, numbed out world that wants all of what God brings except for Himself.
I’m excited for those who read this and are willing to lay their lives down for their brothers. And if you read this and know that you don’t have brothers like this, there’s hope for you. They’re out there. But also, you are that brother to someone as well. Make a point to become that and to ask God to reveal other brothers. It’s a big step, and a necessary one to be the man that you need to be.