True friendship is something all men need, but not many have — so what should we to do? There is no silver bullet that will fix this problem for all men everywhere, but there are some things that can definitely help.
In my last blog I talked about how proximity and availability play a huge role in why guys do not have close friends. If we are going to get past these two obstacles, the process has to start internally. We must admit that being alone is not healthy. We see that the Bible clearly warns us that operating by ourselves is not wise, "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment." (Proverbs 18:1 ESV)
Friendship is more than just having a buddy to hang with. A true friend speaks truth and helps us navigate the minefields of life. Many times the obstacle that stands in the way of us experiencing true friendship is our own heart. Most men would prefer to seek their own desires instead of hearing Godly wisdom from a close friend. But if we are serious about having great friends then we must examine our hearts. Once we have done this then we can begin to pursue the practical things that will improve our friendships.
There are two things that all guys can do to improve their friendships.
Shared experiences were the drivers behind most of the childhood and college friends we had. But most adult men limit their experiences with each other to watching a game on TV. There is nothing wrong with that, but it will not grow a friendship like sharing great experiences will. Recently I got to be in the hospital waiting room while my friend and his wife had a baby. He came into the waiting room and gave me a huge hug and told me it was a boy! We will always remember that day.
Invite your friends to join you in the normal rhythms of life. Hang out with your buddies in the normal rhythms of their life. If your kid has a baseball game, bring your buddy. Have your friends over for dinner and go to their place for dinner. Most men are busy enough and don’t need added activities in their life. So if we are going to have deep friendships we must be involved in the normal, every-day rhythms of each other's lives.
These things take discipline and a heart that sees the need for true male friendships. Jesus doesn't want us to be on this journey for authentic manhood alone. I encourage you to purse true friendship with men that will spur you on! It will bless you more than you can imagine.