Reflections on 5 Years of GodBuddies

As I look back on the last 5-years of writing about why men need deeper, more authentic friendships, I realize it’s been quite the journey to raise awareness of GodBuddies; my theory about male friendships who help each other become more godly men. In this first post of the new year, I will briefly recap the topics covered by nearly 240 posts these last 5 years. I won’t describe every post, but summarize the main topics with links to highlights of the key points, year by year. I’d also kindly ask for your input to help me shape the future of this blog. 

First, I want to say THANK YOU for following along with me over the years. Whether you are a long-time reader or just discovering this blog, I’m encouraged by the comments (both good and bad) and your words of encouragement. Please keep them coming! They help ensure I provide content that is valuable and relevant to helping build better men.

So let’s recap this journey that helps men make more meaningful friendships.

The Beginning of GodBuddies (2019)

I began writing this blog with Welcome to my GodBuddy blog. It stated that men need better friendships more than at any other time in recent history. I also explained that my goal was to provide some very practical ways to develop a “GodBuddy” relationship. 

Many guys ask, Where Did All My Friends Go? because they realize they no longer have any close friends. Since Loneliness is a huge threat to our health, I described how men, in particular, tend to cut themselves off from friendships because we are over-scheduled and trying to pursue the great American dream. The demands of work and family, of carpools and commutes, all contribute to Stress: The Other Component of Friendliness. I explained Why Men Need Friends.

I also explained my story in Why I Needed a GodBuddy to overcome my battle with workaholism that teetered on depression. It was not a good time in my life but I found a band of brothers who have helped me become a better man, husband, and father.

Men Need GodBuddes

I began defining What Exactly is a GodBuddy relationship? and answering the question, How Many Friends Can You Really Have? Throughout my experiences and study on this topic, I conclude that men need fewer, say only 3-5, very close male friends, rather than a large amount of shallow acquaintances that most people have. These close friends should know the good and bad of you. They can help you remain Accountable to Act like a Man, not like those immature guys who caused the #MeToo movement. Close friends also help you avoid becoming like the men portrayed in a controversial commercial by Gillette. They help you grow into a mature adult man.

I explained how my GodBuddy theory (“GBs” for short) began in My “GB” Relationship with Bill Johnson. Our friendship models one of the Three Relationships Every Man Needs. I’ve also learned that Finding Your First God Buddy comes when you discover something in common with another guy. It leads to chemistry and the desire to pursue a friendship with someone you admire. 

Today, many people are not religious, have become “de-churched” or dispute the teachings in the Bible. But I believe that surrounding yourself with good and godly men is essential to becoming a better man. The post Who is in your “5”? Jesus had 3 described a biblical model for friendship. I then provided examples of great friendships in Scripture, some of which included Paul and Barnabas; Timothy (Paul’s’ Protege); Jonathan and David. Check out the full list in the Summary of GBs in The Bible

Men Struggle to Make Friends

I continued with posts that included the Barriers to Friendships. I also suggested you don’t want to be “That Guy” who exhibits the traits of a bad friend. Seeing how Digital Minimalism Helps Your Friendships is also important. All of these posts began Making the Case for GodBuddies. I wrote a series of posts about the characteristics of this type of deeper friendship in my Summary of the Traits of a GB Relationship. These traits show how Men “Sharpen” Men (the foundational verse of this blog is Proverbs 27:17). They also help men begin Addressing their “Wounds” and stop hiding behind The Masks of their weaknesses. 

Becoming a Godly Man

I then described the Four Faces of a Godly Man (Lover, Friend, Warrior, King) which helps in Balancing Our Masculine and Feminine Sides. I also described the importance of Planning for Manhood. There is also A Man’s Need for Get-Aways and Retreats for stress relief. Once he begins to Understand Who and Whose You Are, he sees that Reprioritizing Priorities is critical to becoming a better man. All of these principles set the Foundations for God Buddies

Life and Friendships Change (2020) 

After retiring from my “paying job” the previous year, I began reflecting on how men navigate the various stages of life.  

My first post was The Seasons of a Man’s Life from childhood through late adulthood. However just like the seasons vary, circumstances change, feelings fluctuate, friendships cool, and people die since there are also Seasons of Friendships. Men need different friends for the various stages of life.

Many people ask, Why Do Friendships End? But I’ve concluded that Deep Friendships Last. My theory is that deep friendships on biblical principles help you know the difference between Being Good at Being a Man and Being a Good Man. (It’s subtle but do you see the difference?) In my opinion, men who learn to follow Jesus Christ, know the importance of Being Good at Being a Godly Man

The Challenges of Being a Man

The Biggest Challenges Men Face include Managing Work-Life Balance, Reordering Priorities, and Resisting Temptations. But possibly our toughest one is Winning the Battle for Sexual Purity. Men and women alike often ask, “Can Men and Women Be Friends?” and “Why Do We Sexualize Friendships?” The post Guidelines for Male-Female Friendships may help provide some answers. I also believe in The Benefits (not Challenges) of Marriage. Even God said it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18).

That year, I included two guest posts: What is Missing from Good Fatherhood? and 7 Reminders of a Good Husband and Father from Kent Evans and his team at Father on Purpose. Many believe the root of many problems is fatherlessness so building better men with better friendships helps make better fathers.

Becoming a better man also requires knowing yourself better. In my Summary of a Man and His Emotions, I recapped a series of posts about our emotional health. November is Men’s Health Month. In Why Men’s Health Month is Important, I raised awareness of Men and Cancer (including Prostate Cancer and Testicular Cancer). Just as critical is Men and Addictions to Reducing Suicide Rates Among Men

Reading and Writing Books for Men (2021) 

The Year to Downshift and Refocus was 2021. Maybe it was the COVID-19 pandemic or reflecting on my first full year of retirement. But I had the desire to go deeper into my Bible and read a NIV (New International Version) translation for men. I wrote about My Journey through The MANual, my year-long series about all 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament.  

I also published a book titled, Get Out of Your Man Cave: The Crisis of Male Friendship. This book expands the narrative about why men (and women for that matter!) need better friendships. It is a practical guidebook with questions for personal reflection and small group study. (Click here or on the photo of the book to buy it on Amazon or directly from me for a signed copy)

The book may never become a New York Times bestseller. But it is certainly a “bucket list” accomplishment in my life!

New Types of Friends (2022)

I opened 2022 with a post, New Year; New Types of Friends? to challenge men to reflect on their friendships. I described The Philosophy of Friendship based on Aristotle’s three types of friendship. The great philosopher felt there are friendships of utility (e.g. business friends who receive a specific benefit for a short time). Another is also the friendship of pleasure (e.g. college friends or people on the same sports team who find enjoyment through a mutual interest). Aristole’s most preferred form of friendship though is the friendship of the good.

I followed with posts about the History, Psychology, and Physiology of friendships and the various Friendships Throughout a Man’s Life. I also explained How Much Time Men Need to Become Friends. Time and effort are needed to develop friendships for the good. But there is even more to turning good friendships into GodBuddies. Its the pursuit of becoming more like Jesus.

Examples of Great Friendships

The remainder of 2022 included posts about Real-life Friendships in politics, sports, TV, movies, literature, and music.

My post about the friendship of Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill was discovered by the managing editor of C21 Resources at Boston College who asked to republish it in their magazine for alumni and parents. I also covered the political friendships of Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, and Our Founding Fathers

Friendships in sports included the interracial friendships of Jesse Owens, the friendship between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, and the Opposing Personalities of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Movie examples include The Buddy Chemistry of Butch and Sundance (Robert Redford and Paul Newman), A Friendship Sure to Make You Cry (from the movie Brian’s Song ), and Top Gun Friendships (from the first and second TopGun movies). There are good and bad examples of friendships on TV from The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Seinfeld, Friends, and The Office

Literature also provides examples such as The Inklings and Mark Twain. The fantasy and adventure literature includes A Friend Who Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself (Frodo and Sam from The Lord of the Rings). It also shows that Some Friendships Digress While Others Progress (from the Harry Potter movies). Other genres showed examples of Friends Who Help Your Imagination and Creativity (Calvin and Hobbs). There are also Friends Who Help You Learn From Your Past (Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa).

Friends with Benefits

No, I did not write about the movie on friends for sexual benefits! But did write about the different types of proper benefits of having good friends. In Music Strengthens Friendships, I gave examples for a father figure, diversity and love, support in a crisis, and career advice. That post also listed songs about friendship. I also wrote about The Benefit of Diverse Friendships and the Differences Between Male & Female Friendships since there are non-sexual benefits of cross-gender friendships

The year concluded with a post that I believe The Highest Type of Friendship is Spiritual. I also explained My GodBuddy Friendship Formula. I summarized the year in Reflections on the Value of Friendships: Year 4 of GodBuddies

A Roadmap for Better Manhood (2023)

American abolitionist and orator, Frederick Douglass once said, “It is better to build strong boys than fix broken men.” For this reason, I began 2023 by stating it was Time for a Change in how the world views men and masculinity. 

This led to a year-long series about creating a roadmap to better manhood. I covered A Man’s Identity, finding his Purpose as a Man, and developing His Worldview. Better equipped, he is learning that Using Your Masculinity Properly helps him become a better man. Multiple posts described the Hard Skills and the Soft Skills every man needs. There was also a subset about how to apply those skills to Domestic Life, Problem-solving and Decision-making. Mastering the skills also helps with Life Planning and Goal-Setting and creating your Legacy. My final post of the series, The Complete Roadmap to Better Manhood, included links to all the posts in that series.  

Spreading The Word about GodBuddies

In addition to writing Get Out Of Your Man Cave, I’ve done some in-person speaking engagements and interviews with leaders of men’s ministries (click here for the live-streams and recordings of podcasts on my website). I’ve been contacted by guys from outside of the United States who stumbled across this blog and the book. It’s been quite an honor to be recognized among the voices in this movement to help men.

Some people have asked what is next for this blog, or will I write another book? I tell them, this message is now in God’s hands and I will trust in His guidance about where to go next. 

What’s Next? (2024 & beyond)

As I go into year 6 of this journey, I have asked myself some of the same questions.

Do I continue to write or not? If so, what are the topics?

Are the posts too long or not deep enough?

Do I take this topic to the next level and market the book and blog? 

Do my readers want me to share more from other thought-leaders in the men’s space?

So I’d like your input on several questions to help guide this next year. Feel free to provide any other feedback to help me discern where I should spend my time in the future. In the meantime, I will continue to post about topics that help men become better men. 

Again, THANK YOU! I am so grateful for your support and encouragement. I’m honored that you would give me even a few moments of your valuable time. Feel free to pass on my content to anyone you feel can benefit from deeper, more authentic friendships called GodBuddies.

[Featured Image by Vladyslav Tobolenko on Unsplash]

Print
Email
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

2 Responses

    1. Good to hear from you Gordon. Are you still using the content from the blog for your men’s group?

      Miss you too. You are always welcome to join us via Zoom on our weekly Saturday AM Men’s Group studies. Let me know if you need that link again

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Wisdom for Men

Honoring Your Father (and Mother)

This weekend is Father’s Day in which we celebrate father figures and the important role they play in families. June is also National Fathers Awareness Month, which highlights the importance of fatherhood. But this year something really bugs me. Why have we lost focus on the importance of fathers? I’d

Read More »
Wisdom for Men

Men Who Read Learn to Lead 

I read an troubling post recently that The Reading Gap between young boys and girls is growing dramatically. The post also quotes the American Psychological Association that American Girls Read and Write Better than American Boys. This growing disparity is alarming and can have long-term impacts on men’s success in

Read More »
Wisdom for Men

Remembering Sacrifice and Love on Memorial Day 

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a holiday to honor and mourn those who who laid down their lives while serving in the military. It is also a time to pause to reflect on the freedom we enjoy in America. For most, it is the unofficial beginning of

Read More »