Over the last several posts, I described some of the foundations of my God Buddy concept that I’ll summarize in this one.
In Men “Sharpen” Men, I started with what has become my favorite Bible verse and the guiding principle for God Buddies: Proverbs 27:17.
Metal-making is a great parallel for how guys today need mature men in their lives to help them become better men. The premise is that –like iron on iron, as guys spend time together, an incredible sharpening occurs as we learn from each other.
God Buddies help each other keep their edge with proper amounts of encouragement and constructive feedback, given at the appropriate moments.
The next post, Looking at the “Man in the Mirror” explained how Patrick Morley’s book The Man in the Mirror: Solving the 24 Problems Men Face helped me understand the challenges of being male and the importance of educating myself about manhood since my wife and I were raising three young boys.
Most importantly, this book forced me to ask some tough questions as I looked “in the mirror” and saw my shortfalls and wrong priorities.
It also kick-started my search for closer friends who later became my God Buddies.
As I continued down this path of personal discovery, I wrote in Becoming a Keeper of Promises about attending a Christian men’s conference with a group of guys from our church.
l left the conference with a book that described seven promises which encourages men to:
- Honor Jesus Christ.
- Pursue vital relationships with a few other men.
- Practice spiritual, moral, ethical and sexual purity.
- Build strong marriages and families.
- Support the mission of his church.
- Reach beyond any racial and denominational barriers.
- Influence his world.
This helped me realize that God Buddies make and keep their promises in order to live as godly men, husbands, and fathers.
Another book I described in Discovering My Wild Heart was by John Eldredge. The thesis of Eldrige’s book, Wild at Heart is that God gives every man an overpowering desire for “a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue”.
Eldridge suggests that God hard-wired adventure, risk-taking, and passion into a man’s soul to keeps them from succumbing to temptation and sin. God Buddies need to experience some adventure together since “Life is not a problem to be solved, it is an adventure to be lived.”
In the post, Understanding Biblical Manhood, I learned about Dr. Robert Lewis’ vision statement for manhood:
“An Authentic Man is One Who… Rejects Passivity, Accepts His Responsibility, Leads Courageously, and Expects the Greater Reward of Heaven.”
This statement so embodies how God expects men to live that I committed it to memory and use it as a guiding principle.
In Addressing Your “Wounds”, Dr. Lewis said that men must address the unfinished business of their past, which is most often defined by these 5 common “wounds”:
- The “Absentee Father” Wound
- The “Overly-Bonded with Mother” Wound
- The Lack of a Compelling Vision for Manhood Wound
- The “All Alone” Wound
- The “Depravity” Wound
Understanding a new vision for authentic manhood and unpacking some wounds has helped me continue to grow as a godly man.
I also learned in The Quest is that men deal with the negative effects of their wounds using the Masks We Hide Behind.
In his book, The Mask of Masculinity, Lewis Howes says nearly every man he knows (including himself) puts on a proverbial “man-face” to hide their weaknesses.
The God Buddy concept means taking off our mask and become honest and vulnerable with another guy so that the real you begins to show up.
My post The Four Faces of a Godly Man then described the proper faces of biblical manhood that we should use once we take off the mask:
- King face – reflects righteousness, is characterized by strong convictions, courageous moral choices, a servant spirit, and righteous leadership.
- Warrior face – ready to do battle, to fight through difficulties, does not quit and faces life’s challenges head-on and wins.
- Lover face – often the most difficult for men. It means we understand our wife’s needs, make sacrifices to spend more time at home instead of seeking money, fortune, or fame. It opens our hearts to share the things we really feel or need.
- Friend face – applies most for God Buddies as they learn to trust each other with their deepest secrets and enjoy adventures together. GBs call out the best in you, admire your efforts, cheer for your successes, and become your closest friend. They also pat you on the back when you’re in balance using all four faces.
God Buddies are balanced men who learn how to apply these four faces properly.
In Planning Your Manhood, I explained that The Quest for Authentic Manhood study culminated by creating an Authentic Manhood Plan.
This plan requires we “Look Back” to understand how our past shaped us as a man today. The “Look at Now” is an assessment of our present state (both good and bad). The “Look into the Future” helps us know where we want to go as a man. The plan helps develop tactics and goals to define the legacy you want to leave behind.
God Buddies have a plan for their life rather than living haphazardly.
I wrote in Balancing Our Masculine and Feminine Sides that proper manhood is when we balance our masculine and feminine traits. The example is Jesus Christ, our ultimate role model Who as always in balance. When God Buddies are in balance, we can help overcome the “toxic masculinity” of adult men who still act like young boys.
To stay in balance, Men Need Get-Aways and Retreats that allow for adventure, study, or silence and solitude. God Buddies need “guy time” as an outlet to maintain the fun or rekindle the excitement in their lives. We also need time to study together on how to become better men.
When guys know their identity better by Understanding Who and Whose You Are, they can start becoming more godly men. Today, many men are still trying to “find themselves” well into adulthood. GBs understand they are God’s workmanship, created with unique gifts and talents to glorify and honor God in everything they do.
In Using Your Spiritual Gifts, I described the differences between God-given gifts and natural abilities. My growth as a godly man really began after I discovered some spiritual gifts that come through the Holy Spirit. Using these gifts helped me realize that one of my life’s passions is to help men become better men.
I was quite surprised though by some of The “Unexpected’s” of Leading Men. Over the years, several guys have reached out to me for a “So, I have this friend who…” conversation about a friend’s affair, a problem with work-life balance, their own struggles with pornography, for advice about a family inheritance, after getting accused of an emotional affair, about a medical issue, and about some interpersonal problems with other guys in the men’s group. Fortunately, God equips us and promises to never leave us. While I’m still a work in process, I have learned to trust Him with the outcomes in those unexpected situations!
I wrote a fun post titled, Whoa-oh oh… Listen to the Music (and Podcasts) about how listening to positive encouraging music and good podcasts have helped change the way I think. I am renewing my mind (see Romans 12:2) and place more importance on my priorities, my life, and my faith.
This renewed importance led me to Re-Prioritize my Priorities. Once I realized that getting my priorities in the proper order would have a dramatic impact on my life, I began to live differently. As Steven Covey suggests in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I “began with the end in mind” and thought differently about my life. For Christians, the death and resurrection of Jesus mean we can live with the expectation of getting to Heaven, which is the end-goal of Dr. Robert Lewis’ statement about living as an authentic man of God.
All told, these concepts became the foundation of my God Buddy concept. They helped me get on the path toward becoming a more godly man that helps other men become better men .
I hope you will stay with me on this God Buddy journey!