In my opening post, I stated men need better friendships or what I call a “God Buddy”. This is an authentic and genuine friendship with two or three guys who can help you become a better man.
So how did I lose the good friends of my younger days?
Our Childhood Friends
As kids, we had multiple childhood friends with whom we played baseball, and kick-the-can, and did just about everything together. We then went to middle school and on to high school with some of the same guys, likely pursuing the same girls, competing with each other, and basically getting into trouble together.
Our College Buddies
After high school, we went on to college where we learned some new things (both good and bad!). We made some new and different friends. We graduated, tried to keep in contact with our fraternity brothers, and may have made a few superficial softball, bowling, or drinking pals.
Friends as Couples
We married and moved into a house. We became consumed by our careers, had children, and settled into the great American dream. Life became so busy that we have no time for ourselves, much less any time for friendships.
Ah, the challenges of adult life!
Stress leads to Loneliness
As we move through life, many men begin to deal with the pressures of life by isolating themselves from everyone, including their family and any friends they have left. We go hide in our proverbial “man cave”! We may resort to workaholism or addictive behaviors like over-eating, heavy drinking, doing drugs, gambling, or pornography. We often become short-tempered and angry. These behaviors can lead to sadness, depression, and loneliness that could literally be killing us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
So what can you do about it?
We All Need a God Buddy
My belief is that throughout our adult years, all men— and I will go so far as to say all women, need to develop a few, very close friendships for support and encouragement through the ups and downs of marriages, raising children, job changes, and faith matters.
We all need “real” relationships when we are in crisis. These are friendships that can pull us up from the darkest of valleys and cheer for even our smallest accomplishments. These become our trusted confidant who is our sounding board for those really big decisions. These friends hold us accountable to a higher standard when we slip into behaviors that the world and TV commercials today suggest is the standard for manhood.
This type of friendship is that of a God Buddy!
What do you feel contributes to the loss of our close friends? What is the effect of our loneliness?
Go ahead and comment below.