Foster Your Friendships

Charles Spurgeon said that the voices of childhood echo through life in such a way that the “first learned is generally the last forgotten.” The lessons we learn in our earliest years tend to remain fixed to the end. This is tremendously beneficial when the lessons have been sound, but terribly detrimental when they have not. One harmful lesson men often learn early in life is that they should be suspicious of relationships with other men.

From our youngest days we are taught that friendship can only be so close before our closeness threatens to “out” us. When a friendship looks too friendly we may be called “Sissy!” at best, or “Queer!” at worst. We are expected to play rough and tumble games together, to compete, and to poke fun at one another. But we have to be wary of relational closeness or dependency, because the other boys are watching with suspicion and judgment. We don’t want to be seen as needy or emotional. Fathers may even be watching, wondering if relational intimacy may portend weakness, femininity, or even sexual desire. Men are to be strong, independent, and self-reliant. We can have pals, we can be buddies, but we must not love one another.

In this series of articles for men, we have been looking at a number of issues related to godly manhood. Employing the great metaphor of life as a race, we have seen that men who run their race victoriously apply themselves to a number of important disciplines. We have seen that some of these are related to faith and some are related to life. In the final five articles we will turn to matters of relationship, including your wife, your children, and your local church. But first, we will consider your friends. If you are going to run to win, you must foster your friendships.

Read on:


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