I recently read a convicting write-up about the lack of close friendships among men. With all that society puts on them, more than a few men are struggling to maintain balance in their lives. Take a look at these statistics:
The Center for Disease Control says almost 1 in 5 men will meet the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their life (CDC). A National Survey on Drug Use found that 1 in 10 men reported using illegal drugs in the last month (Survey). Men make up 75-80% of violent offenders in the United States (DOJ), and commit 83% of spousal murders (ABA). The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says 77.9% of all suicides in 2013 were male (AFSP).
A study done by the University of Arizona and Duke University asked men how many close friends they had. The most common response was zero (Social Isolation).
If that’s not a wake-up call for our churches, I don’t know what is!
Men need friends.
Men need support.
Men need someone they can talk to who understand male needs.
Men need other men!!!
As the mom of sons and the wife of a veteran who suffers with PTSD, this information matters to me. Whether or not my men have men to talk to and gain advice and support from, matters to me.
The Good News: Encouragement is available to guys who seek God through friendships with other men. Take for example, Jonathan, son of Saul and heir apparent to the throne of Israel. The Bible says: Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. 1 Samuel 18:3-4
That’s friendship. Jonathan found the kind of male friend and role model he needed in David, and David found a true friend in Jonathan–loving, loyal, and fiercely protective.
Today, I would ask you to pray for the men you know who are struggling.
Maybe they are battling substance abuse today.
Maybe their marriage is on rocky ground.
Maybe they’ve thought about ending it all, or are struggling with depression during the holidays.
Maybe something happened this week that took the wind out of their sails.
They could be almost totally depleted of hope, because of the actions and behaviors of others.
Maybe they don’t have a friend, a male friend they can confide in, turn to, or look to for support.
Maybe God wants You to be that friend he needs. Will you do it, will you reach out to a guy who could use a good friend?
Together, we get better!!!
What important changes have you seen manifested in the lives of your friends who’ve made it a habit to get-together with the guys? What was the most impressive male bounding thing you ever witnessed?
For more on male friends and the support they provide, check out Christine’s blog at: Be Brave!