Every Man needs a Band of Brothers
Men as they grow older, usually lose a great number of their childhood friends. If we are fortunate enough to get married, many times we leave our drinking buddies, college pals behind. Lately, some of my own brothers have been taken home way too soon.
At some point, adult males begin to long for the fellowship of their brothers. Our work, our wives, and our hobbies are no longer enough to feel fulfilled in our journey. There is something to be said for a group of men that can share life together. I am not talking about a bunch of guys that sit around drinking beer every night after work instead of going home. Nor am I speaking of those that gather to belittle or pass judgment on others as they stroke their own egos. I am talking about the kind of brothers that you can lock shields with and fight the battles we face on this earth together.
“Brothers don’t necessarily have to say anything to each other – they can sit in a room and be together and just be completely comfortable with each other.”
It’s been a couple of years now since I found a couple of groups of brothers to lean into. One group is a spin-off of a bigger Facebook group I belong too. It was developed as a safe place for guys to share and well be guys. The other group is founded on 5 core principles or in this case stones with the foundation set around the story of David of David and Goliath. Not the one most of us remember, but the story of when David was under attack.
“When David was under assault and mere steps ahead of death, he escaped to a place that was familiar to him–The Cave, a place of refuge. Overcome by the assaults of debt, distress, and discontentment, the greatest warriors of the day were also searching for a refuge–a place where they could find their strength, honor, and bare their souls without judgment. Come to the cave . . . God is waiting for you there.”
Reasons guys need a band of brothers:
- Men need to be able to be men – a place where we can be open, honest and at times even weak. A band of brothers passes no judgment. We have all been weakened by the temptations of this world at one time or another.
- A guy can only understand other guys – men have problems only men can understand. Whether it be financial stress, the desire to succeed, being a good husband or father. Only another man can relate to our frustrations and shortcomings. Any other time we must put on the front that everything is okay and we are good.
- Hunt, fish, and fix it’s in our blood. We need men to help us be men. Whether it is a hike into the mountains for a weekend camping trip. Or simply getting our knuckles banged up working on the family car. Men have a primal urge, better yet desire to fix things that are not necessarily broken. We want to be one with nature and provide for our families beyond our paychecks.
- Iron Sharpens Iron – Men need to be held accountable to our truth. We get consumed with the daily trials of our lives; we begin to lose ourselves. Titles, awards, achievements become more important than friends, family or our community. Every once in a while we need to put our faces to the flint and allow the godly love of our brothers sharpen us back on our path of righteousness.
- Heroes don’t always wear capes – Many women cannot understand the fascination with superheroes (just ask my wife, if I could be Batman, I digress..). We look for role models, mentors, or leaders who will show us the way. These heroes come in all shapes and sizes, perhaps an elder at the church, a neighbor who has taken you under his wing, if we are fortunate enough perhaps even your father or grandfather. Someone to look up to and help guide us over the rocky terrain of life as a man.
As a man, I yearn for a band of brothers that I can stand up with.
A group of men to help me become the man my wife and loving dogs think I am. I am flawed and scarred just like any other man.
We all struggle with life balance, between family, work and our prayer life many times something slips. We can read all the newspapers, books, blogs and magazines to make us more ‘manly’. There is nothing that compares to a group of guys that can not only guide one another through the bad times but also encourage during the good times as well. Whether it be the occasional walk into the woods to find their own ‘cave’. Or circle a bonfire, gather around someone’s dining room table or in a church hall.
A band of brothers becomes an impregnable wall that will surround our families, our community and one another.
Do you have a band of brothers that you have learned to depend upon or lean into?
I would love to hear about your experiences of doing life with your own group of men. Whether online or in person, we all need accountability partners and truth seekers that only other men can be.
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.