12 December, 2006

Relationships: Male Pattern Bonding

I was talking with an older friend of mine the other day. She was concerned because her Dad had not made any friends in his life.

I asked, "So?"

She was flabbergasted. That, she was sure, could not possibly be normal.

Well, remembering Nee's distinction between,"normal," which is how God intended us to be, and, "average," which is how most of us are, I would have to agree. It is not normal, but it sure is average.

She called up the example of one of her sons-in-law who had made several friends with whom he was still close, even now that he was happily married with 2 children.

I rested my case.

Obviously, that merely proved my point.

Male Pattern Bonding is that we seek out other men to overcome struggles. We endure and overcome together, and then we are friends for life. I'm a bit of an oddity, in that I want to talk about feelings and the like a little bit, but not even much of an oddity at that. Give me a worthy struggle and a man to stand with, and I am happy as a pig in slop. If the struggle is worthy enough, we will be friends till death. You won't be able to tell by watching us, but we know.

Then the man marries.

That's the end of worthy struggles for the "average" man.

Half of what's left is raising children, keeping a house upright and warm, and making sure the 8 hours you give to "the man" each day are worthwhile. The other half is keeping a happy wife. All of those things are worthy struggles, and come heartily endorsed by all parties. They are hard, important work. They can consume a man happily, fully and commendably all the days of his life.

But no other man can stand shoulder to shoulder with you on those.

I've heard some static to the effect that we are supposed to help each other with those things, but I have to ask exactly when the minds behind those voices lost their marbles. Imagine for a moment that I help Bill with his family and marriage. What's he supposed to say on his deathbed? "Without Codepoke, my house would have fallen down around my ears, and my wife would have left me for the milkman years ago!"

In your dreams.

So what's left?

ESPN, debating tech toys and swapping war stories? No? Well what then?

Oh sure. The church. That's right.

Let's see. What do men get to do at church? They get to be taught the bible. They get to praise the Lord. Good things, but hardly the stuff of legend. I'll quit on this. I've already been over this ground enough times, I'm sure, and it's not really my focus anyway. My point is specifically that precious little happens in church that forges lifelong bonds between men.

We need those bonds.

Those bonds need sweat, and even a little blood.

I have a theory (yes, again) that when we marry, we ask a little too much of our wives. I don't believe we'll be happy until we are sweating something that matters, and I don't believe that our wives are the people with whom we need to do that sweating.

It is the most average thing on earth for a man never to make another deep friend after he marries.

Dudes. There are things out there worth dying for. Don't let your sweat wait unshared. Pick a brother, a cause, and a plan, and go tear something up.

9 comments:

Weekend Fisher said...

Y'know, Jesus always sent the guys out two by two. I wonder ...

Milly said...

hehehe!

You make me smile.

My dad made several friends in his life time. They fished together, they camped, they hunted, and the tore stuff up then smacked it with hammers. Now that dad is older he no longer camps or hunts and his hammering stuff is left to the younger man, his favorite son-in-law, his only one, but still. Dad still fishes but the friend he went with isn’t in good health so he drives him to the doctor instead. My uncles come over for football games and one uncle fishes with him. They bonded with the sweat of their brows not by sitting in the chairs looking at computers.

You’re right men need to sweat together. My man does that with friends from church and I find it to be a good thing.

Dudes Milly needs French drains I have shovels. I’ll grill meat for you, red meat. You could really bond.

Milly said...

Ahhhh! Blogger! I know what I say is important but three times!

Danny Kaye said...

Wow, Mil-Gurl!!! Trying to make a point!!? (I know...it's blogger, not you)

CP, I hafta say that each guy is different. I have made many great friends since I've been married. My wife and I make sure that we give each other the relationship times we need. I know it is important for her to have time with her friends without the interuption of the kids. And I give her that time.

She knows that I need to be alone with the guys if I am going to be able to talk with any level of depth at all about my struggles. So she makes sure I get that time.

My relationships are deeper because I make them a priority. They are deeper because I make the time for them. But that is me. I need them. Other guys don't think they do. It doesn't matter that I think they do, each man will do whatever his emotional level will allow.

DugALug said...

CP,

Some good stuff to ponder. I wise person told me that the grass is not greener on the other side, it is greaner where you water it.

Relationships are this way too. My observation is that most men 'hide' behind busy-ness, and things like sports, or even isolate themselves doing 'church-stuff' rather than develop these type of bonds with other males.

There is something in our culture that says it is non-manly to confide in another male. This is bunk.

Jesus is the model, and last time I checked, he confided in 12 dudes... though one turned out to be a dudd.

Preach on Bro!

God Bless
Doug

codepoke said...

I'm with you, WF, and Milly - ummm - I'll think about the offer. :-)

(I hope you don't mind I deleted bloggers repetitions of it, though.)

codepoke said...

DK,

You are once again proven to be vastly above average. :-) And maybe even working toward normal... :-O

Yeah, we're all different. Us introverted recluses have to work a little harder at this, but it's worth the work. And DugALug is all over it with his watering scheme.

Amen.

Milly said...

Well I guess you can delete my extras. Thick hand cut steaks and a shovel, it sounds like fun. I could use a new fence and I have bushes to dig up and a house to remodel, think of the bonding a bunch of men could do in Oklahoma.

DugALug said...

Milly,

you crack me up!

God Bless
-Doug