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.