Masculine Monday- #10

*Men Only*

There are not a lot of people that a man needs in life. Oh, there are plenty that a man would do well to have in life. And would be better off to have, certainly. But to actually need?

There are precious few of such truly necessary people. A mother and father, naturally (otherwise he wouldn’t be here). But after that? I would argue it is a fairly short list, at that. Some debate can no doubt be had on the subject, and my readers can feel free to give their piece in the comments, as I will give mine here. The only other two on the list I would say are a good confessor and an honest friend. The former can be debated in another post, it is the latter that I address in today’s short post.

I would argue that a man needs a good and honest friend. What do I mean by “a good and honest friend?” I mean a friend who a man can confide in, and know his confidences will be respected. A person who will tell him the truth when no one else will. Someone who will tell a man the truth even when the man doesn’t want to hear the truth.

No man can be right all the time. We all make mistakes, we all err (as an aside, they are not the same thing).  So it is essential to have someone in our life who will tell us what we need to hear, even and especially when we don’t want to hear it. Naturally enough, that friend also needs to be a man.

If a man has a wife, she cannot be that honest friend. If she is truly devoted to him and reveres him, then she cannot be unbiased when he is concerned. She won’t be capable of the brutal honesty required. And if she is not devoted to him, and reviles him, well then, her words cannot be trusted there either.

A man’s parents, if they still live, also cannot fulfill this role. They too are biased, by both blood and the long years of nurture that were invested in raising the man to adulthood.

No, a man needs another man, one who will act as a true brother to him. An actual brother could fill this role, but it is just as capably (if not more so) carried out by another.

So I invite my readers to stop and consider whether they have such a friend. If the answer is no, I think they would be well advised to make finding such a friend a top priority in their life.

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6 Comments

Filed under Masculinity

6 responses to “Masculine Monday- #10

  1. A Visitor

    “No man can be right all the time. We all make mistakes, we all err (as an aside, they are not the same thing). So it is essential to have someone in our life who will tell us what we need to hear, even and especially when we don’t want to hear it. Naturally enough, that friend also needs to be a man.”

    I’ve got one in a friend I’ve known since high school. We bonded playing sports for our high school together. He did a year in Afghanistan and now owns/runs his own business. He’s been, at times, the only one to tell me what I’ve NEEDED to hear, not what I want to hear and has admitted as such to me.

    He’s a man, with nearly everything, whose judgment I trust.

    There’s another like him, though we haven’t known each other as long. He and I went to grad school together and slogged through the hell that was our first (and to date) only jobs in our chosen fields. He’s picked up the slack and been there when the other has not.

    My thoughts on qualifications:

    1) As Donal said, he has to be a man
    2) Not family (regardless of how good of a brother you have, they will always be subconsciously biased towards biting their tongue)
    3) Someone you have built enough trust to share some of your most serious reservations/concerns with (this part takes the longest or is forged quickly through shared misery (i.e. military deployments)
    4) Someone you know who, would at a drop of a hat, be willing to give their life for you.

    I’m proud to say both friends I described above meet all four criteria.

    5) Not necessary but certainly helpful if they’re Christian (ideally Catholic, in my case) and are willing to pray for your intentions.

  2. feeriker

    So I invite my readers to stop and consider whether they have such a friend. If the answer is no, I think they would be well advised to make finding such a friend a top priority in their life.

    Amen to that.

    Is it just me, or is it MUCH more difficult today than it was in times past to gain such a friendship? I cannot honestly say that I have any male associates in my life at the moment who meet the key qualifications of “friend” as defined here, and I will admit that that their absence leaves a palpable void (cue violin music in a minor key here).

    Perhaps it is the absence of male fraternal bodies that is the culprit. Or maybe the feminization of the church, with its lack of organizational emphasis on, or outright hostility to male leadership or fellowship. Or the transient nature of contemporary society where jobs and community, among other things, are tenuous and ephemeral. All seem to play a role in making true friendship formation more challenging than ever before, meaning that true friendships are things to be treasured and nurtured.

  3. Donal, the lack of friends among the commenters of the Men’s Sphere is huge.

  4. @ feeriker

    Is it just me, or is it MUCH more difficult today than it was in times past to gain such a friendship?

    Yes, yes it is. At least an order of magnitude more difficult.

    I cannot honestly say that I have any male associates in my life at the moment who meet the key qualifications of “friend” as defined here, and I will admit that that their absence leaves a palpable void (cue violin music in a minor key here).

    The same. I’ve been working to correct that, but gaining such a friendship is the work of years in most instances.

    Donal, the lack of friends among the commenters of the Men’s Sphere is huge.

    Yes, yes it is. I never had a huge amount before finding this place, and have even less now. And those who still are… well, for the most part they are more on the acquaintance side of things these days.

  5. SirNemesis

    Just leaving this Reddit thread here cause it would be relevant to the commenters: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskWomen/comments/4m6mmj/single_women_35_who_want_children_how_do_you_feel/d3t0ec7

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