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Intentional Manhood, Part II: Friendships and Fellowship

February 5, 2009

Today's post continues a series of posts entitled Intentional Manhood written by a good friend of CBMW, Mike Seaver. A new installment of this series will appear each Thursday for several weeks. They originally appeared last year on Mike's blog Role Calling. Mike serves on the pastoral staff of CrossWay Community Church of Charlotte, North Carolina. Mike and his wife Kristin have been married since 2000 and have two daughters.

I know it is said that a dog is man's best friend. I would beg to differ. I believe if a man is married, his best friend is to be his wife. If he is single, his best friend should be someone who will speak truth to him and encourage him…and I don't think Ruffles will do that. (If you are a single guy and your dog's name is Ruffles, you need to get some dog-naming help from a friend anyway).

Both married and single men need other men to have biblical fellowship and accountability. Though the marriage relationship is primary, a friendship with a guy ("accountability partner" if you will) is very important. This is someone who a guy can be transparent with and who he will receive correction from. This is a guy who will exhort and encourage. This is the guy who will say "You seem to be spending too much time at work" or "It seems like you are being passive in that decision." It is a friend who will speak the truth of God's Word into your life.

Men often fall into the two pitfalls when it comes to friendships. Either they are a "mile wide and an inch deep" speaking merely of sports, politics, work, family, and more sports or men may fall into the "Lone Ranger" idea. The "I am man…I need no other" mentality. Both of these are tragic and probably more of an evidence of pride than true masculinity.

We need to be intentional in fellowship. Fellowship is not getting together to watch the Bears game (though that is always fun…especially if they win). "Fellowship is participating together in life and truth made possible by the Holy Spirit through our union with Christ. Fellowship is sharing something in common on the deepest possible level of human relationship–our experience of God himself…Fellowship with others begins with honest, open, obedient relationships with God rooted in the truth of His Word. How we share that relationship with others-how we wrestle with understanding truth and struggle to apply it to our lives-is the essence of fellowship" (Why Small Groups p. 19).

Men, we know we need this, but we need to intentionally pursue it. Will you?

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