The Sea of Community
In last week's blog, I shared with you why I wrote my latest book, The Dad Drift.
Some of you were a bit surprised to learn what led me to write this book, especially since I write from a faith perspective. But, I have to be honest, I have often struggled with my faith, the church, and with my relationship with God. I now know that I am not alone in my struggles. Since opening up with other dads about my ups and downs in my faith walk, many dads have shared their struggles with me.
As men, as dads, as husbands, it is alright to talk about this often hidden struggle. The problem is that many of us don't have a safe community of other men to share our feelings with.
In The Dad Drift, I dedicate an entire chapter to this topic, The Sea of Community. In today's blog, I wanted to share a few of the insights on the Sea of Community, including the three types of male friendships and how Shakespeare’s writings inspired me to begin building my community of friends.
Shakespeare and community of friends? Yep, that’s right. Thanks to Stephen Mansfield, author of Building Your Band of Brothers, I was reacquainted with this quote from Shakespeares’ Henry V:
We few, We happy few, We band of brothers, For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother.
Every time I read this quote, I know that I was meant to have friends that would do anything for my family and I. But, I admit, I am still slowly building these types of friendships today.
According to Mansfield, “The average man over 25 cannot name a best friend…Loneliness haunts him. He has no band of brothers, has little fun, and has no one in his life courageous enough to speak bluntly about what needs to change in his life.” Ouch, right? But does this ring true for you?
As I was researching The Dad Drift, I ran across a book Dr. Charles Yagel, author of Got Your Back: Helping Christian Men Forge the Brotherhood Connections They Need. Yagel defines three level of relationships men have with other men:
1) Acquaintance-Simply put-your Facebook friends. Most of us have plenty of these. We might know what’s happening in their life through their social media posts, but, let’s be honest, most of these types of friends are surface-level friends.
2) Good Friend-Yagel states that a good friend is when “You begin to share your opinions, your values, your commitments. You may even begin to share general prayer requests. This level of friendship is very enjoyable, and most Christian men never go deeper.” What about you? Do you have good friends? Be honest with yourself.
3) Brother-in-Arms (Best Friend)-A deep-level friend. One who might be described as “a friend who sticks closer than a brother, a brother-in-arms, a brother who is in the battle with you, a best friend.” Shakespeare inspired his audiences and readers for generations with his band of brothers speech and has helped to show me that it is alright to seek out these deeper level forms of friendships with other men, even in today’s confusing culture of what manhood really is.
As you read through these 3 types of friends, think about your friends. Are you satisfied with just your Facebook friends? Or is it time that you start developing your good friend(s) into brothers-in-arms friends and building your own “band of brothers?”
If you want to begin building deeper relationships with other men in your life, pick up a copy of The Dad Drift. I share two examples from the Bible that will help show you how and why we were meant to have our own band of brothers. I also share practical ideas that can help get you started.
To start building your band of brothers, just click the ORANGE button below to buy your copy of The Dad Drift.
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I’m Mark LaMaster, and my mission through Uplifting Dads is to offer a place of encouragement and inspiration for men to become the father they’ve always dreamed of being. I believe that all dads have an incredible, God-given opportunity to make a lasting, positive impact on their children, their families, and their earthly homes.