It wasn’t until I had a husband.
And then a son.
That I realized how powerful the role of friendship plays in a man’s life.
It sounds funny now, but I thought only girls needed friends. I knew that one first-hand. What I didn’t know was that that guys needed them too. In fact, friendship can be a critical component in a young man’s life.
So what does friendship look like for him?
In many ways, much the same as it does for her. As it does for me.
But then again, when I asked some young men about their view of friendship, I found their answers interesting. Some were similar and yet some were stand-outs too.
Here are some qualities that go into building strong, solid friendships for him:
Trust. You have to be able to trust one another. To know that your friend has your back. (Prov. 11:13).
Honesty. It’s important to speak up when a problem is bothering you, or if you have something on your heart and mind. Good friends are open with each other.
Accountability. A real friend is willing to say the hard things – to hold him accountable. Faithful are the wounds of a friend (Prov. 27:6).
Loyalty. A true friend stands up for another in public, or whenever others are tying to bring him down (Prov. 17:17).
Wisdom. Choose friends who are godly and insightful. He who walks with the wise will be wise (Prov.13:20)
Support. You’ll want to be there for each other as you pursue your various goals and endeavors. Your friend should be spurring you on to greater heights.
Sacrifice. You need to be willing to make sacrifices for your friends. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13).
Sharpening. Pick friends who challenge you to be a better person. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Prov. 27:17).
Commitment. You’re going to stick with your friend through the good times and hard times. David and Jonathon were committed to that kind of friendship (I Samuel).
Communication. Some guys are great about hanging out together, but deeper friendship requires sharing and listening too. It’s important to talk through issues, concerns, and goals.
While there are plenty of verses in the Bible cautioning us about the harm of falling into bad company, the reverse is also true. There is significant blessing in choosing godly, sharpening friends as well. As parents, we want to help our sons see the value of forming strong, solid friendships.
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
How do you see the role of friendship in your son’s life? What else would you add to this list?
In His grace,
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