Do you really know this guy?

Posted: 2012 02 09 by Chris Goforth in Authentic Man, Biblical manhood, Challenge, Discipleship, manhood, masculine, masculinity, Relationship

As men it is easy to go about our daily life caught up in our routines and doing what we do.  We compartmentalize our lives.  Work is work, marriage, kids, church, friends and if you have time, playing.  In each one of these parts of our lives they don’t always cross over one another.  It’s easy for us to just go about doing each of those things and forgetting they make up our lives.

Most of the time when we get together with other guys the topic is either about how we are doing at work, did you see the latest sports event, the weather or what hobbies we are engaged in.  These are what I call (SST) – safe surface topics.  We can relate to one another, engage in conversations and never have to really go deep.  Most men are not comfortable with talking about their feelings and often in our culture it’s perceived as a weakness to discuss them.

In keeping it safe, how in the world do we really ever get to know someone?  Yes it does take time to build relationships and it’s important for us to have those.  God designed us to be in relationships with one another.  Part of being in a relationship with another person is finding out about who they are.  Really getting to know who this person it, what makes them tick.  What motivates them to get up each day, what are they living for?

This past Monday evening I was meeting with a group of guys I meet with on a monthly basis and have for the last 4 years.  These are all men who pursue God and long to be in relationships.  We have studied books of the bible and shared some parts of our lives.  I know what they do for a living, the church they go to, their hobbies and even a bit about their families.  As I was thinking about it, if one of these men I deeply value died tomorrow, what would I be able to say about them.  Would I really be able to give you a picture of who this man was?  The answer is NO, I could not do that.  I brought up my thought with them and shared that I felt it was time that we started getting to really know each other.  I did not want to be in that place where I continued to meet monthly with them for 10 more years and really never know who they are as men.  Everyone was in agreement that needed to change and the format of our meetings will be changing to address that.

As I have gotten older, I can honestly say I hate any type of SST.  If I want to know someone, they I need to start asking questions that really allow me to have a deeper look into who they are as a person.  As you look around at your life and look at the men you know, can you honestly say that you really know that person?  How much do you truly know about them?  Would you be able to tell me or anyone else who this man really was?  If you answer yes, great job.  If your answer is no, why not start.  Start asking questions; get to know who really they are.  Something else to remember in doing that.  This is someone God created and designed with a purpose.  He has been at work in this man since they entered the world.  Whatever they have gone through in their life, it is a reflection of God’s redemption for them, for you and for us all.

Just start of with a simple question – What drives you? What is the #1 motivator for you to get up each day?

  1. Kevin says:

    I have never seen the term SST I am going to steal that. You are very correct in what you are addressing here. It goes even further. In todays society not many people share those deeper things. I Even I don’t with my son and daughters. I do tell them some of my past failures and such but there is much they do not know about me. It really takes alot to have the security to say everything that is happening. Why is it? Security, trust, judgment, and fear of ridicule. Here is an example: Hey, you and I have been friends a long time right? Well, ummm today I was browsing the internet and came across an add for get together tonight. Well I went to the site and it was pornographic in nature and talking about contact this person and yall can meet and engage in pleasure. I was so tempted to do it. I mean my wife and I have not been having much physical contact and such, etc…. It goes on. Why is this so hard? See above, it is a security, trust and acceptance issue. There are many other things like deep addictions we try to hide and conceal. I actually had a gentleman from that was at the pastor’s conference say something about this. He said we ask the wrong questions. And his reference was much like the scenario I wrote. All he dis was say hey how bout we ask the right questions. Are you remaining faithful to your wife, have you been thinking about another woman, have you been looking at porn, are you taking time out for your children to be the dad they need, etc…?
    Thanks for posting.
    Just Kevin.

    • Kevin you bring up some very good points. Yes we need to be asking the right questions, not avoiding them. They may be tough to ask and it might be tough to hear the answer, but better to ask then avoid it all together and leave your brother struggling and dying as slow painful death.

  2. Barry says:

    Good commentary, Chris. I have been struggling over the past year trying to develop deeper relationships with men of my church. If you look carefully, 90% of the work done in almost any church is done by women. The men are too aloof, off doing their own thing, unwilling to go below the surface. Even among the throngs that followed Jesus, He chose only 12 disciples. And among the 12, reading the gospels carefully it appears that 3 of the 12 were closest to Him. Men, as a whole, find it difficult to let down their barriers and be transparent.

    I have a suggestion which is related in a round-a-bout fashion. I suggest that men do some private soul-searching, looking through their lives for meaningful experiences, moments of faith, the events in your life which spoke to you clearly that God was real and active in your life. Then, write those events down in a manner that you can pass them on to your children.

    I began this years ago, and I am still writing down events current – and events from years back which return to my memory. If you do this, you will take yourself beyond the SST. Not only will you be leaving a legacy to your kids, but it will help you be truer to yourself – and help you become transparent with other men – and assist you in asking those deeper questions.

    • Thank you for sharing that Barry. That is a great idea, I am going to have to begin implementing. It will allow our children to see how real God is in our life and how he’s worked through us.
      In regards to relationships with other guys, again Jesus had 12 but was closer to only a few of them. The same should be with us, we can’t have those close intimate relationships with dozens of people, there is just no way to do it. I also believe prayer is a key factor and asking God to bring the right men into your life.

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