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#243497 - 08/09/08 03:10 PM Friendship
Barkabus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
This is a message I gave at my church's monthly men's breakfast on August 9, 2008. The inspiration for this message and some of the content came from an article from Crosswalk.com titled "Why Men Need Friends" by Cliff Young and from Pat Morley's book, "Man in the Mirror", chapter ten, "Friends: Risks and Rewards."

Though I don't explicitly reveal my CSA in this message I do talk about how I disclosed to a close friend that I have some instances of childhood trauma that I had been in denial about.

Mike


Friendship

King David had isolated himself. Oh, he wasn’t alone. No doubt he had the company of guards, servants and other palace staff but he was on his own from a friendship perspective. You see, it was in the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s army and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 11:1

What story is this the set up for? David and Bathsheba.

David had an amazing life from the underdog shepherd boy to the King of Israel. He has been remembered as a “man after God’s own heart,” a man of wisdom, compassion, and a forgiving spirit. He is also known for his famous friendship with Jonathan, son of then King Saul who died shortly before David’s installment as king. But he is also remembered as the king who had an affair with Bathsheba and covered up his immorality by having her husband, Uriah, killed.

So how could a “man after God’s own heart” fall like David did? How could it have been different had Jonathan been by his side, and what can we learn from it?

Isolation

Dave was born a warrior and was created to lead. He thrived in the battlefield like no other in history. Throughout his life, the Lord showed him favor in the battlefield with valor, with wisdom and success.

David, for some reason, stayed home from the battlefield. Maybe he lost his “will” to be in the heat of battle, maybe he had too many other things to take care of as king, or maybe he didn’t have his best friend to fight alongside.

In his book “Tender Warrior”, Stu Weber tells us:
“Within the willingness to die for family and home, something inside us longs for someone to die with . . . someone to die beside . . . someone to lock step with. Another man with a heart like our own. That’s what David was saying about Prince Jonathan. Every warrior needs a fellow soldier. Every fighter pilot needs a wing man.”

Jonathan was no longer there to share in the fight with David. If Jonathan was still alive, David may have been out on the battlefield, where he was born to be, and not isolated and in a position of temptation.

Idleness

Sexual sins don’t usually happen when a person is busy and in the midst of battle; it happens during that idle time in the day when they’re alone and bored. Proverbs 12:11 says, “he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.”

“One evening David got up from his bed and walked around the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing.”
2 Samuel 11:2

David may have been thinking about his troops on the battlefield, wishing he were there or he may have been thinking about his friendship with Jonathan. Whatever the reason was that led David to pace the roof of his palace during this sleepless night; he stumbled upon a temptation and chose to “chase his fantasy.”

David had the opportunity to turn and walk away, having only looked. Instead, he sent someone to inquire about Bathsheba, and acted upon his temptation. Had Jonathan been alive, David may have sent for him to share the struggle he was having, rather than for Bathsheba and fulfill his fantasy.

According to Robert Brault:
“I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.”

Accountability

Success is rarely found alone. Beside or behind every successful person, is someone who has encouraged, supported, challenged, and fought with them. Moses had Aaron, Bill Gates had Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), even the Lone Ranger had Tonto, and as we are discussing here, David had Jonathan.

David and Jonathan shared common values, love, trust, commitment and loyalty to one another. They became “one in spirit” immediately upon meeting and stood side by side throughout their lives. But when Jonathan died, David lost more than a friend; he lost part of himself. David lost a valuable accountability partner. Did he find a new friend to be accountable to after Jonathan’s death. We don’t know. If he had, David chose not to report his temptation while he was on the roof. In a way he became self-sufficient just as Isaiah 47:10 reveals when reporting on the fall of Babylon, “You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’”

The danger comes when we think we don’t need anyone else and we become self-sufficient (in our own mind). We get so independent that we feel as if we don’t need to answer to anyone. If Jonathan were alive, David may have sought him out while in the face of temptation and thus avert a very shameful and destructive turn of events as a result of a single night of lustful immorality.

John Eldredge in “Wild at Heart” says:
“Don’t even think about going into battle alone. Don’t even try to take the masculine journey without at least one man by your side. Yes, there are times a man must face the battle alone, in the wee hours of the morn, and fight with all he’s got. But don’t make that a lifestyle of isolation. This may be our weakest point, as David Smith points out in “The Friendless American Male”: ‘One serious problem is the friendless condition of the average American male. Men find it hard to accept that they need the fellowship of other men.’”

The Problem

We are raised to be naturally independent, to not depend on someone else and to not show “need.” As a result, we (men) think that if we do ask for help we show weakness, and that’s one of the underlying reasons that men can find it more difficult to give their lives over to Christ.

Also true friends are hard to find and keep. We are too busy with our everyday lives. Friendships take time. It’s far too easy to sacrifice time with our friends when we have so many things demanding our attention. Its hard work.

Another problem is fear of risk. Our closest friends know us inside and out; all of our strengths and our weaknesses. They may even know many of our shameful secrets. All it takes is one “true” friend to betray our trust and leak out a tiny embarrassing detail about us to cause us to shrink back and close the door on revealing ourselves in such a vulnerable way ever again.

What do you think of when you hear the word “friend?” Who do you think if when you hear the term “close friend?” Does anyone in your life come to mind? Is there anyone in your life who will pick you up when you fall down?

A few years ago we revamped our men’s monthly Saturday morning breakfasts. Based on the guidance of Man in the Mirror we choose to set up individual tables with table leaders to facilitate discussions surrounding the morning’s message. One of the things that we aimed to do is encourage each of you to return to the same table each month. This allows you the opportunity to get to know one another better and to build deeper relationships with one another. I’d like to take this opportunity to restate our aim and encourage to continuing meeting at the same tables each month.

The goal here is to facilitate the opportunity to build deeper relationships in the spirit of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Let me share a personal testimony to the power of deep friendship. A little over three months ago during a meeting with my accountability partner I mentioned some incidences of childhood trauma that had become a deep, dark secret in my life. In reality I had been in denial about it for 30 years, not knowing that there was a tremendous amount of unresolved personal conflict surrounding the trauma. I don’t know why I shared this with my friend and I didn’t know how revealing this secret would unleash a torrent of emotion and personal anguish but it did and it needed to happen. The far reaching effects of this trauma has turned my life literally upside down and this will be something I will be working on with all of God’s guidance and healing along with the support and care of an expanded group of friends I have come to call my inner circle.

Had I not had a close friend in whom I chose to risk revealing a dark part of myself, I would still be in denial today. Because I did have a friend in my life that I trust, God moved me to a place where He could begin a new work within me.
I challenge all of you here, if you do not have someone in your life right now who you can go to on a moment’s notice to share a victory, a defeat or a crisis with I urge you in the strongest way possible to being the process of finding one…better yet a group of men who can fill this very legitimate need every man has.



_________________________
My Story

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#243595 - 08/09/08 08:27 PM Re: Friendship [Re: Barkabus]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 10961
Loc: Denver, CO
Very cool, Mike. Every read Locking Arms by Stu Weber as well? Very good book on male friendship. There are several thoughts in this post that never occurred to me.

Andy

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#243604 - 08/09/08 08:51 PM Re: Friendship [Re: FormerTexan]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Mike,

Thanks for this post very important topic.
Glad to learn that it is not just an csa issue but one that affects our whole society.
As a kid my heros were John wayne and I really liked Connan neither need anyone else.
I really haven't had a close friend in the last ten years.
Something for me to look at.

Andy I am going to check into your book.

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#243615 - 08/09/08 09:31 PM Re: Friendship [Re: michael banks]
recovery Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 39
Hello

Having male friends, is something at the moment. I'm confused on. It mainly an emotional issue. Before, I was abuse sexually in a way that was painful for me. I had a man friend. Someone, if you look at their age and profile. Not, that they were criminals, just they were too old to be hanging around a young kid. This looked strange a 50 year old man, hanging around a young kid. But, you know what. He never abused me. He never hurt me in anyway. He was older but, just like a friend. He never wanted or had any desire to hurt me. For the most part, he protected me from harm.


But, society would look at this relationship with an eye for looking for the worst. a young kid. there must be more to this, this older man must be exploiting him. But, this never happened. Always, give me the respect of a friend. He was just a lonely man.


Here goes the abuse. After being abused sexually, I did give up this friendship. But, you know now. I don't feel comfortable having an older male as a friend. too much risk.

And as of, young male friends. The remind me too much of myself. I feel like potential abuser, or something is wrong. I shouldn't have a young male as my friend. But, I would never hurt anyone.
But, it doesn't feel right.

I use to think, why can't people be normal is that too much to ask. Why can't males have a close relationship. without, being mistaken for some type of lover, or more than friends. Why can't male me close and have friendship. Without, thinking about sex and anything more. Is that too mush to ask. Are we just naturally, going to progress to sexual relationships if two males get so close. We are so friendly, and talk so much. people mistaken for a couple, or something.

I use to think males about be friends, without the other one wanting sex or anything more. Just close friends caring about each other. Nothing romantic just friends. Society and people around me just give me the message. Oh, these guys are so close, they must be lovers, or their must be more to it. I remember, when i just had good male friends. And they never had any motivation to want anything sexual or abuse people.

What happens, is that when you let the wrong person into your life. And they pretend to be your friend. And your happy, and think nothing is wrong. There just a nice person. You don't want any sex or have no thoughts of their being something sexual. They over step the line. and when your just thinking this person is my friend. You get caught by suprise. And you get bitten by sexual and abuse, and once, you have a chance to think this isn't right. Its too late. Didn't I see the messages that lead up to this. I thought this person was my friend.

It messes up your thinking. Because you start to look for messages, in people. and you don't know who to trust anymore.

Are all people, prone to commit sexual abuse. Is the 5% that abuse, and getting hurt worth all the friend that are alright.

My question are all males prone to commit sexual abuse, if you give them the chance?

Where are the days, when people acted normal, and not like perverts. Waiting for you to get too trusting and be abused. Why can't males want to be my friend and be close friends and share things together without wanting sex.

There just seems, something is wrong with man. If, the only reason he wants a male friend, is because of sexual reasons. Or,
that their is always sex in a relationship. that bring people together.

Can we take sex out of the equation of friendship? Can males make close friend based on just caring about another human being. Without, their being a sexual compentent. Or, society jumping to the conclusion that something is wrong. And those guy must be like husband and wife or something.













Edited by recovery (08/09/08 09:32 PM)

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#252880 - 10/04/08 04:04 AM Re: Friendship [Re: recovery]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2430
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, all. Well here's my take on male friends. I am a retired military man, I only have two male friends, both retired military, both younger than I. I chose these two friends to be the ones that I needed when my CSA came to a head, they were the only persons that I trusted with MY SECRET when I had to get it off my chest. They have given me understanding, compassion and love. I have no female friends, I had a lot of "drinking friends" all male and all military, but in all reality they were not true friends, just drinking buddies. But now I have a lot of new friends MALE right here, right now, and guess what you are one of my friends too and I'm sure a younger friend. So from an old man, welcome friend. Heal well friends.
Pete (irishmoose)

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#252899 - 10/04/08 08:40 AM Re: Friendship [Re: petercorbett]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Mike,

Wow, that was a great presentation and you spoke so eloquently about your disclosure. I hope your friend got to see this too. I bet this was well received by your church group.

Peace and love...

Michael


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#252900 - 10/04/08 08:51 AM Re: Friendship [Re: M3]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Recovery,

Quote:
My question are all males prone to commit sexual abuse, if you give them the chance?

That's an old wive's tale. Victims of CSA are not more likely to be sexual offenders than people who haven't been abused.

Quote:
Why can't males want to be my friend and be close friends and share things together without wanting sex.

They can.

Quote:
Can we take sex out of the equation of friendship? Can males make close friend based on just caring about another human being. Without, their being a sexual compentent. Or, society jumping to the conclusion that something is wrong.

Absolutely. I have many strong friendships that don't have a hint of a sexual component, male and female friends.

Recovery, if I may ask, are you seeing a therapist? I think a therapist would really help you sort out what you are experiencing and understand what is going on. After the sexual abuse, I thought everybody was trying to get me into bed at one time or another, but for me, I was reading more into the situation (and for me, this started at a really early age too).

Be strong and have faith, the wonderful men and women out there out number the men and women who want to hurt us.

Peace and love...

Michael


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