It’s one thing to read about people like Jesus and His disciples, who spent the better part of 3 years together. They had a healthy, positive relationship (despite the imperfections of the disciples), while Jesus taught and demonstrated truth to them.
It can be tough to associate that scenario with our modern schedules, though, especially for men1 who are trying to be husbands, dads, employees, volunteers, committee chairmen, and any number of other roles – all at the same time. Sometimes, that just seems like an unreachable goal, or an artifact from a time and culture when there was more time for things like that.
Still, we are obligated to share and invest in others (and to be recipients of help, as well). So, how can we make that happen in the real world, today?
I admit that sometimes I cringe when church leaders talk about small groups as “doing life together”. Don’t get me wrong: I agree with the principle – if we as followers of Jesus could be like the early church in our community and our sharing, that would literally change the world. To me, though, this particular phrase sounds like something a team of criminals would do after being captured and sent to prison, serving life sentences together.
Still, the idea of community is not only beneficial; it is commanded of us. So, whatever phrase we may use to describe our connections and interaction with others of similar faith, let’s make sure that we engage in that habit regularly.
So, how do you remain connected with other guys, when you barely have time to connect with your pillow at night when the morning comes with new responsibilities? I think that there are a couple of key elements to that answer:
- First, there is a matter of priorities. If you don’t see the value in remaining connected to other guys, it probably won’t happen. (Believe me, I wish that wasn’t the case, but sometimes I myself realize that I have to make a choice to make a change. I’m in no place to judge; this is just where I am, too.) And, that means that there is good stuff that might have to take second place. Some days when I know I am scheduled to get together with guys from church, I am tempted to make excuses. It is at those times when I get to make a decision – to determine what is important and how I will act on that priority.
- Second, though, the very things that make our life crazy (like always being connected to work or other responsibilities) can also help us connect with other guys. If you can’t sit down and talk with a buddy, send an e-mail. If you can’t connect in real-time, send a text to check up. This doesn’t replace meeting face-to-face (anyone who thinks that words on a screen are as good as a real person probably doesn’t have a loved one deployed in the military), but it allows you to connect with your buddies where they are, and to be part of each other’s lives in-between the intersections of your schedules.
Review these verses from Hebrews 10:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:23-25 NASB
Even as you work to make some time in your schedule for spending time with other guys, take a minute to touch base with them today. Make them a priority, not because it is convenient, but because it is important to you.
A version of this devotion originally appeared at fcccanton.com, as a Study Guide for the February 14, 2016 message, “Be A Man!”.
- Of course, this principle also applies to women. This article just happened to have been originally written for a more targeted audience. ↩