“Late at night” means 9-11 p.m. for us. We eat steak and nachos at Bob’s Burgers & Brews, a joint our wives don’t like much. And we talk about all the manly things we can think of—Mustangs, bass guitars, movies, books, fights, God, and our families.
Pete and Roger and I have known each other since college days when Roger played basketball for the school team, and Pete windsurfed the hugest squalls he could find on the Columbia Gorge. These days, Pete is the tech director at the law school of Seattle University, and Roger is a partner in one of the city’s top insurance firms.
We meet to share laughs. But we also meet with intentionality.
All of us take seriously the adage that iron sharpens iron. We meet to spur each other forward to become better men.
What does it take to do that?
For one, we’re bluntly honest with each other. Over the years, I don’t think there’s anything we haven’t talked about.
Two, we ask each other hard questions. We’ve given each other permission to speak into each other’s lives, and we’re not above saying, “Dude—you’re being an idiot in this area. Smarten up.”
And three, we genuinely encourage each other. We also say things like, “You’re doing exactly what you need to do in this situation. Keep up the good work.”
There is no specific agenda to our meetings. We don’t go through a workbook or have a list to check off. It’s all organic, and the conversation simply flows. But we do meet for a reason.
The other day, for example, Roger asked a question from out of the wild: “When you guys were kids, at what times did you feel most loved from your parents?”
It was a good query for men to wrestle with—men who are continually seeking ways to strengthen the love for their own families.
I was thinking maybe the gifts parents give, or the time parents spend with us. But before either Pete or I could answer, Roger answered from his own experience.
“I felt most loved from my parents,” he said, “whenever I was going through a hard time, and I knew my parents were there for me.”
You can’t buy that kind of practical wisdom.
It only comes face to face from the other men around you. The everyday soldiers in the battles of daily life.
That’s why men need intentional friends.
You need your band of brothers.
Question: Do you purposefully meet with friends? How has it benefitted you?