Afternoon gents, it’s Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide here! As a bit of background for this, I’ve been a part of a Men’s Ministry run by my church since my senior year of high school, and I must say that it’s been one of the greatest decisions that I’ve ever made in my life. I entered into the Men’s Ministry at a particular low point in my life where it felt like I was digging a huge rut for myself, my faith, and my future, and joining that ministry really was one of the first steps I took to climbing myself out of that rut. Over the past seven years, I’ve been in and out of that ministry due to going away for college and the entire world being shut down because of our response to the
mysterious virus of unknown origin. Thankfully, for the last two years, we’ve been back holding our regular Wednesday morning meetings, and it has made me more thankful for this group of fellow Catholic gentlemen than ever. My experience with this Men’s Ministry has taught me one very important thing: if a gentleman surrounds himself with the company of other gentlemen, he will thrive. As is said in Proverbs 27:17 and is constantly repeated by my Men’s Ministry leader, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Today, I wanted to explore the meaning of that Proverb and explain why it’s important for a gentleman to surround himself with the company of other gentlemen. So without any further delay, let’s get started!
1. Men bond over shared interests
It’s a simple fact that men like to bond with each other over interests that they share, just like any other group of people. It gives the men involved a set of experiences to commiserate over or a shared goal to strive for. In the case of the Men’s Ministry that I’m a part of, the other men that are a part of it share the interest of taking a critical look at their Catholic faith and molding themselves into better men of God for the sake of themselves, their families, and their communities. As I mentioned earlier in the article, this is something that I gravitated toward since I was at such a low point in my life, and when I saw how much joining this Ministry reinvigorated my dad’s faith when he joined almost fifteen years ago, it was something that I thought would be a great resource for me as well. However, it’s not just faith-based groups that allow men to surround themselves with the company of other men. It doesn’t even have to be something as serious as taking a critical look at your faith. It can be as simple as starting a poker night with the guys or making some friends at the local gun range. There are so many different groups and activities that any man of any age can partake in today. It would absolutely be worth searching on Google what kind of men’s organizations or activities are available to you. Such things could include local gun ranges, hunting clubs, cigar clubs, faith-based organizations, or even just meeting with other male friends in your neighborhood. Like I’ve said before, you have entire networks’ worth of information at your fingertips, use them!
2. Men keep each other accountable
As controversial as it might be to say this, men by nature are generally more competitive than women are, and men are especially more competitive amongst each other. In general, I despise the term “toxic masculinity,” especially since I’ve written an entire article about how the type of masculinity I advocate for is not toxic, but I do believe that it is possible for men to channel this competitive energy in a very toxic way. Such a toxic competitive drive can lead to violence, entitlement, and an overall attitude of bettering yourself with no regard to your fellow man. On the flipside of this, men who channel their competitive energy in a positive way are able to, while aiming to better themselves, also use that same energy to help the men around them improve. A man using his competitive spirit to drive other men to improve is not only able to hold the men around him to a certain degree of accountability, but it also helps keep himself accountable by ensuring that he is able to keep up with the other men he is surrounding himself with. While a man can use his masculine, competitive energy to put other men down and only focus on his own self-improvement, he can also use that same energy to support and encourage the men around him to improve along with him and hold each other accountable. That’s why the analogy of “Iron sharpens iron…” is brought up in Proverbs 27:17. It’s a way of showing that the best way for a man to improve in all aspects of his life is to surround himself with other men to hold him accountable. A group of men coming together to share their experiences in a masculine, uplifting, and competitive way will collectively show markedly better improvement than any man will on his own.
3. A man needs male friends
I may end up repeating myself a bit in this section, but everything I’ve been writing about up to this point has effectively been leading to this. Man is a social creature, and as a result, any given man has to surround himself with a community of peers. This can be for a variety of reasons, whether it be to keep himself socialized, to give him something to fight for, or to simply have a support system he can trust. These communities can come in the form of a man’s family, his neighborhood, his church, or his friend network. In the case of men, that friend network should mostly consist of other men. Not only are men prone to spending lots of time alone with their thoughts, especially with how isolated of a society we have become, but too much time in such isolation can lead so many men to a dark place as it did with me. Having a friend group that consists of other men not only keeps a man socialized and helps him stay accountable, but it also allows a man to have a support network that he can confide in. Instead of just sitting alone with his thoughts for long periods of time, a man can surround himself with other men to share those thoughts with and can allow himself to have an entire network of confidants who will support him and advocate for him.
So there it is! These are just a few reasons why a gentleman should surround himself with the company of other gentlemen. If a man is looking to improve in any metric of his life, finding a community of other gentlemen who share his interests and will hold him accountable is a surefire way to make that happen. As I stated earlier, I would highly encourage any of you young gents reading this to look into activities or organizations where you can surround yourself with the company of other men. This could be through your church, your local gun range, starting a poker night, or any number of male-oriented activities. If any of you are able to find any such organizations or activities near you, share your experiences in the comments below, I would love to hear what you have to say! In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!