This post is for other men who have noticed the difference in the relationships of men from history and historical literature epitomized by Churchill and Roosevelt, Lewis and Tolkein, Samwise and Frodo, Jonathan and King David and those characterized in modern culture. This past weekend my wife and I were discussing the sad state of modern male relationships, and then today I saw this commercial posted on Facebook. Two days ago I lamented our culture’s loss of masculine friendships and wondered aloud how it would impact my son, but this commercial makes me lament the loss for myself.
Meaningful, loving relationships between men have been hijacked by a cultural obsession with sexualizing every relationship. After Brokeback Mountain, braving the wild with a friend has become the fodder for simple minded jokes. Seeing a picture like the one on Doug Wilson’s book, Future Men raises nothing but nostalgia in my heart. Not nostalgia for the days when I would wrestle with my friends careless of appearance, but nostalgia for the days when boys could wrestle with their friends careless of appearance. Sadly, I think those days have passed.
Nonetheless, little cultural nods like the one made by Tullamore Irish Whiskey give me hope that men have not completely forgotten the feeling of mutual respect, admiration, and encouragement embodied in masculine friendship.
Even though male relationships are portrayed as a comedy of errors and group stupidity
stuck focused on pointless pursuits of personal gain
I think our culture still silently longs for men to pursue serious, sober minded, heartfelt relationships with other men. These missing relationships are one of a thousand issues contributing to the demise of men in our culture, but pursuing strong relationships with other strong men could probably right the listing ship of masculinity more quickly than almost any single cultural change.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. I challenge you, pursue God honoring, deep relationships with other God honoring men.