As I write this selection, I am painfully aware that I am in and of myself a very poor leader. I could do nothing, unless God enables me to do so. What I want to talk about, actually, is how God has enabled me to do so.
As a new Christian in 1985, I gained a tremendous advantage by sharing an apartment with a number of other Christian brothers. These were (and still are) great guys. Albert. Shawn. Tony. Claude. Nery. John. We all had one thing in common. We loved God and wanted to serve him. I can remember well the feeling I had while living with these guys. Security. Plain and simple. I still feel very secure visiting and sharing with these folks (when the occasion permits). Quite plainly and simply, these are a great bunch of guys. And being with these guys, well, it does something. It makes me feel good. In short, it makes me feel like I belong (because, I do!).
One of the reasons I feel so good being with these people is that we are all the same — all learning, all wanting to learn more, all wanting and willing to learn from one another. Do you know what I mean? What I mean to say is that none of us is superior. We are all the same. Removed from the presence of these guys, quite frankly, my spirit feels grieved. I feel alone and isolated. There is something, then, very good and very positive about guys being able to get together with guys, and feel very much “apart” of the group. It does something for the “leader” in me. It calms me down.
Now here is a frightening prospect — something which I have had to learn the hard way. Take a man away from his male friends, and try to isolate him within his nuclear family only (I’m talking wife and children), and he’ll make a very poor leader. He’ll become insecure. That’s because, he figures, now that he’s married, he’s got to take on the whole leadership responsibility himself. But without the support of his male friends, with whom he can feel comfortable around, how’s he really going to make it? Better still, without the support of his male friends who themselves are now married, how’s he ever going to really feel like he belongs?
Men need men. Women need women. We were not designed just to (try and) get along with our spouses. That, in fact, is quite a difficult thing to do without the real help of a friend. By friend, I mean someone of the same sex that you can relate with, and with whom you can feel comfortable with sharing your feelings. This is something we all need to do, no matter how young or how old we are. In fact, look around you and see who it is who is the most secure in life. It is those persons who have developed a real sense of friendship with members of the same sex. Only then, can we really be ready to take on the leadership roles that God has entrusted to us, and especially the leadership role of being a husband and a father.
Ee, gads, leader, me? Yes. You can do it. Learn to develop close friendship with members of the same sex. It can make all the difference in the world.