Since my college-age Bible study ended last year, the guys in my small group decided to do something different one Thursday night — a Guys’ Night.

Coordinating this event was a bit difficult. Why, you ask? You’re talking about a group of guys with poor planning skills and zero interest in going bar-hopping, which would probably be the traditional thing to do.
We were trying to find something that wasn’t cheesy, yet fun at the same time. Planning a Guys’ Night with no alcohol is kind of a hard thing to do. Though difficult to plan, it was a success at the end. Unfortunately, some of the guys had prior engagements, and only 4 of us could make it.

We decided to take our Guys’ Night to Dave & Buster’s which is like the adult version of Chuck E. Cheese’s. I was an hour late, but I intended to make it no matter what.

We exchanged some small talk, seeing what was up within everyone’s current week, and checking if anyone needed any prayer for anything. We got to talking about leadership roles and how each one of us has this leadership role within us, whether we see it or not. Then I told them that I couldn’t be an “official” leader at the church that I was attending.

Why, you ask again? Unfortunately, I’ll have to discuss that in a future post. But all you need to know right now is that I can’t be a leader…officially. Unofficially, though, I can be a leader of sorts, talking to someone, seeing where they’re at in life, giving them advice, challenging their thinking and actions, giving them a different perspective for tackling life, praying for them, etc. I mean, anyone can do that!

When I told my guy friends that I couldn’t officially be a leader, I thus told them about my past. I never dreamt in my life — well, my early life — that I would have had an awesome group of guy friends to be open with, to share my story with, to have one-on-one conversations with, at all!

During my teenage and early college years, I was a full-on introvert! To be honest, I liked being the loner for awhile. It did wonders for me during my high school days and early college years. I mean, no one bothered me, I could watch my current TV shows, I could be in my room and listen to music, and just be by myself.

I wasn’t a very good socializer, and I hated small talk. I would be afraid of trying to start up a conversation and stay within that topic. I would always be scared of people being bored with me or deciding never to talk to me again because I was the weirdo.

But I always had this desire for a group of my own guy friends who I could trust and be honest with.

C’mon! Everyone wants that, or has wanted that, and I bet you have to! Wanting a group of guy friends haunted me a little bit.

I totally idolized wanting a group of “manly men” to be my friends: me, this scrawny (spoiler alert: I have a skinny figure), introverted, homosexual, weirdo of a person — and I do have to emphasize the homosexual part, because I did lust after a few guys attending my church while also wanting to be their friend!

Seriously, in my younger days I didn’t even know how to go up to a person and actually start a conversation. I just couldn’t bring myself to do that; it was always someone coming up to me and starting it. Even at that point, I didn’t know what to say! It was very hard for me! Ugh, and don’t get me started if that person was GORGEOUS!

Man! Looking back now, I was kind of pathetic! Haha! Thank God, I decided to do something about it and force myself to talk to people, even if it was hard for me to do! I had to get past the social awkwardness, mostly embrace it, and have this mindset of not really caring what others thought about me. I had to work on this issue almost every day, disciplining myself to put myself out there and to know what to say and what not to say. Again, it was very hard for me to do.

Now, I don’t have to idolize wanting guy friends anymore, because I have this group of guys in my small group. I call them my buddies, and they’re by my side. Totally worth it!

I’ve found that, sometimes, embracing your personality, your awkwardness, whatever makes you you is the best thing you could do! For me, bluntness and awkwardness go hand-in-hand, and my friends love that about me! Also, having a different perspective on sexuality has its upside too, because you do have a different mindset from everyone else in the church!

Being around a group of guys who are very different than you with different personalities than you and different likes and dislikes than you can be scary! Opening yourself up to them, entrusting yourself to them is a scary feeling.

But if you find the right group of guys to befriend, it’s incredible! And the right group of guy friends will also be open with you, which is such a blessing as well!

As the Guys’ Night discussion of my life was ending and one of the guys was wrapping up his billion questions for me and what I dealt with (don’t worry, Michael, I was honored answering all your questions), a thought popped into my head. I was so grateful to even have a Guys’ Night, where not just me but all of us were open about our struggles. Some of us are currently in the process of healing from whatever we’re dealing with.

To be treated equal with my friends and not have that feeling of judgment bestowed upon me was such an exhilarating feeling. We guys became closer because of this night. We became brothers to each other, even more so than before!

At the end of the night, we gave each other hugs, encouraged each other, and prayed for one another, thanking God for the awesome time we’d just had. Into the chilling cold we went, and we all returned home from our Guys’ Night.

Do you have a group of guy friends or have Guys’ Nights? Is it hard to keep guy friends in your life? If you do have a group of guy friends, how have they benefited you, and how have you benefited them?

* Photo courtesy jblockphoto, Creative Commons.

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  • You are truly blessed to have such a group of guy friends.
    There are people I was friends with in high school and people I was friends with in college with whom I’m still in touch, but only one of them lives close enough for frequent get togethers, and in fact our get togethers are infrequent. So I’ve never had that sort of a group of guy friends. I suppose I’ve always wanted one, even though the desire hasn’t been conscious in those terms until you put it that way.

    • Hmmm…….interesting! I think the high school/college period is when most guys are very social! My question to you is, why haven’t you had a group of guy friends now? What’s keeping you from having that? Also, does your church have some sort of small group?

      • I’m not entirely sure why I don’t have such a group of friends. Perhaps the big reason is that I’m a homebody. Unless there’s a reason to leave the house, I don’t. So I don’t go to places (gyms, bars, etc.) where I could become acquainted with a bunch of regulars. A secondary reason may be that I’ve been careful to keep closeted. Going out for a drink with the guys after work would have felt dangerous; beyond which, I was involved for a long time in local government, so I’d need to get home promptly to attend a meeting in the evening. Behind all that, I’m shy, going back to way before I knew I was gay.
        But as I write this, it occurs to me that there may now be something that’s sorta like a guys group. I’m in a yacht club and on the Race Committee (helping run sailboat races). One member has been organizing monthly dinner gatherings of about a dozen of us. Mostly, it’s couples, but what happens is that the men tend to talk to each other and the women also talk among themselves. So it’s almost as if you had a guys group and a gals group sharing a table. It’s only once a month and the guys are more “friendly acquaintances” than friends and we don’t talk about intimate topics, but it’s something, and it’s safe.
        The church doesn’t have a standing small group.

  • This only happened for me in school and to some extent at university, but since then I have built few male friendships, but lots of acquaintances. My wife became my best friend and I think I was a little scared of getting too close to a guy, so have never really gone for that much as I desired it. Now I am building some friendships with gay men which I hope might become something like what you describe. I think even straight guys relish the close company of other guys, hence the clubs, the drinking parties, the sports comaradie. I envy you your guys group. Bless you all.

  • I actually live in a large 7 bedroom house with 8 other guys who are all Christians. It is a very interesting mix of different personality types, races, and cultural backgrounds, but so far we live in harmony. Many I consider friends and they all respect me and socialize with me. I function as kind of an older brother to them by taking care of collecting money, paying bills, and fixing things around the house. I listen to their hopes and fears and share how God has helped me through similar stuff in the past.
    These friendships have benefited me in so may ways, giving me a feeling of being one-of-the-guys, a sense of fulfillment that I am actually helping in ways that matter, and even heartfelt hugs. I thank God for these guys!

    • I’ve yet to get to that point! Haha. But I know if I was ever in that situation, it’l work out. Usually does for me. Haha. But dude, that’s awesome that your in this living situation, and that God is using this in a huge way in your life! I hope it continues for the best!

  • First off, there’s nothing wrong with being skinny. I’m 6’2″ and 155 pounds, give or take. Slim guys rock.
    Secondly, I think you hit a very important point. The unique things about us are not what separate us from everyone else, but in fact are what make us one with them. This goes for physical features, personality types, backgrounds, and experiences. I’ve never felt more loved and accepted than when my… shall we say, unique qualities… have been put out there for everyone to see, and they saw them and loved me all the more for them.
    Finally, I don’t have a group of guy friends in my life now. I’ve had some guy friends in my life, but we’ve all gone our separate ways and it’s hard to keep in touch with them now. Perhaps some day the Lord will give me the opportunity to be in a circle of guy friends again. We’ll see.

    • Bro! Slim guys do rock! I love being skinny! Do you think it’s because of where you live that you don’t have that much of guy friends as you used to have it?

      • I don’t know…… I think if the Lord wanted me to have a group of friends around me right now, he would have made a way for it to happen, regardless of where I live. But it’s impossible at this time in my life, and I don’t know if living elsewhere would improve anything. God has called me to this place at this time and I’m sure of that, so I assume he has called me to friendlessness for this time as well.
        As a result, I am realizing my desperate need for friendship, a real face-to-face relationship with Jesus, and pursuing that, whatever that relationship might look like.

  • Kinda jealous of your little dudes’ night, Matt! I freaking LOVE Dave & Buster’s. Combine that place with deep, vulnerable conversation and it sounds like a little slice of Paradise. Keep connecting with those guys and sharing your stories with us. They’re definitely inspiring to me! As a fellow introvert, I love seeing how far you’ve journeyed.

    • Thanks Tom. Haha. Dude, If you ever come back to my city, YOU ARE GONNA HANG OUT WITH MY FRIENDS AND I!

  • It Is it hard to keep guy friends in my life, because it seems like guys just don’t wanna get together and hang out? I’ve got guy friends, and meeting up one on one for lunch or that kind of thing is easy. But a “group”, to inter-relate to? Just doesn’t happen. Wish I had one!

    • I’m the same way, Bradley. I love the one-on-one interaction, but the group dynamic is harder for me to assimilate into. Hoping for more of that brotherhood integration someday, though.

      • One-on-one is great and all, but there’s something thrilling? I don’t know if that’s the right word, but there’s something about having a group of friends to hang out with that’s the best! Hey! Maybe one of these days you’ll find a group of friends that could do both!

      • Truth is most guys want a group of brothers, just the same as I do. The weird thing is thinking that I could be the catalyst to getting such a group started. Starting with one guy you are close to, ask him about being part of a group to do something together regularly (your choice). Play cards, work out, go bowling, etc. Or take a weekly class to learn some new skill and begin to reach out to your classmates. Give it try! Be proactive! Don’t wait for it to happen to you! Do something to make it happen!

    • One-on-one is great and all, but there’s something thrilling? I don’t know if that’s the right word, but there’s something about having a group of friends to hang out with that’s the best! Hey! Maybe one of these days you’ll find a group of friends that could do both

  • I have spent most of my life without a group of guy friends. I have usually had one or two close friends I could do things with. Not always! A few years ago we moved to a new city. I felt lonely and this led me into an addiction to gay porn. This was definitely not the kind of male connection that I wanted or needed. As I sought freedom from this addiction, it became apparent I needed healthy friendships with men to replace my internet friends. It has taken some work to go out and find friends, but I have been going once a week to the sauna with a group of guys, attend an English club (both men and women) once a week, have 4 guys we face to face conference call once a week and I Also have several men at church who hug me and who Inhave done stuff with outside of church. It takes time and persistence to make friends, but it is so worth the effort! I’m 7 months clean from my porn addiction, and don’t have any desire to return to that empty way of life! Give me real brothers that know me and my shadows and love me just as Inam.

  • Ive never had a group of guy friends and it’s something that I’ve longed for since I was a teen (now I’m 22). All the guys that are at my church are the type of guys that don’t let just any guy in their cliques. Being a closeted gay and not as “manly” as them has not helped either. Im always the one guy who isn’t invited when all the guys go out or when I’m with the guys, not really included in the conversations. I see all these guys post on social media sites how they’re each other’s bros and how they’re always there for each other and how much fun they had that day. How would one be able to get any guy friends when they are all like this?

  • I have always been a huge introvert, what you were describing sounds just like how I was. I say “was” because as I am becoming more confident in who I am and who God has created me to be, I have become a little more outgoing, but still hard to start up conversations and keep them going. Anyways… I have been blessed with a pretty big group of guys I am close with, we have a Guys Night on friday’s with a smaller group and then I have like 3 super close friends, and also a mentor (also a friend (so like 4 guys)) that pretty much know most everything about me. I love our Guys Night, the focus of the group is really to seek Jesus and fight for the hold of pornography to be broken off of us, its really good stuff. Me being the only SSA one there can be a little awkward cause I don’t know how they all feel about the whole thing, but I have mentioned something like once about it I think but not much else. I hope to be able to become more open with them about my issues like gay pornography instead of straight porn like they all deal with. But anyways, my close guys have definitely been an answered prayer.

  • I just had an experience with a guy’s night last weekend.
    As a high schooler, my social life revolves around the internet, church, and school.
    I’ve been “out” at school since the 6th grade, and long before that, I was pining over men like Chris Evans and Liam Hemsworth. For many years, I’ve lived four separate lives, and the idea of those compartmentalized worlds converging was terrifying.
    I decided about a year ago that I was tired of living my life in all of these masks. I decided that the first parts of my life that needed to converge were my school and church lives. After many failed attempts to confess to the adults in my life about what I was dealing with, I forced myself into a situation where I had to speak honestly. I sent a message to my group leader which read, “Hey, I really need to talk to you and X privately about something, do you mind if I arrive 30 mins early.” I’m glad I sent that message because it held me accountable to doing exactly what I felt God was calling me to.
    I could not have been blessed with a better reaction from the guys in my group. I am so thankful to be walking alongside 20 awesome men.

    This change in my life is very recent, and I’m still worried about the long term consequences. I can’t take back anything I said in that conversation. It feels so scary to be 100% honest about where I’m at in life, and I’m definitely feeling the vulnerability hangover. I’m just so excited for what God has in store for my life.

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