On Male Friendship: A Few Good Men

C.S. Lews once compared friendship to art and philosophy. His point? From a purely evolutionary perspective they have no survival value, rather friendship “is one of those things which give value to survival.”

Yesterday President Obama held a press conference to honor his Vice President, and good friend, with what seemed to be an authentic surprise, the Medal of Freedom.


I found this exchange to be extremely moving. Friendship, in particular, male friendship, is an all too often neglected topic. Even in the church, male friendships are rarely the topic of comments from the pulpit. I think this is to our own hurt.

Over the years I have discovered that I am a terrible long distance friend. I’m not good at staying in touch. But, in spite of my own inabilities, God has blessed me with some amazing friends for whom I’m deeply grateful that transcend geographic proximity.

Watching the press conference yesterday reminded me to give thanks for the men in my life I’ve been privileged to call true friends. 

I’ve heard it said that if you have five real friends, not mere acquaintances, but real-deal friends, in your life than you should consider yourself blessed. I have found this to be true. People come and go in your life, I say this as someone who has recently uprooted over a decade of relational investments and transported my family.

But true friendships find a way of standing up to the test of time. They are indeed few. Most of what we call friendships are born out of convenience. They are better described as seasonal friendships or meaningful acquaintances.

In Evangelicalism, and I’ve been guilty of this, we are often horrible about this by our over-reaching use of “my good friend X author” or “my good friend X influencer” when they are really people we merely know, often not very well.

We may live near someone, or work with them, and these contexts to some degree or another, force us into one another’s lives. But time has a way of showing which relationships stick. And there aren’t many that do. But these precious few friends the Lord allows us to have are indeed a blessing.

Take a minute and thank God for the life-long friendships that Lord has allowed you to form, or that you are forming even today. Friendship is a gift. Treasure it.


“I have no duty to be anyone’s Friend and no man in the world has a duty to be mine. No claims, no shadow of necessity. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” 
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves