Reason # 5 a man needs a mentor – Loneliness
No matter how many golfing buddies, hunting buddies, or bowling buddies, when we get down to it, men are sort of lonely. Oh, we’re surrounded by people…people we work with, live with, go to church with; there are people around all the time.
But as the old psychologist joke goes “No matter where you go, there you are;” still thinking about the same problems, trying to figure out “How am I REALLY doing?”… wondering how your kids are going to turn out, worrying about where the money is going to come from, missing the freedom you had when you were younger…all that stuff.
When a man has a mentor, he’s got someone who understands how all those questions haunt us. Why? Because he’s felt those same questions for years. Mentors don’t have all the answers…no one does. You have to live out your own life to get those. But a mentor has perspective. Having “lived with himself” for a longer time, he’s has more “processing” time for the questions that haunt us as younger men. And he understands how it plays out….how the answers and the questions come together over time.
Loneliness isn’t solved by countless hours of two humans being physically together. And it’s never completely solved for men. But it’s greatly relieved when a man knows that he has a mentor who cares about him. Knowing that his mentor is accessible; that he’s “safe” to talk with, and just knowing that someone is there who understands the deal makes the loneliness less lonely.
Click here for the rest of the top 5 reasons why a man needs a mentor.
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I wept this morning because I woke up to a text from my son who is having to say goodbye to all his friends and and everyone he is close with as he heads off to college 6 hours away to a place where he knows no one. His text was about being afraid and lonely and how bad it hurts. I wept because I know the depth of loneliness that he is feeling and I know how incredibly hard that can be. At the same time i know that it is that deep loneliness that I felt years ago that burned in my heart and forced me to search for another man who could know me at a level so real that there was no where to hide. I thank God for that loneliness and for the other men he has brought in my life since that time. I pray that my sons loneliness will be much shorter than mine was and that he will find true friends and mentors that will allow him to be and become what God has planned. Thanks for reminding me of how greatly I need mentors and true friends!
When I surrendered to Christ at age 33, I learned that I was not alone….that God was with me no matter what. He accepted me just as I was, He loved me unconditionally, and He started working with me, helping me with the ugly parts of myself and convicting me to change. Only recently have I begun to appreciate how that same kind of relationship is possible with other guys. There are friends who will love me with all my junk; men who will accept me, work with me, challenge me, but love me even if I never “get it” on some things. I pray your son will find that kind of friend and community at college. Most kids “put it in park” during college and don’t do much to grow in their character or faith. I pray Sam will have a different experience.