We’ve entered into a new age as a world where bravery is hard to find. We look for it only to mostly find it plastered on screens in movie theaters. It leaves us hyped for what our lives could look like but no tangible way to apply bravery into our own lives. We WANT to be brave…but we are often captured by fear. Fear is holding us hostage in becoming the men God is calling us to be.Our struggle is real. But there is a way out. There is a better way to begin approaching how we do life — and it all begins by learning to become brave with people.
On the surface, this may not be what you are looking for, but trust me — this stuff runs deep. Becoming relationally brave with others will be one of the hardest adventures you will ever take.
We Must Learn to Become Brave With People
In order for men to make a dent in this world, the process of how we do life with the world (ehem…people) has to change. Right now, the way we go about it sucks. It’s terrible, off-centered and destructive. We’ve got to be better.
This approach begins with how we go about our relationships. We must learn how to become relationally brave men.
To help us get there, here is a working definition of brave:
brave |brāv| adjective — ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage: a brave soldier | he put up a brave fight before losing.
We’ve lost sign of this word altogether. Words like endure, danger, pain, and courage are lost upon us. We’re not quite sure of what to do with them.
So what does this mean for our relationships? What do you and I need to do in order to overcome this fear and be brave with people?
1. Stop pursuing relationships as a one-time transaction.
Friendships are an investment — a long-term, all in investment. Somewhere along the way in our fast-paced society, we began viewing relationships like everything else. We want them now, we want them fast and we want to move on. Friendships weren’t built for a sprint. They were built for the messy life of a long endurance race.
Friendships weren’t built for a sprint. They were built for the messy life of a long endurance race.
It’s time for us to begin treating our relationships like the long haul they were built for. Start pursuing lifelong friendships. The work God can do now through those friendships is an incredible gift. Don’t miss it in lieu of a quick fix.
2. Start showing your scars and becoming vulnerable.
This is where it begins to get hard. This is the core of becoming relationally brave. It’s taking off the mask, putting down the hammer we keep beating people with and showing your hurts, weaknesses, and brokenness.
The bad news is this doesn’t happen overnight. There isn’t a switch I can flip inside your brain to make you become more vulnerable. The good news is, this is where bravery begins — with taking one step. Begin with one person and you will see change happen fast.
3. Stop believing you are the only one who is lonely
Do not get caught up in believing you are the only person on the planet who is lonely. Quit buying the lie. To counter it, step into community and relationships God has provided. Choose no longer to live in isolation.
You may find yourself surrounded with people at every side. This doesn’t mean you still can’t be lonely.
Feelings of loneliness set in when we believe we are the only ones who are dealing with troubles in life.
This is where it becomes a battlefield of the mind. The only way to navigate through it is to not stop believing it and become a witness to the fact that other men struggle and deal with feeling alone.
What’s the answer? Stepping into relationships. Welcome bravery back into your approach and stop living alone. We can all go there together.
4. Start believing pain in relationships are inevitable
We have become pain avoidant as men. Sure, we’ll take some risks physically at the chance we might get hurt. But emotionally — nope. We are out. We’re not sure of how to handle pain in our relationships so we avoid it at all costs.
What would happen if we began to lean into the inevitability that pain was going to happen? It would change us from the inside out. It would force necessary character development onto our lives.
Pain fast tracks our way to strong character. I’m not suggesting we go looking for pain, but I am suggesting when it comes our way through relationships we lean into it.
5. Stop thinking all of your friends are going to be like you.
This took me years to learn but have found such value in it. God has created each of us differently. But our problem is we spend our lives looking for guys who are just like us. Our search ends in defeat. Sure, we find a couple who end up close, but we don’t find the bond we need.
This is because friendships that will grow the deepest and the men you will become the bravest with aren’t a thing like you. They aren’t like you because they can’t be. You don’t want to be like them. You want to be different. Guys who are just like you can’t push you towards bravery. They have the same blind spots as you.
Our pursuit of healthy, brave relationships in this life needs to be with guys who are much different from us. This where we will find true growth.
Bravery needs to make a re-appearance
We need more brave men in this world. Why can’t it be us? This needs to be us.
It begins with our relationships. It begins with us stepping into life with others and showing our true selves and knowing we aren’t alone. Let’s go there.