In Shakespeare’s Henry V, King Henry exemplifies manliness in action as he rallies his army against the highly skilled French knights. He ends this fictional speech with these lines:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
Wow! “hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us…”.
As Men we were designed for brotherhood.
Let me tell you about my band of brothers.
I have fought with these guys fiercely, sometimes through real life struggles and often through self-selected struggles meant to stretch us. We’ve done hard things together like, 1/2 marathons with mud, ice-water and electric shock; 160 mile bicycle rides; 26 mile races in the snow; fighting zombies while soaking wet in 26 degree weather; repeatedly diving belly first into fields of stickers. We’ve run hundreds of miles together, biked hundreds more together, supported each other through chronic illnesses of wives and children, we’ve shared the highs and lows of each other’s lives. They push me and make me stronger. They make me get out of bed at 5:30 AM every day. They make fun of me if make excuses. These men through their actions and consistency, not their words, have earned a place of honor in my heart. If they see in me something I can’t see in myself they have permission to tell me in plain words even if its painful to me, and I will listen to them, because I honor them. We have made the purpose of our friendship to sharpen each other, to make each other better fathers, husbands and MEN. We purpose together to make the bodies God designed for us to be fit for service to our families and fit for service to the kingdom of God and fit for the grind of life.
When we are alone, the fires of manhood grow dim and we decline, we stop moving and learning and grow slow, lazy and dull. Men need other men to teach us, challenge us, spot us on the bench press, laugh at us, laugh with us, race us, make us better. Something like “Hey you have a great relationship with your wife. How do you do that? Can you show me?” OR “Man I’d like to lose weight. Can you show me how?”
I want every man to find a band of brothers like this. You don’t have to do crazy, hard stuff like my brothers and I do but you do need to spend life together. You need a means of constant contact, regular get-togethers, books or other materials that feed noble manhood, plenty of free-flowing chat time, some kind of annual or semiannual getaway or adventure, huge amounts of food and laughter. Always encourage a “brotherhood of the fierce.” Tune a Car, Pick a Guitar, Grill Some Meat, Build Stuff, volunteer but get together and DO life together on purpose, intentionally.
Some may not have thought about what it means to be a Man or to be a Man like God. It’s been a burden on my heart and the heart of others for some time now and so….
We are holding an event this Saturday, April 1st at 5:00pm, that is being called the Band of Brothers Conclave.
First I want to tell you what this is NOT so that you are free to invite the roughest and rowdiest friends you know because you are not inviting them to church. You are inviting them to hear about the concepts of Noble Manhood and Fierce Brotherhood.
Hear me when I say that this event, although its being held at Alsbury Baptist Church, is NOT a church event, this is NOT a ministry fair, it is NOT “iServe-Men’s Edition”, there will NOT be worship music. You will learn that a band of brothers is not a meeting, a club, a therapy group, or a self-help society.
A band of brothers is the gang you do life with. It is the band of 5-7 men you build a manly culture with, a culture of inspiration and improvement. This event will introduce you once again to the small group culture that we were meant to have but that our modern society has destroyed. This event will show you how to form YOUR Band of Brothers.
There will be good music, talk of manliness and noble manhood, huge amounts of food and laughter and a challenge to become a Good Man but also a challenge to become Good at Being a Man.
I encourage you to read and share this book before the event. It’s short.
“Building Your Band of Brothers” by Mansfield, Stephen
We can be Good at Being Men and at the same time be Good Men and we do that through our Band of Brothers.