Who Is In Your Foxhole?

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV).

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Coach Jeff Kisiah “Coach K” at an Iron Sharpens Iron men’s equipping conference.  He spoke about the importance of foxhole friends and the strength of a threefold cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12).  This man of God recently went on to Glory, but he left behind a legacy.  The basis for the annual, national conference is Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another.”

Men tend to forge on alone when times are tough, but we all need friends in our foxholes to help us in tough times.  For this to happen we need good relationships to develop good friends.  Good relationships don’t happen by accident. They take cultivation, work, and a lot of time. That requires commitment.

If you have the honor of being married, I hope your wife is your best friend.  In addition, men need other men in their lives.   In the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge, he writes, “Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.”  Men are warriors at heart, and there is strength in numbers.   Strong warriors that are seeking God’s face will have the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) to protect them in battle.

So, how do we form close relationships?  Every important, close connection begins with a commitment. If you want to get beyond shallow, superficial relationships, you’ve got to be willing to stick with it. “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV).  Close friends are like brothers.  They are dependable in good times and bad.  They build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Ephesians 6:18). 

Likewise, how do we avoid the trap of having acquaintances and not close friends?  Did you know that your socializing can keep you from having deep relationships? You can be so busy networking, contacting, and making acquaintances that you never invest the time and energy and effort it takes to cultivate the deep, satisfying intimacy of a good friend or a good spouse. 

It’s not wrong to have a lot of acquaintances, but they can keep you so busy that you don’t develop any vital, close relationships. You don’t need a lot of friends to make it in this world, but you do need a few good ones. Focus on quality, not quantity. Your acquaintances—your hundreds of Facebook “friends” and Instagram followers—aren’t necessarily going to be there when you need them. But the friends you are truly connected and committed to will be there and stick closer than a brother.  Your close friends will always be in your foxhole.  Rest in peace Coach K.

Prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for the blessing of having Godly men in our lives.  Please use them to speak truth to us and may be always be receptive to the truth.  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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