Making and Keeping Great Friendships Among Men
Let’s be honest. There simply aren’t very many books for Christian men talking about our need for friendship and relationships with other men. And guys don’t always do that well.
Sure, we have men’s groups, camp outs, Superbowl gatherings and sometimes chili cook offs, but how many of us have that someone we could count on or turn to when life gets messy?
Though we’re taught, especially in Western culture to stand on our own, make things happen, and pull ourselves up, the truth is we’re created for community. And we need each other.
One of the most profound events in my life is when that relationship developed for me. It was paramount to my spiritual growth to have just one friend who I could call on. My friend most definitely has my back in the good, the bad and even the ugly things.
So when I got the message asking if I’d like to take a look at David W. Smith’s book Who’s Got Your Back, I was all in.
Who Needs Friends?
Right, that’s actually the title of the first chapter of Who’s Got Your Back, but it’s also a great frame of mind to approach this book with. I believe it’s a good question to ask yourself no matter where you’re at in life or in your spiritual journey:
“Do I need friends?”
Tapping in to his valuable experiences, David Smith addresses that question with engaging and relevant examples. His stories are memorable and genuine, many of them bringing great value to the subject of men’s relationships.
But he doesn’t stop there. Not only will you’ll learn if you need friends, but why.
David backs that up with unpacking some of the causes as to why many men lack in close friendships. He doesn’t hold back when he brings to the table conversation about the inadequacy of male role models and our own inability to connect at deeper levels.
Much of the research for Who’s Got Your Back was done by the author himself. David conducted hundreds of interviews, many of them with strangers.
This personal approach brings such a wealth of information to the book as you’re not just reading through one person’s ideas, but you’re gaining from countless hours of personally invested groundwork by the author himself. You don’t find that with just any book!
Who’s Got Your Back?
In 14 chapters, David Smith unpacks a ton of material but doesn’t tend to weigh the reader down. This is life application guys, and on a desperately important subject.
You’re not designed to go at this life alone, apart from others and outside of community. One of the biggest take-aways from reading Who’s Got Your Back is understanding more about how we got this this point relationally and what we can do about it.
Key chapters that really stand out to me were 1. Who Needs Friends?, 2. Why Are We Lacking in Close Friendships?, 3. The High Cost Of Going It Alone, 6. Biblical Principles of Friendship, 9. Friendship in Other Times and Places, 10. Understanding Yourself, and 14. The Caring of Friendships.
Who’s Got Your Back would benefit Christian leaders and men, especially those involved in or responsible for discipleship or men’s ministries.
While David Smith doesn’t shy away from his Christian worldview or his faith, this book is also beneficial for non-Christian readers, particularly those in positions of leading others.
About David W. Smith
David is a former public school superintendent and high school and college teacher and is now a conference speaker for business and faith based events. He earned an interdisciplinary social studies and social policy PhD from Northwestern University. David and his wife, Sue Ann, live in suburban Chicago.
I received an advanced copy of Who’s Got Your Back? Making and Keeping Great Friendships Among Men in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.