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Blood Brothers
By Butch Shramek

Psalm 133:1
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

At one time or another we have all been to a Men's Breakfast, where we sit around, eat, pray and "talk", and I am not trying to say that any of these things are bad. I love to eat (ask those who know me), and I love to pray. Talking? I guess it would depend on what you are talking about. The usual conversion at these breakfasts is about the kids, or wife, or golf. Superficial to say the least. Maybe that's why not too many men attend them.

Men need more, although sometimes getting them to acknowledge that is like pulling teeth. If you have ever been in a group where men drop their guard, and become transparent and real, then you have indeed found a group of men following God's heart. A group of men who can laugh together, cry together, and battle together. Battle? Yes! We need someone to stand side by side and fight with. Once we find our soulmate, and or have children of our own (because men are always going to be kids in one way or another, and that is something that we need to hold on to), we have found those people in our lives that we are willing to die for. Take the bullet, give up a kidney, or do whatever it takes to make sure those we care about are safe. What we then need are people we can stand side by side and fight with. Fight for our hearts. Fight for our lives, and the hearts and lives of our brothers.

It is so hard for men to be real. To show emotion, and be seen for what we really are. It all comes from the way we were raised. My father, whom I love very much, is a great man. He is my number one hero. But I was 21 years old and moving out before I can remember telling him I loved him. He responded and was as comfortable about it as I was. I never saw my Dad cry until I was 18 and his father died, and he tried his best to hide it from me. It also made me as uncomfortable as he was. Why? Because it's not manly? We have been brought up to think that showing emotion is a sign of weakness. Letting someone see us cry isn't the macho image we want people to see. We would rather they see us under control, strong and manly. Faking your way through your emotions takes nothing. Being real, and taking off the mask, takes more guts than living any one of the stories we fabricate to make us look manlier.

Of course this is all easier said than done. We all follow in the footsteps of our father's. Again I am not bashing fathers, but they are following in the footsteps of their own Dad. It's a domino effect. I have 2 sons, 11 and 15. I love them very much, and if needed I am certain I would lay down my life for them. So why is it so hard for me to tell them that? Why can't I let them see into my heart? Because sometimes it's just too hard. I don't want them to think I'm weak. We all follow what we know, and all we know is what we learned from our Father. So how do we get past this? We must allow God to father us. I mean in a Father Son relationship. God wants our praise, he wants our adoration, and deserves our respect. But he also wants to be our Dad. He wants us to come to him with everything. He wants us to love him as our Father. He wants to father us. All we have to do is allow him to. Then we will truly be the sons of God.

Romans 8:14
Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

When we accept God as our Father, as our Dad, we share the common bond of being sons of God, or brothers. Allowing him to transform us into His sons, we are of one mind, of one heart. Sharing a new heart with each other, we can share our inner most feelings without fear of ridicule, or condemnation. It doesn't mean it's easy, but it's easier.

We all have battles, and we are not as alone as we think. Men, good men still battle with numerous different things of the world that seem appealing to us. When we lose sight of our Father, we look for other "stuff" to fill the void. Being able to share those battles in a group of brothers, who, more likely than not have gone through the same thing at some point, is so very important? Being able to bare you deepest, darkest secrets, and have a brother come up and put his arm around you and say "Thanks, I'll pray for you". There's nothing else like being accepted for what we are, not for what we portray ourselves to be. That's what a Blood Brother is.

Genesis 37:16
He replied, "I'm looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?"

So where do we find these Blood Brothers? In Church? It would seem the logical place to look, but most men there may need guidance in finding their heart. Learning that God has fathered us and has given us a new heart isn't usually preached from the pulpit. It can only be taught from God. It is an individual process. Between man and God. Once it is understood that God is our father, and that he has given us a new heart, then we can help guide other men on the journey of discovering their heart.

So where then do we look? Find any man who still lives some kind of adventure. Find a man who isn't afraid to show you the inside of his heart. His pain, his joy. Look for a man who talks to God regularly, and more importantly, listens to God, and seeks his voice. Find a man who can show and tell his children he loves them. A man who can be stirred up enough inside to cry at a movie. A man who is willing to enter the world of the woman he loves. Find a man who has enough of the little boy left inside his heart to seek adventure. Find a man who will stand by your side, no matter what you're facing and battle with you until the very end. These are your Blood Brothers.

When you find these Brothers, protect them. Fight for them and pray for them. You will never be able to replace them. We need to remember we share the heart of God. The Blood of Jesus runs through our veins. We share the same Father. That makes us Blood Brothers.

Copyright Butch Shramek

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* All scriptures from New International Version of Bible


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