Category Archives: Advanced Tips

This is advanced training for leaders

The Route To Better Intimacy With Your Spouse

Better Intimacy With Your Spouse a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Men's Bible Studies Blogheader

The Route To Better Intimacy With Your Spouse

Get more results. A surprising route to better intimacy that will pay great dividends.

Do I have your attention?

Greater intimacy with our spouse is what we all want. To men, this usually means one thing - sex. To women, this usually means something different - quality time. But these are generalizations. But what if I could suggest a path to intimacy that would build a deeper bond that you both might agree with? And no men, it's not the combo platter of "more quality sex time."

Here is something you probably haven't considered - engaging in daily prayer with your spouse as a means to greater intimacy. Here are three ways prayer increases intimacy.

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

It Reveals.
Prayer is just a conversation with God. And when we pray, we almost naturally push past surface-level concerns and facts and opinions about the occurrences of our day. But when a couple prays together, a unique spiritual bond catalyzes around concerns, dreams, and desires that reside in your hearts. As you listen to the things your spouse reveals with God, and she listens as you reveal, you each experience a spiritual alignment which exposes a new level of spiritual intimacy.

It Refocuses.
Prayer not only reveals but is also refocuses. Prayer also draws our attention to real problems we face together, thus helping a husband and wife focus or refocus things of real value -- our oneness in Christ. It moves us past peripheral issues and concerns and refocuses our relationship on things of eternal value. In prayer, we often build a vision, bring our needs, and create an agreement which helps us to refocus on how we need oneness rather than how we are individuals. Done on a regular basis, prayer can help us focus on godly values for our lives, family, and future rather drawing us into duality and disagreement. Put another way, it helps us stay on the same page and submissive to God which leads to intimacy.

It Centers.
Prayer centers our relationship in character traits that resemble Christ. Profound intimacy comes about when Jesus is at the very center of a relationship. It is here that we embrace Christ-like characteristics and humbly love, serve, forgive, bear burdens, and share joy together. When Jesus is central, there is potential for greater emotional, spiritual, and physical intimacy. And prayer is key to keeping Him central in our relationship. As our relationship grows stronger in Jesus, so does the bond between husband and wife.

Try It.
For some, the idea of praying together with your spouse may seem scary or intimidating. Don't let that keep you from trying it. Many wives are longing for their husband to show some spiritual leadership in their relationship and this is an important way to do that. My suggestion? Try praying together for a month and see how it impacts your relationship with your spouse…and with God.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

The Shame Cycle

Shame a Daily Devotional by Vince Miller at Resolute Mens Bible Studies

The Shame Cycle

Men cycle through shame. Here are words to help you overcome self-defeat.

I am convinced that one of the considerable barriers to men growing closer to God and engaging in their calling is we retain the thought we're unworthy. Most of us see the long list of all the wrong things we have done and conclude we don't measure up to God's standard of holiness. And if we don't measure up to God's standards, which we don't, an inner voice (unworthy self-talk) says God can't, won't, or doesn't want to use you. Add to this that we may even attack the self (intentional self-hijacking) and as a result, we avoid (spiritual-avoidance) church engagement, personal ministry, and leadership in the family. Before you know it, we are actively yet subtly resisting a relationship with God. We live a cycle of shame (unworthy self-talk + self-hijacking + spiritual avoidance), and this keeps us from growing in our relationship with God.

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

The anatomy of shame.
The Free Dictionary defines shame as "a painful emotion caused by the belief that one is, or is perceived by others to be, inferior or unworthy of affection or respect because of one's actions, thoughts, circumstances or experiences." Unworthy is a vital word in this definition. Shame can be brought on by your actions (active anger toward a person), your repetitive sinful thoughts (viewing pornography), your current ongoing challenges (divorce or job loss), or suffering you've endured (abuse as a child). Our enemy loves to remind us of our unworthiness, and too often we buy into this cycle. And the shame cycle assaults the soul, mind, and heart and prohibits us from connecting with God because as a result, we believe that we don't deserve him. But there is hope beyond shame, in these three words: love, grace, and freedom.

Love rescues shame.
Often we need to be reminded that God loves us the way we are. This is regarded as unconditional love - to be loved in our current state. Now, this does not infer that God wants us to remain in our current state, but he does love us the way we are. Proof of this is found in Romans 5:7-8. "For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." It is God's love that was the preemptive blow to the shame cycle in our life. We can have confidence that he see's our state, knows it, and wants to rescue us from it.

Grace defeats shame.
Grace is defined as undeserved favor. Two things I mentioned above are biblically accurate. First, we don't measure up to God's standards. Second, we don't deserve a relationship with him. While these are both true, there is a third truth in Ephesians 2:8. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Our third truth is that God's grace surpasses unworthy self-talk, self-hijacking, and spiritual avoidance. God wants to save us not only from our sin but just as well from the shame cycle in our soul.

Freedom from shame.
To further amplify this point, we can also hold to the fact this was Jesus's mission. He came to set us free from shame. John 10:10 reads, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." Jesus' primary purpose in coming was to release us from a prison of unworthiness, not just to make bad actions good, but to help us redirect the intentions of the heart. Contrast Jesus' mission with that of Satan who comes to steal (our joy), kill (remove our freedom) and destroy (keep us tangled up in our sin and convince us of our unworthiness) – hence to live in shame.

Hear this: if you have a relationship with God, he has removed your shame and addressed your sin so that you can walk in grace, freedom, and relationship with him. And, remember today "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10).

Reject shame and live in God's love, grace, and freedom and if you want to know more about how God sees you today, read Ephesians chapters 1-2.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You Intentionally

Forgive Intentional Sin by Vince Miller and Resolute Mens Bible Studies and Daily Devotionals

How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You Intentionally

Principles to remember when an offender does not seek forgiveness.

Forgiving someone who has hurt you is one of the enormous challenges that all men face in their journey. It is especially challenging when the offender cannot admit their wrong and initiate a process of forgiveness. Just recall a moment someone accused you of something that wasn't true, and recollect how it impacted your reputation, relationships, and maybe your livelihood. Sometimes in life, there is pain inflicted from these moments that result in long-term suffering that cannot be retracted. This is because some malicious intent produces consequences, which even when acknowledged, cannot be withdrawn and cause lingering pain. Many people experience events like these, and they are painful and can create deep bitterness especially when you know the offender deserves a measure of justice and not a hall pass of forgiveness.

So why forgive? Why forgive, when you feel it's not justified or invited?

Jesus answered [Peter], “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:22

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

Some commands of Jesus go against the grain of perceived human justice, and this is one. Jesus' response to his student Peter, on the matter of forgiveness, goes against popular reasoning. For Christians, two truths drive our need to forgive. Truth one is that Jesus forgave you of all your flagrant sin, selfishness, actions, words, attitudes, and even all the evil intentions that others may not know. Truth two is that just as he was willing to forgive you, you are commanded to forgive others. Colossians 3:13 says, "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Jesus was willing to die for those who were undeserving of his forgiveness. How much more do you need to be willing to forgive others. With this in mind here are two principles Jesus is encouraging in Matthew 18:22.

Principle One | Forgiveness is a repeated process.
I have often wondered why Jesus said we should forgive seventy times seven times. This, of course, is a hyperbole (or exaggeration), and he suggests this mathematical equation around some famous biblical numbers that convey eternal completeness. I think Jesus intends to draw your attention to the ongoing process of complete forgiveness and away from the boundaries for discontinuing your forgiveness. You've probably been in this moment of decision with some offender in your life. That one moment where you have to decide, do you continue to forgive or do you discontinue your forgiveness. Godly forgiveness requires a repeated choice (seventy times seven) of living in ongoing remission with another person. Jesus acknowledges that forgiveness is the method for doing this and it will be hard, costly, and will sometimes take longer than you think. Sometimes you will need to forgive repeatedly, not until they understand their injustice, but until the bitterness of your heart subsides and you can have a normalized connection with the person who has injured you. This subjects the soul to God and allows his Spirit to do its work in us.

Principle Two | Forgiveness is for you, not just the offender.
Fundamentally sometimes you will forgive more for yourself than for the offender. Here is a quote from my friend T.J. Addington's book When Life Comes Undone:

"The only way out of the bitterness, the hold that the pain has on our lives, and the anger we feel toward those who hurt us is to choose to forgive them. Not for their sake but for our own sake. I don't pretend it is easy, nor is it quick. But once we have made the decision and practice forgiveness, as the memories come back the hold of that pain lessons, and we are no longer hostage to those who hurt us."

I believe he is spot on. Forgiveness liberates you from the bondage that an offense has over your heart and releases you from a prison of bitterness. The fact remains that you don't have control over what people do or did to you. To control you will try the path of limiting your forgiveness, but you cannot control over what they did or gain control by choosing to limit your forgiveness. Unforgiveness only builds a prison around you. Forgiveness, on the other hand, breaks the bondage of the limits of their evil intentions and helps us to overcome the suffering and ongoing pain of these consequences.

Why not live in freedom, and not bondage today? Forgive and release not only them but yourself.

To control you will try the path of limiting your forgiveness, but you cannot control over what they did or gain control by choosing to limit your forgiveness.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

I Am Sorry, Please Forgive Me

I am sorry please forgive me by Vince Miller Resolute Mens Bible Studies

I Am Sorry, Please Forgive Me

Three things to remember about forgiveness to reconcile with the people around you.

Six words that we don't hear very often, and probably don't say often enough are "I am sorry. Please forgive me." It is hard for men to admit we blew it and even more difficult to ask another person for their forgiveness because in doing so we must first overcome our pride. The male ego doesn't like to acknowledge that we are not as good as we think we are. Becuase in our minds, we are legends.

Remember 1 | God is more concerned about our character than our ego.
A character trait of surpassing godly value is humility. In scripture, the attribute of humility is related to how we act, transact, and is a necessary ingredient of interaction with God. In Micah 6:8 we are urged to "act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." So a humble man admits their character faults to both God and others and invites humility that leads to forgiveness and reconciliation as needed. In this way, we reflect God's character to other while pride does not.

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

Remember 2 | Admitting fault is the first step toward transformation.
Transformation is a curious thing because it begins with honesty. And the person we have to get honest with is ourselves. Getting honest with ourselves about our actions, words, or responses is essential if we are going to change. This level of personal awareness is often something we avoid, but we cannot ignore it if we want to reconcile with others and deepen godly character. Unless we are truthful with ourselves, our pride will keep us from the transformation that we want and need. In fact, the words "I am sorry, will you forgive me," change our intimacy with self, others, but ultimately with God. And this is where every relationship with God begins - us being truthful with ourselves.

Remember 3 | Healthy relationships depend on our willingness to make things right.
If you are married, I bet that you can recall instances when both you and your spouse got into a dispute and neither was willing to back down. Maybe for a day, a few days, or even a week. What obstructs this relational logjam? Well, it's pride. And when one of you pushes past the pride and becomes willing to back down by owning and apologizing for your mistakes, then something transformational happens. In fact, usually when one apologizes for their mistakes, sins, and failures, the other will often follow suit, and the relational tension eases. Jesus desires reconciliation above all, especially our prideful need to be right. Paul, the New Testament author, said, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves." Often when we engage in debate and disagreement, our pride says, "Value yourself above others," but Jesus says, "Value others above yourselves."

These six words are hard but powerful.

Are there people in your life that need to hear these six words from you?

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

What Is A Good Mentor

Be mentored resolute men's ministry mentoring

What Is A Good Mentor

Four characteristics of good spiritual mentors, for effective disciple-making.

Many of us want to mentor another man (just as we would like to be mentored by someone ahead of us). When the subject of mentoring comes up, I am often asked in one way or another, "What does a good mentor look like?" I would suggest the following characteristics make for a good mentor.

ONE | Good mentors have a disposition for growth & aren't perfect.
No one has arrived in their spiritual life so if we are waiting for that to happen, we will be waiting forever. What matters is that we have a commitment toward healthy growth in our spiritual lives and are both receptive to feedback and willing to adjust our character to match that of Jesus Christ. Perfection is not possible, but a willingness to strive for perfection is the call of the mentor! Mentors who are passionate about being receptive to Jesus can point others toward being receptive to him. And as we mentor others, we will also enhance, sharpen, and develop our faith and learn great lessons from those we are mentoring.

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

TWO | Good mentors are willing to honestly share their lives.
None of us can relate to perfect people because not one of us is perfect. Truth is that mentors may initially pretend they have life altogether. But mentees need mentors who have experienced success and failure, for it is in the conflict that the man we are is carved and chiseled into something more significant. As we face struggles, we learn to reach for virtues of manhood like courage, faith, and action. Often, mentoring is helping others avoid some of the dumb mistakes we have made by learning from places we have blown it in marriage, relationships, work, and life. That requires honesty and transparency and allowing others to dig into our own lives.

THREE | Good mentors don't create disciples of self but of Jesus.
It is an honor to mentor others. It is also easy to believe that if our mentee becomes more like us that they will be better people. The truth is, God created them different from us. Our goal is not to convince them to do as we do or to share all of our convictions but to model, the master mentor with teaching from the Word with the goal of becoming like Christ. This is the literal meaning of the word Christian - "Little Christ." It is also the inferred meaning of the word disciple - "Student of Christ."

FOUR | Good mentors ask, not tell.
Mentors do not always have to have the right answers. Believing this is why I think most mentors disqualify themselves from mentoring, they think they do not have the correct answers. But this is okay, and we need to get comfortable with not having all the answers. Effective mentors help others think wisely and biblically and prayerfully to determine what God wants in their situation. The Socratic method of asking the right questions to spur good thinking is far superior to the direct way of answering their dilemmas ourselves. Our job is to offer perspective and wisdom while pointing them to the Scriptures and prayer so that the Holy Spirit can work in their life. Jesus, as a good mentor, was always asking questions and getting people to think critically. Yes, there are moments to teach, but questions create dialogue and mentors know how to dig out the best in others.

For more information on how to be a mentor or mentor others, read:

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Life On Life Mentoring

Frequency Preference of Men for One on One Spiritual Mentoring

Life On Life Mentoring

Mentoring is more than reading a book, it's requires a rub and transparency.

The pie chart below reveals that the majority of men prefer to meet with a spiritual mentor on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. But there is a hidden truth to this preference in that the best spiritual mentoring is not the imparting of information and education: You can read a book for that! Instead, it is a life on life process which requires regular time together.

Frequency Preference of Men for One on One Spiritual Mentoring

 

Mentoring requires a rub (proximity + time).
Mentoring is best described as the influence we can have with others where our lives rub off on theirs in a positive way. It is also a place where our spiritual loyalties influence other men to deepen their loyalty to Christ. The story of our life gives our mentoring validation and allows those we mentor to observe our commitments, values, priorities, practices, and yes failures. This type of mentoring demands proximity and time (the rub) on a regular basis.

Mentoring requires transparency (imperfection + openness).
Another secret of effective mentoring is a willingness to be open about our lives, struggles, and spiritual challenges. Mentoring is not about having it all together or pretending that we do. Instead, it is in sharing how we have learned to trust God, parent, or lead with the imperfections in the messiness of life. The best mentors are those who are willing to be open about their struggles and point others to the one who has sustained them: Christ.

I believe the church in general likes to present a picture of a life put together. The reality, however, is that all of us struggle in areas of our life and everyone has public and private pain. As we choose to be transparent with those we meet with, they are encouraged to live the life of faith in spite of and because of the challenges of life. But that only happens as we are candid with regarding our struggles.

All of this explains why regularly life on life mentoring is so important. Over a period, mentors can see us grapple with life, trust God, make the right decisions, and stay connected with the source of our lives, Jesus Christ. And, we enjoy the fellowship that men can have when they pray for one another, share our struggles and seek the will of God in our lives.

For more information on how to be a mentor or mentor others, read:

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

Mentoring Makes The Difference

Spiritual Mentoring Statistics For Christian Men Vince Miller Pie Chart

Mentoring Makes the Difference

What an infographic teaches us about men who want to be discipled and mentored.

Mentoring, mentorship, and being mentored is the way of being a difference maker.

Too many of us think that we cannot have much of an impact on our world because we are just ordinary people. But God is in the business of using the ordinary to develop His extraordinary purposes in our society. Take a look at the infographic relating to spiritual mentoring. Here are two observations in each of the three categories.

Spiritual Mentoring Statistics For Christian Men Vince Miller Pie Chart

Observation One | 84% Potential
First, I was struck that only 16% of men had no interest in a spiritual mentor. While this sounds disappointing, that means is that 84% of men long for spiritual mentorship from another man! There is a deep longing for most men to know and experience God in their lives through other men. The ancient writer of Ecclesiastes knew this to be true when he said, "He (God) has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Our deep longing to know God was implanted in each of us by our creator and he is using mankind to reveal this.

Observation Two | 56% Are Ready
Which brings me to the second observation, while 28% of men have a mentor to encourage them in their spiritual lives, a full 56% of men wish they had a mentor! But there are two audiences of people that must be addressed.

First, may you are one of the 56% that is looking for a mentor. Consider this for a moment. Have you formally invited someone to mentor you? I would if you haven't. Just find a guy that represents the qualities you want and seek in your own life. This is a man who is further down the path than you spiritually that has qualities and attributes you want to emulate. And then I would recommend handing him a copy of Thirty Virtues That Build A Man that will guide some strong discussion on topics that will pull from his leadership, family dynamics, and spiritual maturity.

Second, you may be one of that 56%, that needs to mentor another man and has not at this point. If you are a Christian then you are qualified, since you are indwelled by the Spirit of God. Are you willing to invest in one or two other men to encourage them in their spiritual lives, share what you have learned, and assist them in their quest to understand God, relationships, and life better? That is what mentors do. They intentionally invest time in others to help them grow in their understanding and relationship and how to do this with and under the leadership of Jesus Christ. Maybe it is over coffee or breakfast once a week or twice a month. Perhaps you read a book like Thirty Virtues That Build A Man together. It's just investing time and discussion with another man that leads to a lasting impact.

What is required on our part for both parties? Only the willingness! Willingness to mentor and willingness to be mentored. Even the Apostle Paul had a mentor in Barnabas and was a mentor to a man like Timothy. All of us need someone to encourage us in our spiritual life and someone we can encourage.

For more information on how to be a mentor or mentor others, read:

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

3 Marks Of Meaningful Masculine Mentorship Relationships

3 marks of a meaningful masculine mentorship relationship

3 Marks Of Meaningful Masculine Mentoring Relationships

How to build effective relationships with other men.

Think for a moment about the relationships you have in your life? How would you describe them? Many if not most of us long for relationships with other men that are deeper and more authentic than we presently have. Relationships where we can be ourselves, reveal our true selves, feel safe, and understood. These are brothers that accept us, but these relationships are all too rare. We don't need a dozen of these, but men do need a few of these in our life. Here are three marks of meaningful masculine relationships.

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

THE THREE MARKS:

Mark One | Acceptance and Encouragement.
Why do we long for better and deeper relationships? Because we need relationships where we can find both acceptance in our failings and encouragement in our challenges. These are relationships where we can be sure the other person wants the best for us even though they know our dark side. These are relationships where love, grace, and acceptance are extended both ways and encouragement is a consistent focus. We are fellow warriors who need to support one another in the battles and joys of life. But at the core is an acceptance of each another that stands by each other's side: "even though the world may abandon me, I know that you will not - nor will I abandon you."

Mark Two | Grace and Truth.
Another mark of this kind of relationship is the powerful combination of grace and truth: Unconditional acceptance coupled with the willingness to speak the truth to one another that we need to hear. Just as Jesus came to us full of grace and truth, we extend grace to each other, and we are willing to speak truth to each other. Grace without truth will not help us grow while truth without grace is hard and judgmental.

Mark Three | Safe and Healthy.
The final mark is safe and healthy. Safe in that we can reveal our true selves and struggles without fear of abandonment. Healthy in that we don't stay the way we are but allow key people to speak into our lives so that we become better – as we extend the same to them. This combination is a rare gift to any relationship.
Look for men who exhibit these marks, and you will walk away from your interactions encouraged rather than discouraged. Also, think about how you can give the gift of this kind of a relationship to others. The more we focus on being the kind of friend that Jesus is, the more significant our influence on others will be.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Growing Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional Intelligence Vince Miller Resolute Mens Bible Study

Growing Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Why growing your emotional intelligence matters and three things you can do to increase it.

The longer I lead, the more convinced I am that much of our influence stands or falls on our Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Good EQ gives us credibility while poor EQ sabotages it. It remains a skill set to which many pay too little attention. If I had to identify three EQ skills that are necessary for influencing others and being successful they would be the following. These skills matter and can be developed in our marriage, workplace, and relationships.

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

ONE | Personal security

Insecurity is the menace of many men leading to unhealthy behaviors to try to mask that insecurity. Think of how our vulnerability is masked: Bravado, the need to continually compete with others, putting others down to elevate ourselves, the need to be right, a need to be loved by everyone and a need to prove ourselves to those around us. These are all characteristics that lead to a lack of authenticity because they are falsely masking our insecurities.

Personal security is knowing who we are with our unique strengths and weaknesses and being okay with that. Secure individuals do not need to be right, they do not need to be defensive and can live from a "nothing to prove, nothing to lose and nothing to hide" perspective. Secure men are healthy men. They are authentic men who live without pretense. Their security is in the God who made them rather than in themselves.

TWO | Self-awareness

The better we understand ourselves, the better our relationships, influence, and leadership will be. Other-centered awareness and empathy are not possible without self-awareness. Self-aware men understand their emotions and control them, their motives and regulate them, and their relationships and maintain their health. They also know how others perceive them and how to manage their dark side (we all have one).

Self-awareness is not perfection. Instead, it is an accurate read of who we are with all our strengths, weaknesses and imperfections. Being aware, we can then control our emotions, behaviors, and attitudes so that they don't get in the way of our relationships and what we are trying to accomplish.

THREE | Other awareness

Those who do not understand the emotions, reactions, motivations, and behaviors of others come off as uncaring, aloof and arrogant. Perhaps even narcissistic. One cannot have empathy toward others without being aware of their needs, concerns and why they act the way they do. Healthy men are acutely aware of those around them and their needs. Only those who understand others can help them succeed and grow.

One more thing. It is possible to possess these skills but to neglect them - to become so consumed in our stuff that we become careless with our self-awareness, other awareness and it is possible for our security to become arrogance if not guarded. These three areas of EQ must be safeguarded, grown, practiced, and evaluated regularly for us and our relationships to be healthy.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

The Inner Voice That Undermines Our Leadership

Speaking Up a blog by Vince Miller Mens Bible Studies

The Inner Voice That Undermines Our Leadership

Whose voices are you listening to, the inner, outward, or the right voice?

Some of the most important conversations are not those that we have with others but that we have with ourselves: those subconscious dialogues that we have daily. These conversations play a very significant role in forming our identity, then how we view ourselves, and whether we maximize the God-given potential of our lives and yes, who we eventually become. I believe these internal conversations have more influence than our external conversations.

From where do our inner voices come?

Our loudest inner voices come from our family of origin. People whose parents showed them unconditional love and received encouragement often have healthy inner voices. For many others, however, the mantras we hear from our family of origin are phrases like “I am not good enough,” “I am not worthy,” “I will never amount to much,” or “I don’t measure up.” This list of negative inner voices is not accurate, but they can play a compelling role in how we perceive ourselves and the personal dialogue that informs our lives.

Our inner voices play a compelling role in how we perceive ourselves. – Vince Miller

There’s another voice that all of us hear.

It is the voice of Satan, the Evil One, who wants to keep us discouraged, fearful and timid. Above all, he wants to prevent us from living in freedom, success, and health. Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

The evil one wants to steal our joy, destroy our self-image and kill our effectiveness among other things. Jesus comes to give life and fullness of life while the evil one wants to rob us of that life. Thus, Satan will tell us that we are not worthy because of our sin, that we are not good enough to please God, that God cannot use us for anything significant, and anything that can discourage or demoralize us. Hear me: Jesus says they are lies and that Satan is the father of lies.

What does Jesus say about us?

Jesus says the opposite of Satan. We are chosen, loved, forgiven, no longer live in condemnation, are gifted, called and loved from the foundation of the world, and adopted by God to be one of His family. We can walk in confidence because God’s love drives out fear. Nothing can separate us from His love. And, we are also holy, redeemed, called for a purpose, and given the gifts, we need to fulfill that purpose. Read just the first two chapters of Ephesians, and you’ll get the picture.

Every day each of us has a battle in our minds. Which voices will we listen to? The destructive voice of Satan or perhaps of our family of origin or the truthful voice of Jesus whose grace has saved us and who is in our corner all the time. Listen to His voice because His voice is who we actually are and leads to leadership freedom.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

The 5 Hidden Dangers Of Success

The hidden dangers of success by Vince Miller Resolute Mens Bible Study

The 5 Hidden Dangers Of Success

The pathway to success and failure in the life of every leader.

Everyone loves success in life, but as it comes, we need to be wary of the hidden dangers that accompany this gift. I have watched great leaders flame out and fail, and their journey often follows a predictable pattern. Here are the five dangers along the path to success.

We start to experience success in life or work.

It all begins with a small success and then success becomes intoxicating! It brings the kudos of others, perks in salary, and respect from our peers. And this for some leaders is like tasting a new drink that has an unquenchable thirst.

We begin to believe our press.

With these small successes comes greater self-confidence which in balance is usually a healthy characteristic of a leader. However, the confidence that comes with this self-confidence can bitter-sweet if it leads a leader to think that our judgment, leadership, or decisions are better than others. It is one thing to receive compliments and adulation – yes heady stuff. It is another thing to believe it is true only of us – which lead to arrogance and narcissism.

We marginalize the voices that challenge us.

Have you ever worked for someone who didn’t listen to people who disagreed with them but cultivated those who did?  Healthy leaders always welcome a variety of voices, even those that challenge them. Unhealthy leaders don’t want to hear from those who question them because they have started to believe that they are usually if not always right. In fact, the more successful we are, the more likely we are to marginalize those who disagree with us which places us in significant danger! Our response to this desire to marginalize is the tipping point for all leaders.

We become isolated.

Once a leader marginalizes those who challenge them, they can then become isolated. While some leaders “appear” surrounded by people, they are often and only surrounded by people who agree with them and those who stroke their egos therefore actually isolated. In the end, they have isolated themselves from truth-tellers who have been driven out by our words and actions. Isolation, or non-accountability, is the prelude to failure. At this point, they have substantially removed the guardrails of their lives leaving them open and vulnerable to their proclivities, narcissism, and therefore no longer listening to those who want to help them make the best decisions for themselves and others.

We crash and burn.

And finally, the ultimate danger of success – failure. I know ironic! Isolation leads to disaster eventually. Those who have experienced failure after significant success can often point back to a time when they quit listening to those who challenged them, decided that the rules didn’t apply to them and that they always made the right calls. It might be moral, financial, relational, or some other type of failure but often reputation is lost as is the fruit of their hard work over years and decades.

Here is the lesson. The higher our success, the higher our potential for failure unless we resist the temptation to believe our press, listen to those who tell us the truth, stay connected and real in genuine relationships, and keep guardrails around our lives. As the writer of Proverbs says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

The Genius Of Asking Good Questions

Questions a daily devotional by Vince Miller

The genius of asking good questions

Why mentors (and mentees) should all be asking better questions than knowing and giving the right answers.

I have some friends who stand out as leaders and who have unknowingly mentored me through contact with them. One of their traits is that they are amazingly curious and always ask good, penetrating questions that cause me to think and reflect more deeply. I always leave our conversations feeling that they are interested in me and what I do and the dialogue that comes out of their questions enriches me.

The art of asking good questions is often overlooked. Some people like to talk, and they talk a lot – usually about themselves and their accomplishments. Some merely listen – which is often better than talking, but the wisest are people who ask penetrating questions, and listen carefully, and then even think to ask follow up questions.

So why is asking good questions a genius move by a mentor?

Here is the genius, it becomes a mechanism of learning for both parties. Whether it is about business, personal matters or family, the best way to understand another individual is to ask questions. Not only that but those we are with often have a wealth of information that we didn’t know which adds to our knowledge and often triggers ideas for us in life and business.

It also helps both parties to think more deeply, and they often come to greater clarity as they answer. And it deepens relationships even if they are new because questions invariably say “I am interested in you, what you do and what you think.” Self-absorbed people tend to pontificate and talk while healthy individuals are inquisitive and focus on those around them. In fact, you can gauge the emotional health (EQ) of others by how many questions they ask.

Question asking is a skill we can all learn.

Good question asking is a learned skill for most of us, and if practiced it can be developed. Here are some of the kinds of questions I have found that open up a conversation and lead to greater in-depth dialogue.

  • Tell me about your work?
  • What do you love about what you do?
  • What is the most significant challenge in your job?
  • How do you stay sharp and what do you do to keep growing?
  • What is your happiness factor from one to ten? What would make it higher?
  • Tell me about your family?
  • How did you end up doing what you currently do?
  • How have you defined your purpose in life?
  • What life circumstances have most defined who you are today?

You can see how questions like this can lead to a much broader conversation as well as cause the one you are with to reflect more deeply on their own life and work. Those you are with will also know that you care about them and are interested in them and who they are. If you want to be a person of influence, and a great mentor, learn the art of asking great questions.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

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