Category Archives: Podcast

Trusting God in the Battle for Sexual Purity

Trusting God In The Battle For Sexual Purity a blog by Vince Miller Mens Ministry

Trusting God in the Battle for Sexual Purity

“Feed your faith and starve your doubts." —Kenneth E. Hagin, Sr.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." —Proverbs 3:5-6

Insights Gained From The Battle

What does an addiction to pornography say about a guy’s relationship with our Heavenly Father? Could a man’s sexual compulsions be a sign that he doesn’t trust God? Here are some insights and applications we can glean from my recent interview with Irving Woolf, president and founder of Hopewell Counseling in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Not only has Irv served as a church pastor, but he also has helped thousands of men battle for purity through his ministry “Purity Platoon.”

3 Issue of Unbelief

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Sex and sexual urges are, of course, inventions of God Himself, intended both for purposes of procreation and for mutually pleasurable intimacy between husband and wife. So it’s ironic that some men – maybe even most – have a real unbelief issue regarding the very Mastermind of sex.

Where do we go wrong? What leads us to experience and act on these sexual compulsions that violate the boundaries God outlines for us in His Word? For starters:

  • Men tend to be among the most untrusting creatures on the planet, Irv notes. They don’t trust their wives, they don’t trust their bosses, and in general, they don’t trust God. They’ve been taught to be self-reliant. Low on money? “I can work overtime; I can work two jobs; I can get my wife to work.” Major decisions? “I don’t need anyone else telling me which house to buy, what car to drive, or who to marry. These are my choices to make and mine alone…”
  • Because they don’t trust God, men tend to operate in the realm of unbelief. They say, “Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ – that He died for my sins and rose again and that He’s the Savior of the world. But in the nitty-gritty of life…?”
  • Prayer, then, becomes inconsequential, a waste of time. “Why pray if I can do it all myself?” It’s a big reason men often find it difficult to pray. They might shoot up little “arrow prayers” at the dinner table, but when it comes to the broad needs in their lives – or daunting situations looming on the horizon – they keep it to themselves.

A guy’s belief that he can do it all on his own is convicting evidence of unbelief in God. It’s like a deadly poison seeping into our souls, preventing us from seeing that there’s a power greater than us. Our egos are just too big to accept that there’s a great God who wants to help us.

Reaching the End of the Rope

Boldly, stubbornly marching on toward deeper trouble, men harboring sexual addictions too often fail to acknowledge their need for help before inevitable consequences threaten to devastate their lives. Pride, shame, or fear keep them from seeking any counseling. Then they get caught at home or work on a pornographic website. Or they engage in prostitution and get busted by the law. Or the wife says, “I’m calling a lawyer…”

“An awful lot of men are like that,” Irv says. “They’ve reached the end of the rope, and I’m the last straw that they’re going to grasp for. Their unbelief is the root sin underlying their use of pornography, masturbation, and fantasizing. They’re basically saying, ‘I don’t trust God with my sex life; I don’t trust Him that He will allow me to be as sexual as I want to be. My wife certainly doesn’t want to be as sexual as I want to be. So I think I’m going to find an alternative to that.’ And the devil presents them with a path to false intimacy.”

Learning to Be Intimate with God

So how does a man turn from unbelief to trusting God? How does he renew and nurture an authentic relationship with the Father? Here are four steps to initiate the journey:

  • Understand that it’s not possible to control everything in life – losing a job, struggling financially, fighting an illness, encountering conflicts at home or elsewhere – none of it is subject to any power we possess.
  • Surrender that lack of control to God. Say to Him, “Take over – You’re the one in charge.” Pray hard and pray regularly.
  • Turn to God’s Word for answers. Memorize it. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word. With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:9-11). Let Scripture crowd out all our garbage.
  • Get some help! Be held accountable by other brothers in the Lord. And don’t be too proud to seek Christian counseling – this issue is too important to dismiss or put off.

It won’t be easy. Giving up control is hard to do – in any area of life. It’s a sort of synergistic balancing act. Yes, we are responsible for doing our part – to work, earn an income, provide for our families – but all the while we must trust God in every circumstance and submit to His will for our lives. Feeling “out of control” is when we must remind ourselves that God is in control. We are not God. God is God. And He becomes “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

So turn your unbelief into belief. Trust God with the issues you face and the intimacy you need. Turn to Him, trust in Him, and He will set you free.

Vince Miller Speaking All In

Vince 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 16 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.

When You Want To Be Married

Married a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Men's Ministry

When You Want To Be Married

“People do not get married planning to divorce. Divorce is the result of a lack of preparation for marriage and the failure to learn the skills of working together as teammates in an intimate relationship.”—Gary Chapman

"House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord." —Proverbs 19:14

It's a worthy aspiration
If you are single and want to be married, this is a noble aspiration. Aspiring to be married is a calling to become both a husband and a father. But it's also a longing for an ongoing relationship. Even Adam the first man, wanted a relationship, and God saw it was good for him not to be alone—therefore God created woman. During your single years, you have an opportunity to develop the character that not only your wife may want in you, but to become the man God wants you to be. I know many married men who wish that they would have taken more time before marriage to prepare, to handle the challenges of marriage with greater success. Even though marriage refines us as men, it is essential in your singleness to not miss the present opportunities for growth and change that increase your potential for a successful long-term commitment and relationship. Here are four things to consider in your singleness.

Four things to consider

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One | Self-leadership
All men need to learn self-leadership. Discovering the value of self-leadership as a single man is a great asset—and by the way, women like it. A man who cannot lead himself is destined for relational issues in other parts of life. Self-leadership is an intentional exercise. It touches many aspects of a man's life. Timeliness. Responsibility. Conflict. Self-care. Grooming. Building healthy relationships. Avoiding unhealthy ones. Setting priorities. And self-leadership involves organizing our lives around priorities and values that lead to purposeful action rather than leaving each moment to happenstance. Here's a potential question that addresses this need and will drive you toward preparing for marriage and family.

"What are my relational priorities and what's my plan for getting there?"

As a man, you need to begin to determine your relational priorities now. Let's say you define them broadly as:

1) A vibrant and growing relationship with God.
2) Occupational fulfillment and impact in the world.
3) Key friendships and relationships that make me a better man.
4) A healthy and appropriate relationship with my family of origin.
5) Mindset for ministry and contribution to things of eternal value.
6) A healthy and committed marriage.
7) God-fearing children.

These are only broad examples, and you can borrow them if you like. But as a single man, naming your relational priorities in this way will point you in a direction where you can begin devising a plan and determining the self-leadership needed for starting the journey. While at present you cannot do much about the last two, (marriage and children) you can devise a plan for becoming a man that a woman and your children will love and respect. And you can give a lot of attention at present to the first five. You can devise a plan and focuses it on becoming the man that God wants you to be. And by leading yourself in the present, you will be more prepared for leadership in marriage and of a family with children. But you have to determine personal priorities first and then take a little time to reflect on how you are going to lead yourself there.

Having identified what's on your priority list, you now need to develop an intentional plan for getting there. This is where self-leadership moves from reflection into action. Perhaps there will be several small steps in each area where you can live out your personal priorities. Leaders are intentional and your intentionality, while you are single, will serve you now, and if you get married, later. So start now by leading yourself.

Two | Determine your values and grow in them.
If you haven't taken the time to articulate your values, you need to. Doing so is a considerable step toward maturation, marriage, and stewarding your unique design. Many leaders declare business values, and requiring employees to live by them, but fail to declare personal values. Determining, stating, and living by your values is a vital step toward finding a woman who shares these values. Just take a few moments to reflect on this question.

"What values do you want to guide your life and how would you define those values?"

If you value honesty, for instance, what are the implications for living a life of honesty? And it's worth considering how that value applies to your work, relationships, and even your relationship with God? Don't make the mistake of thinking of your values as static concepts. Instead think of them as living principles that influence your actions, attitudes, and motives. You might state the value of honesty this way: "In all that I do I will speak honestly, seek the truth, and do my best to live transparently with others." Here your value has become a guiding principle rather than a static idea written on a piece of paper. And as you look forward to marriage, you can aim to find someone who either shares or supports your value of honesty. And if she doesn't, then it might be a deal breaker.

Three | Discover your identity in singleness
Often, men and women get married because they are missing something in their lives and believe that a spouse will fill that void. While there is much to be said about a man and woman becoming "one flesh," many fail to remember that Jesus is the relationship who completes us regardless of our married state. If you cannot come to a place of contentment, joy, and understanding your identity in your singleness, you will not find this in marriage, in fact, it might complicate it. Your identity is not found in marriage because marriage doesn't take the place of one's identity in Christ, it only compliments it. You are a complete person in Christ, married or not. Regardless of popular opinion, your spouse will not complete you, Jesus does.

Four | Get to know yourself
Understanding yourself is a life long pursuit. So begin now. Get to know yourself well now, because you will not be able to hide from your spouse. Here are some questions to consider.

"How are you wired? What's your shadow side? What motivates you? What are the things that demotivate you? How do you recharge? At what times and in what circumstances are you most vulnerable to sin?"

God made you unique, and as a man who lives in a sinful world, you have your vulnerabilities and tendencies. And knowing these as you enter marriage is helpful. You will learn some lessons later on, but willingly getting to know yourself now will benefit you, your future wife, and your marriage in the future.

It should be evident by now that there is plenty of self-leadership to do as a single man. Growing in these areas as an individual gives you time to focus on the very things that will be important if and when one is married. Furthermore, you will grow in your own personal emotional, spiritual and relational health that gives you the ability to influence others at a far deeper level than those who have not done this work in their own lives.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince 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 16 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.

Becoming A Father of Influence

Father of Influence a mens blog by Vince Miller

Becoming A Father of Influence

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” —Frederick Douglass

“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” —Matthew 3:17

Children Need Fathers
Children need a male influence in the home. And by influence, we do not mean just an occasional appearance, or a buddy dad, but a deliberate father. While presence is a part of fathering, and sometimes children need a friend who will listen, fathering is something intentional that requires a lifetime of commitment. It doesn't happen by accident even though we may have felt accidentally thrust into it. And so, fathering requires some strategery. It's a decision and commitment and here are three approaches.

A Few Fathering Approaches

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One | The Producer Dad
This is the father who is always doing something. It's usually at work or home because he values provision and is very committed to it. Provision for his family is his principal purpose but sometimes to the exclusion of providing the one thing his family needs most - relationship. Unfortunately, he can work himself to death to provide food, finance, and fun for his family. Sometimes he's so consumed with producing he appears distant and preoccupied, and in his mind, it's for a good reason. Driven by a deep desire to succeed, children perceive this fathering approach as "present but absent." Often they assume their spouse and children know they care but in a way that lacks a necessary component. This can leave the family emotionally disconnected to their husband and father in spite of his drive.

Two | The Buddy Dad
The second type of father is the buddy dad. They're men who are perpetually present at dance recitals and football games and appear to live vicariously through the life and accomplishments of their children. They want to more "be a bud" to the exclusion of parenting their children. They may feel that it's the best way to relate to their children and will support them by being like them. So when their kids' friends are over they act like them, play like them, and joke like them. And while there's nothing wrong with being jovial, acting juvenile to connect is not also being a father. Many of these fathers exclusively resort to this because they're more comfortable or familiar with the approach and lack the understanding of how to lead as a father. In the end, this leaves your spouse and children wanting for more. It may be popular for the moment, but it fails to produce dividends as your children have children of their own. And the cycle of buddying up to your children is repeated by the next generation. Remember, what you win them with is what you win them to.

Three | The Deliberate Dad
And then finally, there is a model that is best. It's the father that is a producer (within limits), and a bud (also within limits), but that's also deliberate. He's observant and aware of what's going on in a child's life. He may seem a little invasion at times, but it's not to find out just what they are doing wrong - but doing right. Deliberate dads want to know how their children are handling challenges, selecting friends, building relationships, setting goals, and traversing spiritual difficulties they are encountering. All of these things are important for you to know to be able to coach them effectively. It's you finding ways to be deliberate, and not deliberately annoying, but consciously connected and deliberately directive. This is the intentional father. He's not just reactive in traumatic events that become teachable moments but seeks proactive opportunities to lead and direct. And this requires engagement, forethought, and planning which is work - some of the most important work we will do for about 20 critical years. And from child to child this requires situational engagement that is specific to them that will woo them into successful independence and adulthood.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince 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 16 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.

Dirty Fighting Techniques in Marriage

Dirty Fighting Techniques In Marriage a blog by Vince Miller

Dirty Fighting Techniques in Marriage

“What, with my tongue in your tail? Nay, come again, Good Kate; I am a gentleman.” —William Shakespeare, The Taming Of The Shrew.

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." —Proverbs 15:1

Eventually, you're going to fight
In marriage, we are going to encounter conflict at some point. And at some point, we're going to fight dirty. And we will be both on the receiving end and the giving end of these dirty tactics. But we shouldn't be on either end, but our problem is usually that we're unconsciously doing it. And we continue to do it consciously or unconsciously because it's worked in the past or we've seen it modeled. When we fight dirty, we're often looking to gain an advantage through another's weakness. If we're hostile at that moment, we know that, and we can get a reaction by pushing their buttons in these areas. Often at this moment, we've shifted the goal to inflicting pain to win. And if your goal is to win the argument, there's going to be a loser. Additionally, if you lose a lot, you might even fight dirtier to win once in a while. And thus the downward cycle that turns ugly. But could there be a better goal than inflicting pain on the other person? Is there a better win?

Two things to remember in conflict

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One | The goal of marriage
Marriage is not about winning and losing; it's about oneness. When one person loses, we both lose, and when one-person wins, we both win. Oneness is about a husband and wife becoming so intimately connected that we develop a mental, physical, relational, and spiritual harmony that goes beyond human possibilities. Two become one in the flesh. But occasionally in an effort to find oneness we'll have conflict. Conflict is often an attempt to come to mutual understanding. Like two positive poles on magnetic at times we will reject each other, and when this happens, we have disagreements, conflicts, arguments, or fights. Call them what you want, but we engage in debate for the purpose of understanding each other and coming to a common understanding. And as these moments happen, we can develop some patterns that are unhealthy. And as a result, we interpret our spouse as an enemy rather than an ally, and therefore we go on the attack using sight of the goal of understanding to win. And we fight dirty.

Two | Stop dirty tactics
There are a lot of great dirty fighting techniques out there. Some you know better than others because you use them or have had them used against you. The list below a short list of some common tactics. Consider the ones you use and the one your spouse uses and have a conversation about them. And please don't have this discussion during a dispute but a time of peace. You can even rank them by the ones you feel you each resort to the most.

Twenty dirty techniques to discuss
Bad Timing. Pick the worst time to start an argument.
Escalating. Move quickly from a single issue to more significant matters you've been waiting to bring up.
Sand Bagging. Move from the primary issue to all the other problems you have.
Generalizing. Use inflammatory language like “always” and “never.”
Cross-Complaining. Respond to their complaints with one of your own.
Interrogating. Imply with a question that they could have easily done something that they didn't. For example, "Why didn't you..."
Blaming. Make the issue entirely their fault.
Pulling Rank. Make the point that you do more than them in every area.
Dominating. Talk over them regardless of what they say.
Violation Listing. Recite every injustice you've suffered.
Negative Labeling. Give the person a negative psychological label like "immature" or "neurotic."
Mind Reading. Telling the person why they did something even if you don't know.
Predicting. Predict fatalistic views of the future.
Avoiding Ownership. Don't take responsibility for anything.
Exiting. Walk out of the room or leave the house in protest.
Denying Compromise. Never back down from your position.
Personalizing. Make it about the person and not the issue.
Victimizing. Make yourself the eternal martyr.
Grudging. Hold a grudge forever and bring it up over and over again.
Shifting. Be inconsistent in an argument to avert resolution.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince 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 16 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.

Building A Case Against Your Spouse

Building a Case Against Your Spouse a blog by Vince Miller

Building A Case Against Your Spouse

"A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong." — Milton Berle

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind." — Romans 12:2

Constructing the Case

One of the great pivot points in any marriage is that moment you learn how to stop privately building a case against your wife. Most men will admit that they have a negative sentiment or a privately held cynical belief about their wife. And these don't just pop up overnight but over long periods. What happens is somewhat human, but also dangerous and sinful in a marriage. First, there is some event or a series of events that catalyze into a noticeable negative pattern we don't like. Because of this, we construct a negative opinion of our spouse. Second, to continue building that case, we begin to view them only through this belief and thus interpret unrelated events, comments, or actions as evidence for our positions. We might even think to ourselves when we see evidence, “there it is again.” Third, and this is the haymaker, we reinforce these beliefs and pieces of evidence with powerful negative emotions that support the case we've built. Often these beliefs and portions of evidence arise right in the middle of a heated argument when we've felt hurt or disrespected which is emotional reinforcement for our preconceived notions. and what happens seers a negative belief, with supporting evidence, with a powerful emotional event deep into our heart, mind, and soul. And this is building a case against our spouse.

Negative Belief + Supporting Evidence + Negative Emotion Event = Case Built Against Our Spouse.

How to Deconstruct the Case We Have Built

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One | Become aware, you're building the biases
Let’s say you hit a point in your marriage where you start to believe that your wife doesn’t value your opinion. And then to reinforce it, anytime she decided to do something without consulting you, you begin to interpret all those events as evidence for that belief, even when they didn't. Over time you can imagine that your feelings and attitudes toward her will develop a false construct about her. This is cancerous to a marital relationship, and counselors call this confirmation bias.

Many men, and women for that matter, never realize they are constructing these. Then they get years into marriage and now struggle to deal with issues in their relationship because they've built such a massive case against their spouse. Deconstructing it becomes concentrated work because they can only see them through one lens. And many give up because the task of untangling this predicament requires a lot of work, and this is a fatal blow to a marriage.

To deconstruct the case you've built, you must develop self-awareness. The critical decision is deciding to be aware of what you’re constructing. Choosing to say to yourself in moments the negative belief appears, “I'm going to give my spouse the benefit of the doubt.” This alone can be ground-breaking self-talk. It will help start the deconstruction process and build momentum in a new direction. It’s choosing to interpret events, comments, and actions as having some other reason and purpose besides what you want to believe intuitively. It stops the justification process.

Two | Signaling with inflammatory words or thoughts
Sometimes when we get baited into building a bias, we use inflammatory language or self-talk like “you always” or “you never.” First, “you” is never a great pronoun to use in a heated argument as it's pointed and shaming. Pronouns like “I” or “me” are much better and focus on your feelings rather than their issues. Second, words like “always” or “never” are almost always or never accurate. I think it’s in our sinful nature to use inflammatory language like this, but it’s not helpful. Instead, it’s proof that we’ve built a case rather than given them the benefit of the doubt. And there's your signal. It's the language you think or use that should signal something is off. So when this language arises, use it as a warning signal and begin to pivot your words, thoughts, and action in a new direction. Romans 12:2 reads, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” I think this applies well to how we think about and worship God, but it has some application in our relationship with our spouse as well. Our inflammatory words and thoughts can be renewed by viewing my wife as she is -  the image of God not my enemy.

Three | Kill negative sound bites and build positive ones
Finally, it might be helpful to write out those negative thoughts and statements you have about your spouse that reinforce the case you've built against her. For example, let's say you’re hanging out with your buddies babbling about your respective spouse's. Then suddenly the conversation turns negative - what have you instinctively said? "She spends too much; she's nagging; she's angry all the time; she’s emotionally needy." These might be indications of what you believe, after all, you wouldn't say if in some way you didn't believe it. It might be time to write them out, not so you can remember them, but so you can look back objectively on what you think and consider the harm you're inflicting on the person you love. And as you write it out, list the supporting evidence and kill it. And then renew your mind by considering how God views her. She is "excellent, precious, good, strong, open-handed, loving, caring, blessed, charming, fruitful," and more. (Proverbs 31). Begin thinking and speaking of her to your family and others in an honoring way. Even write it down and repeat them. It's an exercise in gratitude that has the power to help you view her in new ways and build an image and identity of her that might be self-fulfilling. So write down all the things you love about your wife and begin changing and renewing your mind, and maybe hers as well.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince 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 16 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.

Finding Sexual Satisfaction in Marriage

Emotional Growth In Marriage a blog by Vince Miller

Finding Sexual Satisfaction in Marriage

“Yo, Pep, I don't think they're gonna play this on the radio. And why not? Everybody has sex. I mean, everybody should be makin' love.” —Salt-N-Pepa

 “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.” —1 Corinthians 7:3

You think about it the most, but you talk about it the least
Some conversations are hard for couples to have, and there is none more awkward for some Christian couples than having a conversation about sex. It's bizarre that this is true when we live in a culture that is saturated with sexual images, innuendos, and joking yet many couples cannot communicate well about their sexual desires in a healthy and straight-forward manner. In many cases, the result of not being able to express our wishes, especially how we would like to have sex, leads to hidden sexual frustration that creates a standoff. Often this can become complicated and challenging to overcome – or so we think. But why bury it this conversation, when sexual satisfaction may only be a discussion away? So, in the spirit of Salt-N-Pepa, "Let's talk about sex, baby."

Three things you can do to increase sexual satisfaction

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One | Sexual satisfaction matters
Now, this may seem obvious, but it's not outspoken in many marriages - we both want more and better sex. Yes, you both want it! And the pleasure that comes from it. But if you never talk about sex, then you may be missing a big part of what makes it satisfying. Sex is communication which is just as important as any communication that is oral and physical. For a woman, an emotional connection may be an aphrodisiac (although I believe this is a generalization). For a man, visual or verbal stimulation might be a powerful turn-on, (although I also think this is a generalization). In the end, regardless of what stimulates a man or a woman, I believe both want the same thing - deeper communication and intimacy - yet we both go about it a little differently. And it's our responsibility to understand this subtlety and be courageous enough to provide sexual talk in a way that serves our spouse's intimacy needs. Dr. Marcus Bachmann, the president of Counseling Care a faith-based counseling practice in Minnesota says, "Sex is about giving not taking" and of course we need to be better at giving, not just having. And for goodness sakes, we need to have some sexual fun.

Furthermore, when sexual satisfaction is lacking, it breeds a "communication resentment" which can lead to emotional distance, frustration, and anger. As that resentment grows, you are in danger of growing apart, which is why sexless marriages are not honoring to God. Dr. Bachmann said to me in a recent interview, “A sexless marriage is not God's idea. God created sex.” While the sexual aspect of marriage may need to be discussed and negotiated so that it's enjoyable for both parties; long-term abstinence for a couple is unhealthy and a sign that we are avoiding required communication.

Two | Overcome the shame
Shame is one of the challenges every man must address. Shame regarding sex may result from subtle messages we embrace about sex from childhood. Or, it may be an issue we have with being vulnerable enough to admit to our spouse our sexual ignorance or needs. Men don't like to be exposed, and this type of conversation is a profoundly vulnerable discussion. We are no more vulnerable than when we are naked in bed and am secretly longing to have a new sexual experience but never broach the subject out of embarrassment, yet also knowing the conversation is what stimulates the change. When you are reluctant to discuss this issue with your spouse, it can become a shaming pattern that has the potential to hold you a prisoner. This is not shaming from God who created physical pleasure for marriage, but it is a shame from the Evil One who wants to keep you apart. As Dr. Bachmann told me, "Sexual messages should be exchanged early in the day, in the middle of the day, and at the end of the day to be celebrated." And I think we should shout yes in agreement. So maybe you need to text your wife right now.

Three | Try having a conversation
Are you ready to start the conversation? A straightforward communication tactic can enhance any hard or challenging issue that your or your spouse has - and this tactic is regular prayer. Now that may sound way too simple, but let me explain. As Christian men, we should believe that Christ is the center of our marriages. Some things are hard to talk with our spouse about, but both of us can speak to God about those things – together. And you cannot speak to God about important issues without the two of you starting to respond to the very things you are asking God for help with. So talk with God about your need for sexual satisfaction. This is one of the reasons that husbands and wives ought to have the practice of praying together daily. In a healthy relationship, anything is fair game to talk to God about. Praying for help in your physical, sexual relationship will likely lead to conversations about it which can lead to greater understanding between the two of you. Try it.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince 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 16 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.

Marriage | Foundations for a Healthy Stepfamily

Healthy Stepfamily a blog by Vince Miller

Foundations for a Healthy Stepfamily

In a stepfamily, we need to recognize this marriage and family unit came together as a result of loss usually as a result of divorce or death. It is a very different starting point than a first marriage. So how can we build a healthy foundation with this in mind?

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TRANSCRIPT:

All right guys. Hey, welcome to ManTalk. My name is Vince Miller

It's men talking, men talking. We dive into real relevant and gritty topics that a lot of times get set to the side because of buisiness fear or other obstacles. So we're in the middle of a series talking about marriage and family today. We're diving in to the tough, tough topic of step families. How do you build foundations for healthy, healthy step family or healthy blended family? I'm Vince. I know you come from a blended family. I know you've got kind of a different story. Can you give myself and some of our listeners just some insights into what that was like? Yeah. You know, I did. I grew up in a blended family situation, so, um, my mom got married, had me after a couple of years, divorced my bio dad is what I call them, and bio dad went out and got remarried again and had a couple of other kids.

Um, my half brothers, two half brothers, a mom, bio mom went out and got remarried again, divorced again. So I had a stepfather in the house, no additional children from that marriage, but she divorced and then after that she could see that this was kind of harming and hurting me like these marriages in this loss. And I would say my mom's inability to hold down a successful relationship. She was just challenged and being able to do that, she decided not to remarry. And after that really my grandfather and grandmother became kind of my parents to me. They essentially raised me throughout the teen years and because of that I was greatly impacted by this, uh, well let's call it a nontraditional family experienced growing up, all sorts of different beliefs, different experiences with an understanding of a philosophy on life and approaches to life and how to handle it.

And so I'm hearing in this blended family situation, I'm hearing all kinds of different philosophies and ways of handling things. And to be quite honest, that was sometimes confused as a child. Um, I've kinda found out that my grandparents who really essentially raised me a kind of had a great path on life. They love God and, and everything that they said, it seemed to work for me. So I, that path don't life. Yeah. So, well, I think it's such a, such a relevant topic. Yeah. I mean, well, so many of our listeners, so many of our guys, whether they're in the middle of a family like that, raising a family like that, kids, step kids, that whole dynamic, uh, or you got buddies, you know, people, you know, friends from work, friends from church, wherever they're coming from. I mean we talked a lot about the obstacles to, to marriage to a happy marriage and one of our other episodes and a lot of times it just gets hard.

Whether it's, whether it's loss or whether it's a death of a spouse. I encounter men that are having these challenges all the time. I mean, there's so many nuances, especially with a blended family situation. I mean there's so many little idiosyncrasies that are so hard for guys. I'm talking on the guy side now, but for guys to try to figure out how to handle and navigate and the positioning and the vying for control and power and children, they get caught in the middle. I mean, it's hard for guys, I think. Yeah. So is there. When we look at the Bible and we look at scripture, where do we see blended family and how can we, you know, we know we can do it in a healthy way. Where do we see that in scripture? Actually, the blended family is all over the Bible, so I'll just take one character, Moses, right?

I mean, he's like, you think about it for a second, you know, Moses born into his biological family was passed down a river because they felt like that was what God was calling him to do. He goes, you know, the emperor, the favorite at the time was putting all the babies to death. So they float them down the river. That baby makes its way into the Pharaoh's house. So the king's house is raised by that family. We would call that a step family, right? Moses grows up to discover his heritage, right. And uh, and then leaves that Emperor's Palace, which was great by the way. I mean, you could have the best life you could ever have. He leaves, he goes out to the desert, marries into another family, right, marries into another family who spends 40 years shepherding and then makes his way back to be the emperor of the free world basically, and leads a, the leads God's people Israel out of slavery into the Wilderness.

I mean, think about that, that this is a kid who grew up in a step family, a blended family situation who became kind of the leader of God's people. Right. Miraculous and incredible. So yeah, there's all kinds of examples in the Bible of families, the layers of complexity in that from one family to another family to another family. Yeah. It was like for like 40 years in his first spot, 40 years in the second spot and in 40 years in his last spot. Right. And so he had three very significant different community experiences in each one of those. Yeah. Which in some ways you when you consider that it makes him uniquely qualified to lead the family of God and a lot of ways it's interesting. We're a mess, right? That's what you're trying to say is like growing up in a messy situation. You understand messes and you can lead through them, but yes, I would also use that illustration to powerfully teach that there's hope for a blended family.

Right? Like God has something special for a blended family and if you have one, you may have the emperor of the free world, your home right now, you never know that the emperor of the United States in here, that doesn't work. It doesn't work so much, but no, I think that. And that's something that and his team really talk about the complexity that's involved in step family. So he says in step families, we need to recognize that this unit came together as a result of loss. Whether it's by divorce or death. It's very different starting point than a first marriage. We see that in the life of Moses talks to me a little bit about some of those complexities that you experienced. Yeah, so I'll talk a little bit from my viewpoint as a child growing up in a blended family, I'd say that there's, there's kind of some basic struggles I would say in a blended family system, right?

So one of those struggles is clearly loyalties, like how can you continue to be loyal to Christ, right, and loyal to your current family system and your previous family system and also the children that are caught in the middle of that whole thing like that, that is pretty complex. Uh, I think people that have stepped family experiences or blended family experiences are struggling with that all the time. It's Kinda like almost positioning and, and trying to figure out how do I position myself to do what is most honoring to Christ and it becomes very difficult to understand what those decisions will look like day to day. And you probably have friends that have been divorced before and they struggle with that or maybe they, they lost a family member so they're remarried. So all those things get a, become a big hairball for people. My hair ball of loyalty that isn't easy to untangle for them.

I also believe that a development stages of our children play into that too, so when children are younger, there's a certain development process that they're going through there. They may not understand what's happening and then they have moments as they get older, say 12 or 13, where they start to recognize that we had our family is a little bit different and my mom sometimes plays against my, my dad and, and why is that? Yet I have this, these two blended families now that I'm trying to understand how development developmentally I engage with them. I think that's another struggle. And then also I think just relationships in authority are a big part of it. It's not just loyalty to people, but it's how, how do I report to this person or that person or how do I relate to a stepchild or how does a stepchild relate to a parent or a step parent?

Or how do I relate as a new spouse to my husband's ex spouse, crm getting. I mean, there's so many, uh, so many fragmented pieces here. Goodness. I mean, it's you, your thoughts on why it is, is I can't even, I can't even describe it all right now. It's too hard to describe, but there's a lot of things going on. I think that's the great part about counseling care and Marcus is especially that authority piece that you touched on, you touched on, especially when you're unwinding that hairball of complexity to be able to do that in the context of authority. Yeah. Christian perspective, what counseling care and their team bring is that authority obviously that loyalty to Christ first. I mean that's got to be just an anchor in terms of unwinding that we and we need someone outside of us to help us to understand those things, right?

I think that's the great part about, um, counseling care and places like that that you can go and you can get maybe in another perspective on the situation that you're in because you and your new spouse are going to look at things in a particular way and sometimes you need another viewpoint to help you understand how to, how to navigate these complexities. They are not easy and sometimes they, they create so much frustration for everybody, right. You know, where am I going today and when am I getting picked up? I can't tell you how many of these families is blended families have this Gantt sheet for how they relate to each other. I mean seriously, like, that's hard. It's draining, it's exhausting. I get it, but sometimes you need an external perspective, right? To offer you wisdom from a biblical standpoint and I think that's what sometimes the counselor will do in these situations.

So if we've got a guy out there right now, smack in the middle of that, whether as a result of loss or divorce or whatever it is, or they've got a buddy walk in through that thing, what are some of those, those first steps that you can take just to have the right approach to navigating this? Yeah. Well, I'll give you a couple of just like simple quick ones. These are super pragmatic too, but I think one of them has to be. You have to allow time, right? Family systems don't just happen overnight. Suddenly. I mean, a marriage happens overnight, ceremony happens overnight, but I'm the blending of two families coming together with all these little nuances. It's gonna take time. It's going to take a lot of times, some people will reject the idea of it. I remember when my mom got married the second time I rejected the idea of having a new father.

I just did know I was young until I understood that I wasn't going to accept the fact that this new guy was living in the house. I just didn't. So we have to allow time for those things to kind of take place for relationships to be built. Uh, like we'd keep describing this hairball that's part of the hairball. It just doesn't pull out. You just don't pull one string and it all come undone. It just doesn't work that way. It's, yeah. Ouch. And that'd be very painful. But we wish we could handle it that way, but that's not the way it happens because everybody processes things differently and families blend together over time. Uniquely. I also think that it's really important, and this will be a second thing. It's really important for adults to act like adults. What a novel idea. It is a novel idea, but it's very challenging in a blended family situation.

Right? Because what's going to happen is you as an adult with a child are going to want to when your child over by becoming a child, adults do this man, right? We do this with my own kids. Yeah. Right, exactly. But sometimes in a blended family situation, we're doing it to win our childhood away from our ex spouse. Right? Right. And that's not fair. Right? So we got to be adults. We also have to be adults when we're engaging in dialogue with our new spouse, for example, and we don't want to engage them in a talk toward our ex spouse. That isn't good either. So that's another place where we have to be an adult and other places where we have to be an adult is actually engaging in our with our ex spouse in a Christian way, for example. And that's when they be even harder because we probably had some blistering points of disagreement with them.

Right. But we can. We can really. We can find it easy to kind of play these psychological games with them. Yeah, right. Um, and be kind of passive aggressive with like about where we drop them off or how we do it or the things that we stay or how we poke at them in a phone call or an email or that even the things that we say to our children about them. Right. I, I was, I was a victim of all those things with my parents and they were very painful and hard for me as a child. Um, I think another thing is to remember the law. This will be the third thing, a law, the law of primary parent. I think this is so important. Explain that. So, um, I think a child for example, is always going to look at their biological parents regardless of who they're married to as their primary parents.

And we can't come between that, um, you know, regardless of how old or how young they are, they're always going to look at their biological parent has their biological parent. I think that's why, um, you know, like adoption agencies for instance, allow kids the right to eventually meet their biological parents because at some point they want to know them even if it's just a meeting or they want to casually meet with them and that law primary parent never goes away for that child. So we have to embrace that. We can never forget that a step parent will always just be a step parent. Now you may take the place of mom to them or dad to them, don't get me wrong, but they will always have a primary parent and it's who they're genetically related to. And then lastly, I think, and this is important, I, I, I'm saying this on behalf of my own self as a child of divorced multiple times, but children are always caught the middle.

We have to remember that that support piece, and I think we need to not make life harder on them. We need to figure out a way to make it easier on our children for their sake. And they always feel caught in the middle. They, they don't want to be drawn to one loyalty over another. They are caught in the middle between everything, uh, whether it's an argument between you and your ex spouse or an argument between you and your current spouse or relationships with other kids, they're always caught in the middle and, and we have to keep that in mind and be sensitive. So those are, those will be a few points that I think would be very important in a blended family situation. Those aspects, I mean the first one that jumps to my mind is honor you in everything you do. Really honoring relationships.

Yeah. Current spouse, ex, spouse, children, stepchildren. Just trying as best you can to kind of build a culture of honor. Is, is really an important first step in kind of a think. I think what you're saying tyler is super valid at this moment because you really think about it like, you know, Moses raised by three different families, never got away from his heritage. It was actually his heritage that brought him home. Right? And, and we, we need to remember that like people, that, that kind of DNA never goes away for children or families and there's something incredible that happens when we allow God to kind of work amidst an awful situation, whether it be death or divorce, it doesn't really matter. God can continue to work through that. And I think that's what blended families need to hear. There's hope in every situation and there's good that can come about it in spite of the loss that we've experienced.

And I think that would be great for men and women to hear today regarding this kind of blended family. Yeah, episode one. I think that's so good and I think that's really a great message. A great challenge to all of our guys out there is, is honoring relationships, honoring people. We talked about authority early, keeping that authority and context that our authority is Christ and we are called whatever the situation might be as helpful, unhelpful, broken, whatever it could be. Stepping into that place with our authority, clear and really honoring the relationships. I think that's huge. That's huge. That's awesome. Well guys, thank you so much for joining us once again, if you need any help, any resources to navigate some of these challenges that we're dealing with, gotta, reach out to the guys at counseling care. Again, you can hear, uh, you can find a lot of those resources on be resolute.org/family links, pdfs, things like that, grateful for counseling care and their support of this series. After that, we'll see you guys next time on Montauk.

Marriage | Obstacles to a Happy Marriage

A Way of Life a daily devotional by Vince Miller

Obstacles to a Happy Marriage

Instead of marriage being a blessing it can all too easily become a curse. Discover the obstacles men face on their way to discovering a peaceful and happy marriage and how to overcome them.

MAN TALK VIDEOCAST:

MAN TALK AUDIO PODCAST:

TRANSCRIPT:

All right guys. Hey, welcome to ManTalk. My name is Vince Miller were good.

Thanks so much, man. Talk is exactly what it sounds like. Talking, talking. Got It. We dive into some really relevant and gritty topics that a lot of times are set to the side because of business fear or other obstacles, so we're happy that you're with us today. We're excited to be jumping into a series on marriage and family. A special thanks to counseling care as our sponsors. Vince, we got some sponsors and yeah,

yeah, no, this is getting exciting. Marcus Bachmann was so generous to sponsor us for a month here for episodes. Great stuff.

Their teams great to like. It's going to be I think throughout this entire series. We're gonna. It's gonna be a great resource. Marcus has some sound bites and little things for us to be able to bring some insights to the table on, so I'm excited. Yeah, they got great counselors over there too, so be resolute. Dot Org slash family. If any, any time throughout this series. You need some resources. We got some great stuff from Vince on there. Some great stuff from Marcus and his team, so be resolute.org/family. Yeah. You ready to dive in? And I am man. Sweet man. So we're here obviously founder, Vince Miller. I'm going to pick his brain today. We're going to dive deep into marriage. It was like I got an intro question for you. I want to know the story. So either first sight or first fight. So okay. First Time you laid eyes on your wife and it was sparks and fireworks, whatever it is, or first fight and the first time their barks. But that's because a frying pan

flying over your head. What if they were both the same moment? It was the first site and the first fight. So that's how we met actually. So I was speaking at a chapel service in college and I was putting stuff in the seats before I was about to speak and no kidding. My wife came in and saw me or not then wife, but my girl, you know from South Dakota came in and she says, why are you doing that? Why don't you just hand them out at the door. And I was like, who are you, you stupid freshman. And I thought to myself, man, she's cute at the same time. So no joke. That's how we met. And uh, man, it's been blessed ever since she's been doing that ever since. Oh, that's so good. Actually, that's metaphorical little. Okay, good. Good, good.

Aw Man. No, I think that's so good. It's funny, the first time I ever met my wife. So same thing. We're in college, we're transitioning. I was part of a residence life staff or this freshman dorm. She was part of the new staff coming in and we did this thing where guys would kidnap the guys for the next round of resident assistants. The girls would kidnap the girls and we'd get them out of bed. Four am in the morning and take them to Perkins, Kinda show them the ropes and stuff. So literally my first sight of my wife is 4:00 AM. Her getting out of bed, no makeup, hair all over the place. It was a thing of beauty, man. Just a raw, unfiltered, a woman. It was amazing. Those are great. And you still fell in love? Yeah, we didn't get in a fight. They're either the first fight that, that was over ping pong, cover that later. Um, I think that's so good though. And I asked that question for a specific reason because I think so much

bridge is the site, so it's setting a vision and the other side is conflict resolution. That fighting aspect of it. So much of, at least my marriage life comes down to what's the vision for our family. Um, and how are we resolving conflict throughout that journey together. So I wanna I wanna kind of start on this side of things because I think we'll spend a lot of time talking about the conflict resolution, the different obstacles that come in into a happy marriage. But give me your perspective on the vision of marriage. What's the purpose of marriage, whether it's going back to the creation story, Adam, Adam, and eve, but set a context for our guys on a vision or a purpose for marriage. I think marriage is very important. It's a reflection of the image of God. Of course, there's oneness, right? That coming together and I think that represents God and some beautiful ways.

I think when we find one or when we engage in that covenant and commitment of marriage, we are experiencing a little piece of heaven. In fact, Jesus shared some profound illustrations in the New Testament about our entry into heaven and he described it as a marriage. That's how he described it. He said that there's going to be this coming together of husbandry and wife, right in a moment where we are committed to one another and there's going to be this procession into heaven. When we finally come to oneness with our bride, who is Christ. I just. I think the beauty of that imagery is very important and we take it for granted sometimes. So yeah, that, that oneness, that connection aspect of marriage. Yeah. It's just so huge. I was talking to my wife recently, she's gonna be speaking at for a bunch of moms this Wednesday and she's talking about the aspect or the, you know, the piece of being seen and seen mothers and there's nothing like a marriage that does that.

There's no other relationship that has that aspect of you see me, you know me, all the good and all the bad, but there's that commitment. Just that foundation of trust and commitment behind the entire thing that I think is so huge, but the creating connection piece, I mean that's one of the biggest obstacles, don't you think? No, I think that that's probably the greatest obstacle I think for men on their side of marriage is understanding how to emotionally connect with their wife. I think it's because we get so busy in our day, there are so many things going on that we go out and we do things and then we come home and then failed to deeply emotionally connect and I think guys run into that all the time and then struggle to find that emotional connection between them and their wife and their wife with them and I think we both want the same things.

We're just unsure of how to build that oneness right inside of this commitment or covenant of marriage which we make for a lifetime. We struggled to figure out how to do that together because there's not really just a very simple process for each person on how those worlds conjoined, right? How they come together. Everybody is wired a little bit differently, comes from different family systems, learns to do things in different ways, and these two worlds can come together and that oneness often is hard and so hard. Sometimes men don't do the hard work of actually engaging in that emotional one though.

Yeah, well, it's almost like when you come together, husband and wife, you got two different languages. You, you, you're talking about how you're coming from these backgrounds, families, schools, whatever it is you. You've led this up until this point, a life that has been built around a certain language, a certain primary language. Then all sudden you're coming in, you're learning to speak that other language and sometimes you're having to translate. Sometimes you're having to speak a little more clearly, a little more precisely and everything like that, but that's the whole process of, of connection and this journey together of making a connection and as you said, that's. That's one of the goals that Jesus has for us, not just in marriage, but throughout our life. He wants us to experience oneness as the body.

He does, and you know, there's this book that was written I think a couple of decades ago now called men are from Mars. Women are from Venus, which I think is a good way to kind of explain that were very different creatures, right? We have different ways of thinking about things. We have different ways of communicating and we struggle to find a common language and women communicate very differently than men do. And uh, although we can go into a lot of differences there, I think the challenge is finding mutual ways that we can truly emotionally connect to not evade the emotional connection. And guys, I think more often than not are a struggle in marriage just simply because they don't, they're not in touch with their own feelings to be quite honest. I think this is predominantly a male issue, and I'm not saying all of the marriages, but I think this is the male side of marriage, is that we fail to develop healthy emotional connections with our spouse, nor are we in touch with our emotions because we're actually scared of them.

We think that it's not masculine to get in touch with our emotions. When I would say that's probably the most masculine thing we could ever do, is to really get in touch with them and understand how to lead them and guide them and find a way to mutually share with our wife, my wife. When we come home. We have to remember when you go to work every day, we're conquering it there. We understand it. We get to move things around, manipulate things, work on processes, and they're very. They can be very nonemotional at times, but then when you come home you got to do this hard work and like trying to figure out where is my wife at right now? What are my kids do it? How do I emotionally connect to them? We what we want to do is unplug. We use that language, that is the wrong language to use at that moment.

We are now in the most caring environment we could ever be in. We got a plugin is what we gotta do and kind of understand what's going on in our hearts and like uncover it and get comfortable with it and yeah, guys, it's okay to cry once in a while, right? It's okay to be confused and we hate to say that. We love to laugh and poke fun and gesture, but there's other work that we've got to do. We've got to figure out how to emotionally care with the people that God has put us within our life and that means that we've got to get in touch with ourselves and so when we're frustrated, we say we're frustrated. When we're angry, we say we're angry, we're sad. We say we're sad and we get in touch with those feelings and find a way to create mutual connection. And when our wife is sad or angry or frustrated, we figured out ways to connect with her and that's what builds oneness, I believe in May. Right.

Well, that's so good. I think about, I was sitting with a group of guys recently and we were talking about that dynamic between like your work life and your family life, right? And so much of family life, so much of marriage seems like it's long term investments that in a lot of ways they don't. You're not recognized or rewarded for it right away. Whereas you go to work and you can see how hey, if I spend an extra five to 10 hours in the office this week are doing this, I'm going to see tangible results quickly. But so much of that same, uh, that same principle, that same focus applied to marriage or family is really about a long term investment. And I love how you said, um, and I think we're going to get to the, what does the Bible say about this? Because that's really what Marcus says. Marcus Bachmann from counseling care says a lack of biblical knowledge about marriage leads to difficulty. God's word instructs both husbands and wives about how to best love each other. It's learning that language and expressing that maybe in a way that we're not used to. So getting in touch with our emotions for the purpose of connection. What do you see in God's word specifically directed towards guys that call that out of us, that instructs us how to build, connect?

Well, you know, I think there's, there's probably crushed some Christian guys listening to this podcast, and of course they were drawn to Jesus the bride because they were allowed the freedom to deeply emotionally connect with him in a moment that they needed like forgiveness or grace or love or mercy, right? We probably all who are Christians can't connect to that moment that we discovered the grace of Jesus Christ in spite of our sin. That emotional connection is so powerful. It now you probably find a moment or reflect on a relationship that was impactful to you that led you to that what we call a, a, a, um, a decision for Christ. But it was a deep emotional, spiritual connection that is us connecting to the bride of Christ. But we're also trying to connect with our bride, right? And I would say the Bible teaches us that we need that connection and that oneness that we have with Christ should also be modeled in our marriage.

It is. It is part of our image that in oneness we together are becoming a unique representation of Christ together and we've got to work that stuff out. If we avoid doing this work, if we avoid doing this work to people will drift apart gradually. If we're never sharing emotionally and we're never connecting on an emotional level, if we're always just connecting on our opinions or on facts and never taking the dialogue deeper into the things that we feel and experience, we're not really creating a deep connection, and that's really what we're looking and longing for. When Marcus Bachmann says, Hey, we're, we're looking for that biblical connection. That's what he's talking about. If you go back to kind of the early understanding of some Hebrew words and context around marriage, one of them is the word to know, right? To know, so go back to the beginning of the Bible.

Adam knew Eve, okay? We all know what that word know means that it means that we're having some sex man. That's what I'm being, are having sex, but it isn't just about sex. The Hebrew word for to know meant this holistic knowing. It meant knowing spiritually, knowing physically. Yes. Knowing emotionally, knowing intellectually. It was a whole knowing. So for Hebrews, the word to know isn't just exclusively about one thing. Sachs guys, it's about a holistic knowing. It's about completely knowing someone and I think that's what we're after biblically. So Marcus is right. The Bible has something to say about knowing our spouse and more than just a physical sense in a complete sentence. Does that help a little bit? Yeah, absolutely. It's not easy though.

No, I wish it was easy because we think it's only a physical connection, right? That's what we want to know. I never even considered that. Yes, you have. We all have and that's. That's what's wrong. My kids, my poor kids beg, they say otherwise. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. That's so good though, but

now there's that. There's the philosophy. The approach there is to know how do I do that? How do I start? I mean it's, it's a lot emotionally, spiritually, physically, intellectually, all these different places. When I go home today, how do I start it for, for all our guys out there to. Where do we in building a connection? Yeah, so I think one of the places where we can start building a connection is growing, aware ourselves of our own emotions. I think guys tend to cat, we tend to have one category of emotion and it's like anger, but anger is just a mask for all kinds of other feelings. We've got to get in touch with our own emotions and as I said, this is a very masculine thing. It is very non-masculine for us. Never to get in touch with our emotions seriously. We need to be in touch with our emotions.

Uh, you know, Daniel Goldman talked about emotional quotient or Eeq, he called it and him kind of popular, well, never heard of it. Whatever my wife would say. Exactly. You know, we all read this book, read this. It's on emotional intelligence. And really what Daniel Goldman did was genius. He basically popularizes the idea for men to get in touch with their emotions and not just men leaders, right? He took, he took this specific location out of emotions and made it a leadership muscle and all of a sudden he pulled everybody and really he's right about a lot of those things that, that it all begins with. Just kind of have this awareness of your emotions and you're not a one emotion person, right? Anger isn't your only emotion. You have to dig deeper than that and under an uncover when you are, you're sad and you feel lonely and you might be tired or you might be slightly depressed or you're frustrated or whatever you want to name those emotions.

There's basic categories of emotions. I'm sure Marcus has better categories and I just mentioned, right? And you can go to counseling here for help for sure, but we should get in touch with those things and that's why men go to counselors, not just because we have problems, but because we want to get in touch with ourself. Right? So I think it begins with becoming aware that we have emotions. I think secondly, we've got to like name and identify them. I think that's super important. We should sit back name and identify what those emotions are. I think another great step would be to like track one emotion for an entire day, like just watch it if you're feeling like sad at the beginning of the date or track that emotion and try to figure out where it's coming from or even trace it back to responses you've had in your past.

I think that's very valid for a lot of men. We have one emotion only because we have only been taught to have one emotion and why were we taught that? Is it right to only experience one or should we experience an array of them and enjoy them? I think another thing we can do is sit down with our spouse and actually talk about them. What? Yeah, exactly right. Like do something we've never done before and say, you know what? I don't feel great today and I don't know why I feel maybe a little confused or sad or I feel a miss for direction or purpose or I'm. I'm just angry and frustrated with life today. That is a great thing for your marriage because it brings your wife in on your emotional journey. Right, and I think these are all steps we can take. Becoming aware name and identify track emotions, right? Talk about them with your spouse, man. Imagine what would happen if just once a week you as a man shared one emotion you're having with your wife. Your dialogue would go from fact and opinion actually down here, deep to like things that actually matter, like how I'm feeling and watch your relationship grow together and watched the sex go up. I mean

it's not one if you weren't taking notes, you are now, right? Like, watch their emotions more sex maybe. Yeah, maybe. Sometimes that is true. Sometimes it drives women away. It's like too much, like good. Who is this guy? He's all messed up but you know, I would say, you

know, it's definitely gonna help the process because remember we're just not a one category Kinda Guy, right? To know doesn't just mean physical connection. We're talking about the emotional connection and I think if we can figure out how to better emotionally connect to our wife, we'll figure out how to better emotionally connect to all kinds of things like our career, people at work, neighbors, family, etc. Etc. I think that's so good. I can already picture in my mind and see how good my wife is at doing that at saying I'm feeling this and then just starting to unpack it. I mean she's. She's great at It. I struggle at it and I think it's so. It would be so easy to just say, guys, get in touch with your emotions, but I think what you did in terms of identifying it, label it, track it. I mean I think that's a huge part of the challenge.

I think that's something that we can all take away today this week and it's something that all our guys can take with us. So, guys, I think that's really the challenge is getting in touch with your emotions, but do it in a very specific way. The same way you track goals and progress In any other place of your life. Get in touch with your emotions and start to track the items where they're going, where they're resting, where they're sitting. I mean, where you're not finding and understanding your emotions. I think that's so, so good. And like you said, that leads to connection, right? There are so many guys always and you know, I'm not great at this either. You know, I didn't have great examples growing up. I didn't witness healthy marriages, you know, my mom was married, divorced multiple times and, and because of that I never witnessed what it looked like to in a, in a healthy emotional way.

Connects the connection there. So we all have to learn it, you know, and my wife will tell you, I'm still struggling with it, but I'm getting better step by step and we can just take steps in that direction here. I haven't been married 22 years and I'm still learning how to emotionally connect for years. I just gave her the Heisman. Right? Thinking that was the right thing to do. It's none of your business. Stay out. I'm scared to share with you. I don't want to this. Yeah. I don't want to burden you, we, we give them the Heisman on these issues and we and we shouldn't, we shouldn't, they want to draw closer to us and I have found the closer we draw together, the more benefits there are not just physically for a marriage, but just for our oneness and what it looks like to be married to that bride of Christ. Yeah.

So good. Well thanks so much bands. I think that's good insights guys. That's really our challenge for this week is you know, not only for our entire marriage, how do we create connection, but I think really for this week, step in and start to own some of those emotions, you know, not just getting in touch with your emotions, but growing your marriage, eeq, growing your relational you with your wife man, still thankful for just some of the resources that counseling care brought to us. Again, for any resources that you guys need to help you along this journey of doing that, go to be resolute.org/famIly. So guys, thanks for joining us on man's sock. Go out and get connected. Get in touch with your emotions today. Grow your sounds weird, saying it that way. Don't get in touch with your emotions to yourself some time now, but grow your emotional intelligence within your relationships. Guys, thanks for jumping in for another episode of montauk. We'll see you next time. Yeah.

The Discipline of Continuous Improvement And Growth

Improvement a blog by Vince Miller

The Discipline of Continuous Improvement And Growth

"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over." Richard Branson

"Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." Proverbs 1:5

There is a need for leaders in our fast-paced world.
Leaders must have a disposition for disciplined growth in today's business world or suffer the fate of professional suicide. Many jobs and job levels that we once considered to be permanent occupations in the business world are now changing faster due to technological innovation and globalization and driving organizations toward flatter and leaner models. Soft skills in the areas of cultural intelligence and emotional intelligence, unheard of not too long ago, are now considered critical leadership skills. The pace of networking and marketing in a web-driven social media environment are driving the speed up and offering connections to people worldwide. And with this challenge comes change to how leadership is being accomplished - at lightning speed nonetheless. As John Kotter has said, "As the pace of change accelerates, there is naturally a greater need for effective leadership.” And the way we address it is through our improvement and growth.

Three principles of continuous improvement for the leader.

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Principle One | Aim for there.
Think about this: What got you to here, only got you to here - it won't get you there. Every new level of leadership has its own set of challenges that require a new mindset and thus a new set of skills. As we face these challenges, we should welcome the opportunity to develop new paradigms that will accelerate our leadership. It used to be that a leader would gain certification in a single field, and leverage that degree or certification for a lifetime. But in today's world, a person with a broad set of work experiences, many certifications, and numerous cultural experiences has the upper hand. It's a queue for developing organizations that you have a drive for continuous learning and advancement. Companies and their leaders today know that the way business is being done is changing and with this comes needed knowledge in new areas, some roles might have unique and new titles. Being committed to continuous learning has the power to take you there - that new place others are looking to go.

Principle Two | Find mentors.
Mentors, not a single mentor, is another way to drive for continuous improvement. No one person can mentor us in all areas. I have mentors I lean on for financial advice, spiritual advice, fitness advice, sales advice, personal advice, family advice, strategic advice, and kid advice. You name it, and you can find a mentor. But you may have to draw it out of them; they will not think of themselves as a mentor. They will be people who do things you want to do when you don't know how and may accomplish great feats effortlessly. Multiple mentor relationships with people who are a step or two ahead of you can help you learn things that you want and need to learn faster than any book you will ever read. They can also help us understand how one's work values need to change when one goes from one level of responsibility to another. These are things we would not naturally know as we had not been there before. So when initiating a relationship with a mentor be very specific as to what you desire to gain from the time together and be willing to read or participate in learning experiences that they recommend.

Principle Three | Read and ask questions.
Ask your mentors or those you respect what books, articles or journals they would recommend to you. Well-chosen books are far more critical than the number of books you read, although attempting to read at least one book per month is a good one. It is said that Bill Gates reads about 50 books each year, and many great leaders have followed his lead on this. Also, strike up conversations with as many people as you can. And not just senior level leaders or those you want to mentor you, but those who have hands-on and meaningful work in specific areas. Peter Drucker would spend up to an hour every morning talking to line managers in various industries to find out what was happening. He had a range of knowledge that was phenomenal from a conversation he had with people "down the line."

The bottom line is that leaders are learners - continuously and aggressively. The best leaders focus on growing holistically including in their spiritual, emotional, relational, cultural and work-related skills. The more we develop, the more we have to offer and the more valuable we are to the organizations we serve.

Vince Speaking 9

Vince 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 16 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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