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Brotherhood | You Can't Do Life Alone

I believe men prefer to do life alone because in isolation we feel we can do whatever we want. Now while this is an option, it's not the best option. We need brothers in our life. We are even commanded by God to be in brotherhood. Add to this that even the Triune God lived in a community. Father, Son, and Spirit. And inevitably we will encounter a moment in life we need wisdom, encouragement, and accountability and the resources we seek are only found in a community. And by the way, autonomy is of the devil.

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Hey guys, welcome to ManTalk. I'm Vince Miller, your founder, and has got to be with you. Again, I hope you are picking up your copy of 30 virtues that build a man. I'd love to put one of these books in your hand. You can get it right from the website. It'd be resolute.org forward slash 30. That's t h i r t y. pick up one for just you. Maybe a group of men at your church, group of men that you lead. You can pick it up for guys in your business. It'd be great for your son. Maybe for someone you want to mentor or someone else that needs to be mentored today. We're in the lesson entitled Brotherhood on page 52, so you want to turn your books there. If you're with me and you want to follow along today, I'm joined by Tyler van Epps.

Thanks for being with us, man. Glad to be here. Yeah, great. How's life going? Good, bad, good. Anything adventurous? Slightly adventurous. Let's see. Well, we had a five year old birthday party at urban air jump park park astronaut. That is. Did you sweat like crazy sweat like crazy? I was looking at my activity band and doubled up my most active day over the past two weeks, man, but around with a bunch of five year olds. That sounds like a lot of fun. You know, my kids are older now, but there's a lot of guys out there I'm sure that have kids your age. All your kids are under what age? Five and under five and under. You're about to have another child. Oh my gosh. Are you nuts? Psychotic. You're going to be broke some days. I'm just going to learn to know urban air adventure park. Just pretty soon you're going to silver. All these cool little tactics to help you get free time. I'm going to give you a couple right now, just so you know. It's so first thing. Yeah. You may want to write a couple of these things down because your wife's going to love you. Okay. I have done this multiple times, but do not tell the pastor of your church. I have literally come to church, drop my kids off, and then gone out to eat breakfast with my wife. Seriously. You totally should do that.

It's totally great when the kid's ministry is huge and there's no one to church. Don't tell Jeff Song your church. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Just drop them off and then quit. Go get breakfast. It's a great time to get away. I've got a question about that. What's the minimum age of the oldest before I'm able to do that? Uh, did it as soon as our kids were born. They got these like phone, text messages they can send you now. I think so if you're out at a restaurant 10 minutes away, you can still get back to the crying baby. I mean, they're just going to have to be patient. There's, I promise you there's a children's director listening to this. Just totally just agitating. Favorite. That's right. So there's a little tactic for you anyway. So we're in the topic on brotherhood, not on baby making and baby tips. Maybe tips for men. Yeah. So a man, you know, I love the topic of brotherhood. I think it's something that men need to be building their life, but come on, let's just be frank with each other. Men Don't have brotherhood built into the room.

Why? Why do you think it's my fault? It's your fault.

All his fault guys. Yeah. He blew it and Sally's fault. Why did, why do you think though? I mean, I mean, you. There's probably been periods of your life. You've had no brother in your life, right? Seriously. Why?

Yeah. Well, and a soon to be four kids. Five and under a, I've noticed that's been really, really tough since starting to have kids and I think part of it's just pace buisiness I'm like, I'm working and then I'm at home and 100 percent engaged with kids. Um, so I have to be a lot more intentional about it. So I think that's one of the challenges. I don't think guys are as relationally intentional, um, as our, as our lovely counterparts tend to be, um, maybe not as relationally driven. Uh, I think we're selfish in a lot of ways. I think a lot of it comes back to we want to, we want to do our best to arrange our world to meet our needs and so much of brotherhood is definitely give and take. What are you investing into those relationships, knowing that you're going to see a return from that. So yeah, all of the above pride, selfishness, Pace.

Yeah. That's really good. In fact, you know, I used to be a chaplain for a football team in the south, Tcu football and, and one of the things that I realized about being a part of an experience like that at a division one level with football is there was a lot of brotherhood there. It's really interesting to watch a, a team of 110 men and all the support staff and people like me kind of build a brotherhood with these guys. You're, you're living with them. You're in their face constantly. You're eating with them, you're working out with them, you're talking with them through challenges in life. There's just a lot of time spent together. Right? Um, actually I thought, I thought it was a unique expression of the church that I wish the church had. You know, what I'm talking about. In fact, I told them many times, I think that there are parts of your world that are more like what many people wish the church was like today, right?

Like experiencing community at a whole nother level, man at a whole nother level, um, where you're accomplishing something together, but you're really living, eating, working, moving, having fun, being adventurous together. Right. It accomplished. And so, and I love it, but you know, I think one of the big challenges for men is a lot of the things that you've already said, which is beautiful and very articulate, W and very natural. But I also think that just add one little thing to it. It's the changes we experienced in your life. You alluded to it already, but you go, look, I'm about to have a fourth kid that has a lot of kids, man. Right? And all under five, maybe under six, right? I mean, you, you don't barely have time to sleep, bro. Right? Like much less like go out and hang out with some other brother, right?

Or, and I think these, these changes in these phases in life, they challenge it each and every turn and men meant we're, we're more relational. We give them, we give on, we're just not as intentional as women are in resolving that relationship along the way. So like when, when I'm younger, I have a lot of time, but I'm pretty selfish with my time and then I enter this phase of career and then career starts to consume me and then I don't take time for brother and then I got married and my wife becomes a focus on my time and then I started having kids and kids become the focus of my time and then I'm building a career to try to pay for all the things that I've now built up as write a paper. All the kids and the wife and the stuff in the house and all those things consume me.

Keep me from the Brotherhood that is so desperately needed in my life. And, and I know that men need Brotherhood because I've seen it tragically. I will tell you that when I meet someone whose life is falling apart, right, most of the time they have straight arm themselves, heisman themselves from brotherhood and they're coming to me to share about their problems because I may be the only Bible person that they know they have a relationship with, but at that point it's almost like it's gone too far. Right? So we almost alienated ourselves from, from this brotherhood. Uh, why do you think guys are afraid of brotherhood? Tyler? Why do you think they're afraid of it? What intimidates him about it to actually make it a priority?

Yeah, that's a good question.

And you may not know the answer to it, right? Like, it's okay to not know the answer to it because I think men are perplexed by this one, but just take a guess. Why do you think, why do you think men are afraid of brotherhood? What are they scared about in that relationship?

Yeah. Um, I think a lot of times intimacy. Um, I, I was just, I was having this conversation with someone recently and it was a intimacy with God was easy for them to understand intimacy with wife, with family that was easy for them to understand. Intimacy with other men was a, a hard, hard thing for them to wrap their minds around it. Right.

That's a weird word to even with guys like let's be intimate.

Yes.

Yeah. Hold on a second. What do you mean by that? You know, right.

I think, uh, and as we started talking about, that's exactly what we kind of landed on was how the word just feels weird. We've, we talk about intimacy in a different context. And I think what we, what we really started to land on was closeness and proximity that ends up changing just the way we feel, the way we think, the way we act, behave, all this kind of stuff. And I think that's, a lot of times the most intimidating thing is I know brotherhood, a Godly Brotherhood is going to change me. I know it's going to change the way I think. I know what's going to change the way I feel, change the way I act a lot. A lot of times I don't want to. A lot of times comfort. We'll keep you in a certain place when brotherhoods going to bring you out of that. Yeah,

so you think that some of it could be a failure to really understand what true Brotherhood looks like. So the intimacy word, let's willing to stray away from using that anymore and this God takes. But this there is something to a certain kind of male intimacy. That's pretty powerful. I mean, when I Read David and Jonathan, I mean it is remarkable. It says at one point and his text in the text of his life that I'm gonna probably screwed this one up, but I'm going to get clothes that David's love of for Jonathan was beyond that of a woman and I don't believe that that was sexual in any way. I just believe that there was such a strong human connection between the two, that there was a deep kindred spirit that was indescribable. Right? And he's not talking about sexual intimacy here. He's talking about a type of knowing between two men.

It was very, very powerful that watched out for each other, provided for each other, looked after one another and it was just powerful and we're kind of scared. I think that's one aspect of it. We're scared of what that intimacy might look like. Right? A number two. I don't think we've ever had that kind of an intimacy. I mean let's think about our relationship with our fathers, right? Like, and I hate to go all psychological and psycho babble on you. Right? But I mean like my relationship with my father was a, was it wasn't all that great, you know, and I think a lot of men's relationship with their father isn't all that great either. And because of that we don't know how to develop that true intimacy with, with another man and we're kind of scared about it. Like what does it look like?

Especially our teenagers. Like I got a couple of teenage boys is to live in my house. One 17, one slash 14 there. Actually both asleep right now because that's what you do at 11 in the morning. And during the summer, you don't have to yell that, but um, I think what's so interesting about boys during those teenage years is they're trying to understand what does it look like for me to be intimate with my father. They start to break away and they start to reconnect in that reconnection is really interesting when they start to hit 17, 18, 19, you know, as I experienced with my daughter, but we don't know exactly how to do it and how to navigate it and haven't seen great examples of it. I didn't have a great example for my father. And so, you know, me trying to kind of teach these patterns and show them what that looks like and how we do that is, is sometimes hard and difficult.

So not only do we not have healthy relationships or no one intimacy is we've, we don't have good examples and I think we're really coming. Were kind of scared of it. So sometimes we're not sure if we had chemistry like you and I have chemistry right now, right? We're having. But what we want to have chemistry with that other person. Right? So we're kind of become over selective, like I don't want to spend time with him. This is a, you know, he's, he's a little socially awkward for me and he's not at my place in life and, but then every once in a while we see some, we want to be like, we would love to spend time with them, but then we don't go and ask them. Right. We don't invite them into our life. We don't build that bond of brotherhood. So there's all kinds of things going on. I don't get it. I, I wish we were better at it. Like how have you built brotherhood and your life? What have you done to overcome some of these obstacles? Tyler is, there's some tactic, some little

tip. Yeah. I think for me, I've, I've recognized for a long time how valuable and just how important it's been in my life. And so I think I've made the mistake a lot of times of, Hey, I'm gonna try and vet this relationship at the, you know, the first date type of thing where I'm going to really, really see if this person's gonna have my back type of thing. And so sometimes just rush and be like, oh, this person's not in. So for me, I think I've settled into a, a good pattern of just understanding stories. Just tell me your story, like what's, hey, over the last three years, what have you been doing? What do you like, what do you enjoy? Things like that. I'm much more casual approach than, uh, than that. Uh, for me it's always been, how do I get to that next level after, you know, going to a ballgame, going to a brewery, coffee shop, something like that, hanging out, um, how do we get to that next step? And, and for me that's been prayer. Hey man, you got something I can pray for you over the next couple of weeks or something before we meet again. Keep Ray for this. For me, a prayer is actually been a big part of just kinda how I pivot a relationship in my life with a within them.

Yeah. I've found that. I think you're saying look, there's a definitive process to these things. It's kind of like, I don't want to use the word first date when kind of getting to go and getting to know a good a new guy, but I would say it would be something like sitting down with someone and having coffee, getting to know them, kind of seeing if the chemistry's right because there has to be some form of chemistry between the two of you or if it's a group of guys or a couple of guys that you have in your life, but you kind of. You're building some sort of chemistry and kind of seeing are we gonna kind of fit together in some form of formal spiritual mentorship relationship and then it's like, you know, coffee, grab a brew, whatever it is, and then take it to the next level which is, hey, I'm going to be vulnerable with you a little bit.

I kind of need help in this area. Can we talk about this specific issue or thing and inviting them into that and then taking the next step and then just kind of saying, oh, can we make this more routine? Uh, I think that's where great brotherhood is. I also think you could build it or start to build it around some skill you want to develop in life. For example, like, look, I want to be a better salesperson. I want to be a better leader. I want to be a better father. I want to be a better husband. You can choose one of those arenas of life or those affinity groups is what I call them and say, I'm gonna. Invite you into this affinity conversation. Right? Is, is a great way to kind of start at two and kind of launch into it. But you still start with the chemistry thing.

You always start with the chemistry team because if he ain't got that, you're never gonna have it. And I think the other thing is you don't really have to be in Brotherhood for forever, right? We don't have to be in one relationship for eternity. Jesus wasn't in one relationship for eternity. He was with his guys his 12 for 22 months. It was, it, it wasn't eternity. It's not signing a contract that says for the rest of my life, I have to set with his awful person who I'm going to gain a little bit of truth from, but I'm not going to gain everything because there is a limit to how much wisdom we can pass onto one person. Right? Uh, but there is deeper learning that can happen by being with people longterm too. I think that's true. So anyway, that's, that's kind of some of the things I was thinking about, especially as you think about the book of John Today as we read in our text from John Seventeen.

It's Kinda cool. Jesus is praying and he, as he's praying and he's closing off his relationship with his guys, he's, he's praying for oneness. And what's interesting that Jesus prays for his. He says, I want my brothers to be one as we are one. And Jesus models oneness in brotherhood. He's like, as I am one with the father. So may they be one with each other and Jesus is commanding us into brotherhood. He's like, look, you can do life without this. I'm modeling it between me and my father and you guys need to model it to each other. So I think that's just incredible.

Yeah. So I dunno, that's awesome question for you. Yeah, sure. So how do you jump from groups of men to like building Kinda that, uh, a brotherhood? So you got that guy that you go to type of thing. I think I've experienced that with a lot of guys were we'll hop from group to group barbecue to barbecue, ballgame to ballgame. How do you take that first step in building a relationship that's going to have more vulnerability in it?

Yeah, I think that's great because, you know, I think think a lot of men start with kind of the educational approach to building a relationship. Like I want to learn something from you. You have a skill I want to, I want to develop in my own life, I'm going to learn new. We take a position of a student which is purely educational at some point. Like for example, maybe I want to send it under neath you because you're a great salesperson, for example, and I want to learn sales skill, but I want to learn the way that you do it, right? It's Kinda like in New Testament Times you kind of had this rabbi student relationship, right? It's purely educational, but I also believe that there's another step where it becomes transformational. It's not just educational, it's transformational where you're kind of going, hmm, wow, uh, I really not only want to know how you do things, but I want to know why you do the things that you do because there's something in you that I see that I wish I had.

And it goes beyond just your skill and your intellect and your education and your leadership. It's something about who you are in Christ. And that's. I think that's what makes brotherhood inside of Christianity different. And the way that I typically do that, if I'm going to invite someone into it, is I usually start with the skill piece. Like I have a couple of relationships right now in my life that started from saying, look, I want to want you to mentor me as a leader. But I also knew there was something more I wanted out of those guys. It was like, how do they lead spiritually, their family at home in not just with leadership principles, but that spiritual, like I saw something in them innately spiritual and I started over time getting more, more vulnerable. Yeah. Which is hard for guys, I think. I think we have a hard time taking this leap right here as being vulnerable.

Uh, you know, it's like a sharing how I just screwed up something with my wife or sharing how I blew up with my kids or sharing how I failed. Completely miserably failed at something at work. And I've had every one of those moments maybe in the last month, Bro. But having a safe place where a guy, I can share that with a guy that takes that whole relationship to another level. Look, I need to bring something with you today. I had, I mentor guys all the time for a cost. Actually. They sit with me for a cost and I mentor, um, and, and it takes guys a little bit, a while, a little bit of time to get there. So I had one of my mentees after seven meetings, finally send me a note this week. It was remarkable. He confessed all kinds of things in it regarding his pride, his relationship at home, uh, his relationship at business is a manipulation, all that kind of stuff.

And in this long letter I went, there he is, he finally showed up. All this other stuff was just mentoring skill, giving them direction, but all of a sudden he exposed himself and I went there. Now our relationship just went to another level because now in disclosing all this we can get after some meat. So that's, that's how I choose to do it with other guys. But I think it takes time. That's the point. It may take five, six, seven, 20 meetings for us to understand the sense of vulnerability, but it's better to be vulnerable on this side rather than to be vulnerable after tragedy. Yeah. Vulnerable after strategy. Tragedy is just bandaid work to something that's already created. Devastation, devastation, vulnerability before tragedy, uh, is Kinda like a preemptive strike toward a tragedy and it keeps man away from tragic events in his life. So guys, that's where I'd want to encourage you today, just like tyler and I are sitting here together, it's better to be preemptive and build some brotherhood around God's word with a book like this than it is to like a wait until your life is devastated. So go build brotherhood today. Don't wait any longer. Go out. Invite some guy that you respect, that you have chemistry with into a relationship, grab coffee, drinks, whatever it is. Grab a lunch and say, will you mentor me with this book right here and have some

fantastic conversations just like we're doing here. You can grab your copy of this book for your men's group or your men's leader or your pastor or the person you want a mentor right@beresolute.org forward slash 30. That's t h I r t y. go grab one today. And guys with that, you want to say thank you and we'll see you right back here next time on it.

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