Getting in the Paint: 3 Keys for Strong Relationships



In basketball the area marked out in front of the goal is the lane but it is often referred to as "The Paint." The paint is where basketball really happens. The rebounding, short jump shots, and free throws are usually where the game is won or lost. This is where basketball is up close and personal. Life is meant to be lived up close and personal as men. We should have some strong relationships that are up close and personal. Life is relationships. If we don't have any strong relationships, we don't have a good life. Men need to get into the paint of their life by understanding 3 keys for strong relationships


  • Strong Relationships Require Closeness

  • This closeness is often referred to as intimacy.

  • Many men have relationships, but not as many have intimate relationships.

  • Many think that intimate has to do with only sexual relationships, but that is far from the truth.

  • Intimacy comes when you are honestly authentic with someone else

  • Intimacy is when you take your mask off and are real.

  • This is hard for many men because they have never done the hard work of what I call "The Inward Journey."

  • You must know yourself before you can truly be intimate with someone else.

  • Intimacy is hard and scary but necessary for real relationships that bring meaning to life.

  • When a man has a band of brothers he can be open and honest with, his life will be filled with a special camaraderie that makes him stronger .

  • When a man builds an authentically intimate relationship with his wife, his marriage will weather all the storms life brings.

  • Your intimacy with your wife is something you always have to work on.

  • A man who knows how to be intimate, will impact his children and their future

  • A man who knows how to be intimate will build a security inside his kids that will give them strength for their life.


  • Strong Relationships Require Vulnerability

  • No one likes hurt or being hurt, however hurts are often a part of relationships.

  • Men feel strongly!

  • That is part of who we are as men.

  • We shouldn’t deny this but embrace it and work with these feelings.

  • Strong relationships require vulnerability but that means there will be hurts

  • Relationships bring their own kinds of hurts and bruises

  • Sometimes you cause them and sometimes you receive them

  • There is a difference between good hurt and bad hurt.

  • Good hurt

  • When someone speaks truth to you, it can be a good hurt.

  • Good hurts help you grow and learn.

  • Bad hurt

  • Bad hurt is when you get hurt by someone who doesn't really care about you but only themselves.

  • This hurt can often be manipulated to make you think you deserve it, but you really don't.

  • Vulnerability is the most courageous thing a man can do.

  • Vulnerability opens you up to a really strong meaningful relationships.

  • Without vulnerability, your relationships will be shallow and won't meet your deep needs .

  • Strong Relationships Require Battle

  • You may not be naturally great at being relational

  • However you can battle for your relationships and make them better

  • You have to fight for your relationships

  • You fight to know yourself and go on the inward journey as a man

  • Our society encourages men to put on a mask and pretend

  • You should do the work of figuring out who you are and be ok with that

  • You will fight for your marriage

  • Men honor what they work for and they need to work for their relationships

  • It makes them better and forces them to mature

  • You will fight for your kids

  • Children are great but if you aren't intentional they just become dependents

  • Dads should always pursue the relationships with their kids

  • If you stop fighting for relationships, they begin to atrophy

As men, we must get into the paint of life. We must be up close and personal with our relationships. This a huge amount of courage and work, but that is our part of being a man. Don't take the easy way out and just coast by with superficial relationships. Be the man who gets in the paint and has those strong relationships that are up close and personal. It will impact your life, and the life of those you love most.

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