The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
As I near the end of more than three years of blogging weekly to men, I want to go back to the four commitments that brought us together. Around campfires, canoes, and even a few ballgame parking lots, we decided to be men of purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. We determined to give our best to our most important relationships so that we might be the men they need us to be and our culture is desperate to see.
Purity–a commitment we make to our spouses–is a choice to turn away from the onslaught of images and opportunities that dominate our daily lives. Sex is the chosen weapon of our consumerism. Sex sells everything, from tacos to automobile tires. It finds its apparently necessary place in every form of entertainment, both public and private. It equates itself with manhood, careless of the manhood many of its forms will destroy.
Like few others, sex is a focus that can be celebrated in one relationship, but must be rejected in all others. Simply put, there are times when it’s right and times when it’s wrong. You can’t say that about many other areas of sin. In it’s rightful place, sex offers a means of demonstrating intimacy between husband and wife (man and woman) that enhances the relational connection between them.
But in all other settings, sex destroys this primary relationship. It weakens a man, taking from him the focus and the virility intended solely for his wife. A man’s inability to keep sex in its proper boundaries reveals his weakness. He does not control it, but it has begun to control him, taking him wherever his lust can lure.
When we commit to purity, we make a firm decision to actively turn away from all opportunities beyond our marriage. We guard our eyes and our ears. These are key input mechanisms for the amazing computer that is our thoughts. We look away, walk away, and do whatever else is necessary to get away from such influences so sex will have no access to our hearts and minds.
When we commit to purity, we prioritize our wives. We aim our natural desires toward them, lovingly building them up, and expressing our passion in the one relationship where God has intended this gift.
When we commit to purity, we challenge one another to that same commitment. We recognize that carelessness with sexual behavior drains a man of his real strength. Virginity and fidelity draw no giggling or mocking from us. Instead, we celebrate such strength and admire those who live such priorities faithfully.
There is likely no choice that more clearly demonstrates God’s plan for man than the choice of purity. When we keep our eyes on God and on the woman we have chosen as partner for life, we find spiritual strength and wisdom for every other arena of life. We prove that man is greater than the animal kingdom and demonstrate our capacity to reveal the image of God that was stamped on us from the beginning.
With His help, we can be pure and we must be pure if we will live the life we truly long for.