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.
Not long ago, I heard my wife challenge a group of women concerning the relationships in their lives. It was good stuff, of course, and I begin thinking about how her advice would be helpful to men as well.
In her talk, she spoke of the need for relationships. We all need the encouragement, accountability, and just plain fun of friendships. Peer relationships are critical because God made us to be connected with others. The guy who stands alone, doesn’t stand for long.
But there are two other types of relationships that we need as well.
We all need someone to follow, someone who is further down the road than us. These kind of people can invest in us, challenge us, mentor us, or basically just show us the ropes of life. There’s little value in having to make all of life’s mistakes yourself. Why not benefit from soneone else’s insights and also learn the things they have found most valuable in life. Sounds like a really good idea.
While someone to follow is a good idea, someone to lead is just as critical. There are people in our lives who need us. For them, we are the one who has traveled more of life. My wife made the point that without people to invest in, we can become arrogant, self-focused, and lose all contact with compassion for others. Someone needs our investment. I can picture a little guy in a Big Brother program or a young man with a lot of big decisions ahead as a likely candidate for such a friendship.
These two types of relationships are critical for healthy living. If we just have peer relationships, how easy will it be to just become self-absorbed and think the world didn’t really exist until we came along? If the only guys we spend time our guys like us, after awhile we start thinking that guys like us are all that really matter. Wow, that sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud…
So, yes, enjoy the good friends who share your life stage and age bracket, but you need to branch out more if you’re going to be the man you can be. Find someone who can help show you the way and find another friend who can benefit from your footsteps. Staying in the middle of these kind of relationships will keep you focused and grounded in a way that makes life the best it can be.