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.
Hard to believe that the holiday season is just weeks away. And, soon thereafter, we will launch into a New Year. 2013 seemed like a long way off at one point, but here we are, ready to live, laugh, and love life for another year.
I was thinking that might make this a good time to renew our commitments to the core choices that brought us together as a Brotherhood.
First, we are committed to purity–it’s a gift we give to our wives or, for some, the woman they will someday choose to love forever. Purity is where a man’s greatest strength can be demonstrated. When a man lives in purity, he guards his heart from the intrusion of unhealthy thoughts that can destroy the intimacy he shares with his wife. In today’s culture, the opportunities to entertain thoughts and images of unhealthy conduct seem to be everywhere. It takes the determination of Job who “made an agreement with his eyes not to look upon a woman.” That choice keeps one’s heart pure and ready to genuinely love the one God has prepared for us.
Second, we make a commitment to self-sacrifice for our families. As we’ve said many times, a man is at this best when he is laying himself down for someone else. There is no strength in self-centeredness. Instead, it is through sacrifice that we demonstrate our greatest power. It takes a lot more to care for others and do what they need us to do than it does to live simply to satisfy our own desires.
Third, we choose loyalty both to God and to our churches. The kingdom of God needs dedicated men who will provide leadership and strength to the local church. I want to be faithful to God in all His commands and purposes and serve in my local church in a way that can bless my spiritual leadership there and impact the community we are all trying to reach. As a pastor, I know there is no greater blessing than men who are committed to making a difference. They are the backbone of the local church and God uses them in amazing ways to fulfill His purposes.
Finally, we choose excellence for ourselves. Living just about the acceptable line isn’t really living, but giving my best every day helps expand my potential, my capacity, and ultimately my life. When I give my best, I find that I am capable of far more than I ever imagined. When I give my best, God can grow me into places I would never try on my own. God’s plans are greater than me and they will require my absolute best, so I don’t want to live carelessly or just exist at minimum levels. My life unfolds more powerfully when I lay my very best before Him.
These are the choices many of us made years ago. Why not recommit yourself to this path. Jesus called us to “take up our cross and follow Him.” These commitments will help us continue to do that in the strongest manner possible.