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.
I received a cool invite this week. Seems my cousin and her husband will soon be celebrating their oldest son’s 13th birthday–a pretty big day for any newly-minted man.
The invite was to a “mitzvah.” The name is, of course, taken from the Jewish ceremonial right of passage into manhood at this young age. Now neither my cousin nor I are Jewish. We share a Greek heritage, but I was asked to join other “significant” men in the boy’s life for a steak dinner and an opportunity to speak life wisdom into the fledgling moments of his early adult experience. Unfortunately, I’ll be landing in Germany about the time they’ll be sitting down to dinner, so its wiener-schnitzel rather than steak for me. I’ll miss the dinner, but intend to send my thoughts along via the low-budget video I’ll make.
If you’ve been with the Brotherhood for awhile, you know what I’ll say. The script will read something like this…
A man makes his life by the choices he makes. And among the best choices are four that will guide you toward your best possible life.
The first is the choice of purity. That’s a choice you make for the young woman that will one day take your hand forever. Purity means you choose to guard your thoughts and behavior toward every other girl. You treat them with respect and protect their purity like you’d protect your own sister’s. Nothing weakens a man more than being careless with his eyes and his heart when its comes to the women he encounters. Be pure and you’ll have a full heart to give to the girl of your dreams.
Next is the choice to sacrifice. A man is always at his best when he is laying himself down for others. That’s why soldiers and police officers, and firemen are true heroes. They risk themselves for the good of others. Someday you’ll have a family to sacrifice for, but you can start living that way now with your little sisters and brother. Jesus was like that. When people mistreated Him, He didn’t say much. But when they treated others unfairly, well, that’s when He flipped some tables over. Be like that!
Next is the choice to be loyal. I think that’s a choice best aimed toward God, your church, and your country. Be dependable, someone your pastor and your community leaders can count on. A man who is loyal always ends up with the best life because others choose to be loyal with him and to him. Always be the man you think others should be and you’ll end up liking yourself a lot more too.
Last is the choice for excellence–that’s one you make for yourself. Always give your best at whatever you do because when you do, you help others see the man that you are. A lot of guys do the minimum, you know, just enough to get by. Some even cut corners in life, trying to see what they can get away with. You can live like that, but if you do, you won’t end up with the best life. Always do what’s right and do your best, and the best things in life will come your way.
That’s the commitment we’ve made in this Brotherhood–to pursue 1) purity for our wives, 2) self-sacrifice for our families, 3) loyalty for God, church, and nation, and 4) excellence for ourselves. If you could go back to age 13, wouldn’t you want to stay on that path?