If you want a quick and crucial lesson on living faithfully, marriage is the life for you.
One thing I learned, sometimes painfully, within my first five years of marriage is that faithfulness to my spouse is a lot more than just not cheating. It’s about putting his needs first, above my own or anyone else’s; being in a partnership with him where I don’t just do my own thing, I am in conversation with him about life and the things that matter; that I am loyal to him, which means not just wanting him and him alone, but also respecting his boundaries, keeping his confidences, defending him and encouraging and loving him; and also remaining faithful to him, and him alone, for as long as we both shall live.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the relationship between Jesus and the Church is likened to a husband and bride. For our part as the Body, the “bride,” there is an element of faithfulness required of us in this relationship with our savior. It’s the faithfulness I’ve grown familiar with through years of marriage. And the more I learn about faithfulness, the more I have to ask myself…
Am I putting Jesus above myself? Am I in partnership with him where I don’t just do my own thing? Am I loyal to him, respectful of him? Have I kept my vow from when I made him my Lord, to remain steadfastly locked on him even when other things seek my attention, my loyalty, my love?
Am I living faithfully for my Lord?
What is Faithfulness?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines faithfulness as “steadfast in affection or allegiance; firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty.”
Faithfulness is an intrinsic part of the Christian life. We should always strive to be faithful to our partners, spouses, and faithful in our words and deeds. We are also called to allegiance to God, which means that we are devoted and loyal to Him, and only Him—placing no other god, no superstition, no person or thing, no idol or object on the throne of our heart where He belongs.
Allegiance is a word used often in terms of vassals and liege lords, where the loyalty of the subject to their lord was absolute, and that’s definitely an aspect of our relationship with God—the unquenchable loyalty we are to have for Him as our God. In the angle of adherence and duty, our faithfulness requires that we’re about our Father’s business, doing the work of God as we have been commissioned and called by Him and by Jesus.
Likewise, as we are called to be faithful to God, the Bible shows us in many places that God is faithful toward us; He keeps His promises and is steadfast in His affection. He also takes his fatherly role with us very seriously, ensuring our wellbeing in all things.
What Does the Bible Say About Faithfulness?
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Lamentations 3:23 – [Your mercies]are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Deuteronomy 32:4 – The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.
How Can I Become More Faithful?
Just like the other fruits of the spirit, we become more faithful to God as we walk by the spirit, learning and growing in our relationship with Him. The closer we become to God and the more we prioritize and focus on the things that are important to Him, the more it will engender that steadfastness of our affection for Him that is a key factor of faithfulness.
As for the allegiance side of faithfulness, that’s something that will become natural to us as we walk in the spirit as well. But it is also something we pledge to in our hearts and lives on a daily basis. Our allegiance to God means that He comes first, before anything else we may do or want to do; it means we must choose God moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, pledging our hearts to Him over and over for His purpose and will. We become more faithful when we put God first, observe our duties to Him, and walk more and more in the spirit that lives within us that binds us closely to him.
Do you feel like you’re being faithful to God before all else? If not, how can you adjust your priorities to place Him on the throne of your heart where He deserves to be?