A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to give a short talk at my friend’s bridal shower. Thoughts about faithfulness have been bouncing around in my head for the past couple of months. I guess it all started on my road trip earlier this year. I have a tendency to analyze people… why do they do what they do, what are their relationship patterns (good or bad), what things have they experienced in the past, etc? (I know, it’s a sickness.) But it’s also caused me to examine my own relationships.
What makes me a faithful or unfaithful person?
Here are a few thoughts on being a f.a.i.t.h.f.u.l. friend/spouse…
F – FAITH
We love God because He first loved us. We’re faithful to Him because He’s faithful to us. He teaches us how to be faithful in our relationships.
Faith a fruit of the Spirit and the Spirit is the source of our faithfulness. Without the Lord’s enabling, our view of relationships will be self-focused, causing our friendships to crumble, our marriages end in divorce, and even doors of infidelity to open.
Our faith, our walk with God is fundamental to our faithfulness.
I read a quote the other day that said, “No matter how many steps you’ve taken away from God, it only takes one step to get back to Him.” This is true of God because He is always faithful! When we walk with the always faithful One, we are able to show that same faithfulness to others.
A – ACTS OF KINDNESS
Faithfulness is an action word and it’s illustrated through encouraging words and kind actions. Proverbs tells us the tongue of a virtuous woman contains the law of kindness. A note of encouragement or small gift, a loving touch or free hug, even being present during a time of crisis or hardship… these are all acts of kindness. In a marriage, in a friendship, in a home, an act of kindness can completely erase doubt and fear, and establishes security and peace.
I – INTEREST IN THE NEEDS OF OTHERS
As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
Relationships should be refreshing, not exhausting! It’s not a relationship if the affection is only one-sided. In our friendships, it’s so important to know the needs of the other, not just be able to express our own needs. Be swift to hear and slow to speak! Wife: set out to know and anticipate your husband’s needs and fulfill them as best you can.
T – TRUSTWORTHY
A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Are you a trustworthy friend? Are you a trustworthy spouse? Our human instinct is figuring out who we can trust with our heart. We all long for a friend who will listens to our woes and concerns and won’t pass judgment but instead quietly bear the burden with us. The Bible calls such a friend someone who fulfills the Law of Christ. Christ’s law being that of loving the Lord and loving others.
H – HONESTY
Imagine a world without mirrors. There’s no way to know whether your hair is behaving in the back, your eyeliner is straight, or if that outfit really does make you like fat! Instead, you have to completely rely on someone else to give you honest feedback. (I honestly considered challenging myself to avoid all mirrors for a week, but chickened out… plus, that would cause more harm to others than myself 🙂 )
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
The kisses (or flattery) of an enemy (someone who cares more about themselves than their friend) may make us feel good at the moment, but hurt us in the long run.
A true friend knows how to lovingly and delicately reveal our flaws all while empowering us to change for the better. Question: Do you know how to lovingly do this with your friends? Do you care enough to help them see their flaws?
Being a good wife means being your husband’s cheerleader BUT it also means being honest with your husband and helping him see things that he wouldn’t otherwise see. Never underestimate your womanly perspective 🙂
F – FULL TIME DEDICATION
Our faithfulness will be tested. Sickness, overdue bills, offenses…all these test our resolve to be faithful. But I’ve learned that when I can just be faithful in the little things, when the testing comes, I am equipped to remain faithful through the big things.
Jesus puts great emphasis on the little things….faith as little as the grain of a mustard seed can accomplish great things, those who are faithful in the little things will become the leader of great things, and those who are little in their own eyes (humility) will be great in God’s kingdom, and so on.
Day to day faithfulness in the little, sometimes mundane and boring things, are big stuff to God. Wife: Don’t underestimate the task of keeping house – the cooking, the laundry, the cleaning, the shopping – you will be a priceless crown to your husband when you’re faithful in these little things.
U – UNMERITED FAVOR (aka: GRACE)
The Lord loves giving us what we could never earn and what we don’t deserve. It brings Him joy! In our human, flawed relationships, grace needs to be constantly growing, abounding, and overflowing.
Hebrews tells us that when we fail of the grace of God, bitterness in the inevitable result. Bitterness certainly is a relationship-killer! Our marriages, our friendships rest on whether we’re willing to give each other kind words and actions at the VERY MOMENT the other is undeserving of it (easier said than done).
L – LOVE
My favorite definition of faithfulness is affectionately steadfast.
Faithfulness is love mingled with loyalty. When we are faithful in our friendships, in our marriages, and in our church it is because we view them with affection.
How does a bride and broom look at each other? With major affection! Why? Because they’re in love.
Do you love your friends? Do you love your husband, kids, siblings? Do you love your church? Then being faithful is almost easy. There’s little sacrifice involved. With the help of the Lord Jesus, we CAN be faithful in every relationship. Faithful is HE that calls you, who also will DO IT.