The 4 Meanings of Faithfulness

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Faithfulness in Marriage

What does it mean to be faithful? Often we use the word to mean merely not committing adultery, but the word itself encompasses so much more.

Faithful -adj.

  1. strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
  2. true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc; reliable, trusted.
  3. steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.
  4. adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate: a faithful accounta faithful copy.

1. Faithful – strict or thorough in the performance of duty

To be a faithful spouse means to completely fulfill our duties and obligations to our spouse and of our role. This includes loving, respecting, and sharing life with each other. It means bearing one another’s burdens. It means husbands loving their wives sacrificially and it means wives submitting to their own husbands. It means rendering intimacy.

A faithful spouse is a spouse who fulfills the duties of a spouse wholeheartedly.

2. Faithful – true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc; reliable, trusted

Of course a faithful husband or wife is one who fulfills his or her marriage vows. But a faithful spouse keeps all promises given to the other, also. One who is trusted and trustworthy in the little can be trusted with the big vows and promises like those given at the alter.

A faithful spouse is a spouse who keeps his or her word always.

3. Faithful – steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant

A faithful spouse is much more than monogamous. A husband and a wife are on the same side, on the same team, always. They are one flesh. They work things out and faithfully forgive and overlook offenses so they remain in fellowship with one another. When speaking to others, a faithful wife does not bad mouth her husband or whine and complain about him to her girlfriends. When speaking to others, a faithful husband does not mock his wife. A faithful spouse seeks the best for the relationship, always.

A faithful spouse is a spouse who is steadfast and dedicated to being unified in all things.

4. Faithful – adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate

Most importantly, a faithful spouse is a spouse who demonstrates the love of Christ to a watching world. 1 Corinthians tells us that marriage is supposed to image, to mirror, Christ’s relationship with His people. A faithful husband is a husband who loves his bride as Christ loves His Bride. A faithful wife is a wife who submits to her husband and  nurtures life and love, creating a place of refuge and refreshment in the world, as the church is called to do.  The standard, the original, that a faithful spouse copies and holds his or her marital relationship up to, is that of Christ and His Bride. A marriage is a faithful marriage if it is one which tells the truth about the gospel.

A faithful spouse is a spouse who imitates and obeys Christ in his or her love for the other.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

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