In this first part of our series “Faith, Hope, and Love: A Mindset for Your Marriage,” I’d like to take a closer look at faith. Faith is having trust or confidence in someone or something. Being faithful is being true to the expectations or faith of the person who places faith in you.
For example, God is faithful to keep His promises, so we can have faith in Him and those promises. A faithful employee is one who meets or exceeds the expectations of the employer, who can then have faith in the employee. The same applies to spouses. Faith and faithfulness, then, are interactive pieces of a relationship.
Faith in Action
What does active faithfulness look like? In the movie “As Good as it Gets,” the main character is challenged to compliment his date. After struggling with words and attacking the subject in a round-about way, he finally blurts out that she “makes him want to be a better man.” Faithfulness is much like that. When we rise to exceed the expectations that our promises have set, we become “faithful.”
No certificate or seminar will give you the necessary training to be found faithful. It is not about gaining knowledge; it is about how you live. You either live faithfully or you don’t. So, how do we grow in the area of being faithful? How do we live up to the promises we make? We need to exceed expectations.
Keeping Yourself Pure
While faithfulness is more than just sexual fidelity, that is definitely a part of it. Sexually speaking, faithfulness means your spouse alone is the source of your sexual expression. No one else is to enter that arena. In traditional marriage vows, we promise “to be faithful for as long as we both shall live.” To be faithful means you cultivate the care and nurture that you promised and keep yourself pure and set apart from others that aren’t your spouse. If you don’t do that, your actions are saying you value your own pleasure and desires more than you value your spouse. If there is infidelity, the odds go up that the relationship will not survive because that’s a big broken promise.
Some Questions to Consider
Only when we are honest with ourselves can we truly become faithful and full of faith.
- Are you faithful to your decisions and promises in your mind, heart, and actions?
- If you are struggling with being faithful, what are the unmet needs you have that are challenging your choices and promises? How can these needs be met within the context of our promises?
- Being faithful covers many areas. Can you list the areas that are important to you where you need to be faithful and in which you want your spouse to be faithful? What do you think your spouse feels when you don’t exceed expectations?
- The last time you found yourself fighting with your spouse, what were you valuing? Values are not always what we say; what you do is what you value. We always live according to our values. To illustrate, you may say you value a clean home but find yourself living in a messy or dirty home. Your ideals may say you want to have a clean home and be organized, but, in fact, you value your free time more and don’t invest in what is needed to meet your ideal. How do you feel when you don’t even meet your own expectations?
- Finally, how do you want to change? What will it take?
We are Here to Help
Are you struggling with the impact of broken promises or unfaithfulness in your marriage? We can help you put the pieces back together. We believe that no marriage is beyond hope, and we’re here to help. Contact our Client Care team to learn more about our programs and counseling services. You can fill out a form here via our website or call our office at (206) 219-0145. We would love to hear from you!