Think for a minute how you define your faithfulness to your spouse or a person you are dating?
I find an interesting tendency when people are asked about faithfulness: it tends to be defined or described by the things that they DON’T do.
For instance, faithfulness means not having an affair, not looking at other men/women, not talking bad about my significant other, not staying at work late, not going out with friends every night, or not spending money secretly.
That is the deprivation view of faithfulness. Deprivation says now that I’m in this relationship, I have to keep myself from other (better?) options.
My partner knows that I am faithful because of what I am depriving myself.
Indeed, not doing things is certainly part of faithfulness, but a larger component of being faithful seems to be what is DONE.
Rather than thinking in terms of the things we don’t do that would tear another down, it is a beneficial lens to look to the ways that the other can be built up.
Having an affair is clearly a case of unfaithfulness.
But how would we categorize the spouse that refuses sexual intimacy?
Or the partner that dedicates their best time and energy to the workplace?
Or the person that continually uses unkind words to tear down another?
Doing what is best for another, even when it is not best for you demonstrates faithfulness.
Pursuing oneness by putting the marriage (or relational needs) above personal needs allows both to reap the benefit of security.
God is described as faithful; staying true to his promises this attribute of being faithful is demonstrated throughout the Bible.
The ultimate expression of which is what has been done for us in Christ. While we were still sinners, having no conception of needing redemption or peace or a new identity, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
What are some characteristics of a faithful relationship?
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