This year my husband and I celebrated sixty-one years of marriage. You might ask what I think is one of the most important qualities needed to keep a marriage strong and intact through the years. I have given a lot of thought on how to answer this for my own children and grand-children. I hope I can pass on some lessons I have learned in my own marriage that may be of benefit to them and to others.
I believe a very important quality is a complete trust in your faithfulness to each other. To begin, I will ask, what does faithfulness really mean? You may think of faithfulness as only being true to each other in the physical sense, but it is that and much more.
Faithfulness is continuing on when you see the other’s faults and weaknesses.
Faithfulness is daily showing love and respect for each other.
Faithfulness is reviewing the day’s events and talking and planning together.
Faithfulness is staying by the other’s side during sickness, no matter the time involved.
Faithfulness is being constant in times of good health. You might think that is easy, but unfaithfulness can come when you are in the prime and strength of life, and temptations abound.
Faithfulness is meeting each other’s needs during the years of child rearing and wage earning.
Faithfulness holds through poverty and wealth. Either condition can disconnect you.
Faithfulness is being best friends.
It is good to have other friends, but if you spend too much time with others, you take the chance that their best ‘fronts’ can make you seem less favorable in each other’s eyes. After all, you see each other not only at your best, but also at your worst and most unbecoming times.
There is a Bible verse I have come to understand and appreciate more through the years of marriage; “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) You may wonder what it has to do with faithfulness, but it shows me I can trust God to never change and turn away. It is reinforced by Lamentations 3:22-23; “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.”
Faithfulness was a quality God loved in Abraham, and He wants to see it in us.
Marriage should be an important learning institution in faithfulness.
It is a great blessing when ‘faithfully’ used.
By Elissa M. Phillips