I would assume that by this point in the Love Dare you are discovering that God has a considerably different view of marriage than we commonly do. Maybe that has rocked your world. Maybe it needs to.
But, if you are a Christian and you desire a Christian marriage, He is the One you must pay attention to. Afterall, He is the One Who invented marriage, designed the concept and makes the rules. So, are you going to believe Him or are you going to try to wing it?
If you remember one of the last phrases in the marriage vow goes something like this, "....and thereto I pledge you my faith." Easy to say, not so easy to do. So, what is it that you are really pledging when you make that promise?
In short, you are pledging to love your partner with a faithful love. You are promising to be faithful to them and worthy of their faith in you. Your partner promises the same. Faithfulness is a commitment designed to form the bedrock foundation upon which to build a marriage.
Marriage is too hard for partners to be continually worrying about whether they can trust each other or not. That should be a given.
What does it mean to give someone your faith? In a world where half of the people grow up under at least one parent who has not kept faith in their marriage, what does God expect from me and what do I owe my spouse?
When I pledged my faith to Barbara, what did I promise? What should she expect from me and what am I to offer her?
Here's what I think it means:
I think to be faithful means I must be filled with faith, faith in God through Jesus Christ. How can I do less?
Being faithful means that I maintain a faith in Barbara. I must always believe in her worth, her value, her goodness, her loyalty and faith in me. I must never allow myself to doubt her or question her honor.
My faithfulness means that I must return those same virtues to her. I must be loyal and good and true to the vows I made. I am responsible to discipline my thinking and shape my values according to my faith in Christ. It is my duty to be a much like Christ as I can be.
Faithfulness means that the way I live with her and love her should make it easier for her to not only maintain faith in me but to have faith in Christ.
To be a faithful partner means that my faithfulness to her is not dependent on her faithfulness to me. No matter how she treats me or responds to my love, I am to offer her a faithful love.
A faithful love is love without a question mark. Faithfulness is love with a period. With God's help it can be love with an exclamation mark!
Will you be faithful today?