Unfaithfulness is used to describe someone who is involved in an extramarital affair. But what most people fail to know is that being faithful in marriage is far more complicated than cheating on your partner.
Faithfulness encompasses elements such as love, commitments, loyalty, and patience. And, according to the Bible, faithfulness means staying true to your partner, being trustworthy, certain, steadfast and sure, just like the Biblical Ruth.
When couples are joined in holy matrimony, faithfulness is the bedrock of the vows they exchange while you hear them say, ‘to stay with you in sickness, in health, for better, for worse’. But despite the fact that we all know that faithfulness is one of the qualities required in marriage, how many married couples are really faithful to their spouses?
What most people fail to know is that being faithful to your partner is far beyond not having extra-marital affairs or avoiding inappropriate emotional intimacies. Partners who are faithful stick together in times of trouble.
According to Pastor Alonge, a relationship counsellor, a faithful partner is that man that is willing to stand by his wife during difficult times, and not the one that professes to be faithful to his wife but runs away when there is trouble.
“Any man who is willing to stand by his wife when she has not given him a child after many years of marriage is faithful. A man who still sees his wife as being completed after she has been diagnosed with breast cancer is faithful.”
A faithful man is not such that does cheat on his wife, but the man that is not willing to yield to the negative advice of family, but is ready to stay with his wife even when she has not given him children after many years of marriage.
Clara, 32, had complications while she was pregnant with her first child, having been married for two years. This led to the removal of her womb, but rather than her husband, Simon, leaving, he decided to stay true to that love that brought them together and to the oath of faithfulness they swore to on their wedding day.
If you ask me, not too many men can do what Simon did for his wife. He said he would rather adopt children than leave his wife frustrated, because she did not bring the complications that led to the removal of her womb upon herself.
Most men will choose to yield to the advice of their parents and family members to remarry, because to them, living with a woman without womb is equivalent to living with another man.
Someone who is faithful to her spouse is that woman who will do all to stand by her husband when they have lost all the money and comfort they used to enjoy when they just got married. And not the woman who nags and threatens to leave her husband when things are no longer going smoothly for them.
When we look more closely to the impact of faithfulness and the consequences of unfaithfulness, it becomes apparent that faithfulness is not just desirable, it is essential to a vibrant, healthy marriage. Notice that faithfulness is not a quality measured or dependent upon the faithfulness of one’s spouse.
Faithfulness is an expression of the integrity and character of an individual. It is not a relationship quality, it is a personal characteristic.
This quality of faithfulness is tested many times in a marriage. We all find out sooner or later that our spouse is not a perfect person. They come up with habits that turn us off at times. Faithfulness is that quality of being trustworthy and true when we have all the justification needed to fall toward judgement, resentment, and contempt for our spouse.
Marital crisis and distress can bring out the worst in us. It can also be an occasion for growth and discovery of what is best and most precious in us. Faithful persons embrace the faith, hope, and opportunity to believe something better is possible.
It is a beautiful and precious expression of love and it is most clear when set in the context of marital disappointment, pain, and despair.
Married couples should learn to embrace God, the author of faithfulness. When your heart is filled with His love, no circumstance can separate you from your spouse. Because with the help of God, you will be willing to stick with your spouse to face all opposition with the hope of victory.