It is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2 NKJV
In the old wedding ceremonies, there was a phrase that read, “I pledge thee my troth.” I often wondered, “What is a troth? Something to drink out of?” By looking the word up, I discovered that it originally meant a pledge to be true, faithful, loyal, and honest. It can also mean trust, reliability, and integrity in marriage. It’s what we would call fidelity today. Fidelity is the word we use when we want to say that we will be faithful in marriage.
We exhibit fidelity, our troth, when we pour our energy into making our marriage function as God envisions it. Daily we’re to live out what we promised to God at the altar.
As rowers in a boat turn their backs to the shore and trust to the man at the helm, whose eye is fixed upon it; so should we proceed in duty through life-turn our backs from our anxious cares for the future, and leave the guidance of them all to God, who guides the helm.
We also demonstrate our fidelity by building a fence around our marriage to protect our relationship from the enemy who would love to come in and destroy what God has put together. At times that protective fence might shut out trips, TV, music, work, sports, hobbies, and on occasion, even our children or church activities. We are not to let anything drain us of the energy we need to fulfill our part in a healthy marriage.
The maintenance of a happy marriage is critical to the security and happiness of our children. Stable families are more likely to produce well-adjusted children. A mother’s commitment to the father of her children is one of the best investments she can make for the future of her children.
Fidelity is a calling to be faithful in every area of marriage. One of the chief drains on maternal energy is our participation in otherwise fine activities that end up robbing us of time and availability we need to succeed as wives and mothers.
Husbands have to strive to stay true to their commitments of their troths. We can become so consumed by our jobs, careers, and hobbies that all of our free time is taken up by pursuing these false gods. Look at a man’s calendar and checkbook notations to determine his priorities. Both kinds of entries reveal what he really values. We are the spiritual leaders of our little flocks called families. We might not be able to change the whole world, but we have a powerful influence on our families.
One of my favorite mentors from the Bible is Joshua. He was such a man of conviction. He wasn’t afraid to proclaim his faith in God. And one of my favorite passages in Scripture is found in Joshua 24:14-15.
It says: “Fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
We have the same decision to make today. We may have different gods to serve than the people of Joshua’s day—our gods come in the form of careers, material possessions, food, vacations. Basically anything that causes us to take our eyes off the real God—our Lord—is a false god. When we took the pledge on our wedding day, we vowed that we would be true, faithful, loyal, and honest not only to one another but to the God we serve.
Are there activities in your life—a job, a club, a volunteer position, a church duty—that are taking you away from your main responsibility as a husband or wife? If so, you must reevaluate those time robbers and eliminate or scale back as necessary. Be brave like Joshua and stand and proclaim, “For me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Secrets to Romancing Your Marriage
Adapted from Simple Secrets Couples Should Know
Copyright © 2008 by Bob and Emilie Barnes, Used with Permission, Published by Harvest House.