Posted in Forever Friday

Forever Friday: Faithfulness

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After a break for a couple of weeks (writing a novel is time-consuming, man!), it’s time to pick it back up again. ūüôā Our study on Galatians 5:22-23 continues. ‚̧ Today, it’s all about faithfulness.

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I think it’s probably fair game to say that faithfulness–especially in relationships–seems to be out-of-the-norm these days, at least as portrayed by media. We continually hear news of this person cheating on that person, and really, it’s tiresome. And sad. And it breaks my heart.

Hollywood makes it sound like being faithful in a relationship is too hard or old-fashioned. Well, I’m here to say¬†it’s not.

You know me, so you know I love my definitions. Ha! The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines faithful as, “having or showing true and constant support or loyalty; deserving trust–keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do; not having sex with someone who is not your¬†spouse” (emphasis mine to make it simpler).

It’s a pretty simple list, right? Of course right! So why do humans have such a hard time being faithful in relationships, whether that’s friendships or marriages?¬†Because we’re humans.¬†We’re sinful. We’re selfish by nature.

And that’s why we need God. Because with him, nothing is impossible.

For nothing will be impossible with God.Luke 1-37, ESV

I’m definitely not perfect. I’ve made my fair share (more than, if I’m being honest) of hurtful choices. I’ve not followed through with promises, and wavered in my constant support.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23, ESV

But some encouragement for you!

We¬†are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
Romans 3:24-25, ESV

So to be faithful? Trust in God! Look to Him as your example of faithfulness. Here’s a list of verses you can read to see His faithfulness to us:

                              2 Timothy 2:13                                           1 Corinthians 1:9
Deuteronomy 7:9                                     Psalm 33:4
2 Thessalonians 3:3                                 Psalm 86:15
Jeremiah 29:11-13                                    Lamentations 3:23
1 Corinthians 10:13                                  1 John 1:9

For those who have been hurt by the unfaithfulness of others, don’t let that be your opinion of God.

 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar
Romans 3:3-4b

So take heart, my friend! Follow the Lord’s example in faithfulness. And trust in Him when you’ve experienced the unfaithfulness of others. Put Galatians 5:22-23 into practice.

And I’ll do the same.

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Posted in Forever Friday

Forever Friday: Goodness

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So yes. After a wee bit of a hiatus, I’m back in the saddle, and it feels so good! Read on to get my take on goodness from Galatians 5, and how I see it relate to marriage.

It’s an easy one, people.

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So, you all by now probably know that I like definitions of words to help me brainstorm. And today’s no different. Goodness is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the quality or state of being good.”

My personal belief is that we can’t be good apart from God.We’re all sinful people. We do wrong by one another. We ice-cream-778311_640may have moments of kindness, but overall we’re a selfish people. I mean, I want that last scoop of ice cream rather than give it to Donkey.

Differentiating between goodness and kindness can be hard at times. We tend to equate the two when really, they are different. So here are some practical ways we can bring goodness to our spouses and our marriage.

  1. Listen! You know that saying, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Yep. close-up-18753_640That. But instead of just¬†hearing what your spouse is saying (you know, hearing their voices drone on while you’re thinking of something else or what you’re going to say to negate what they’re saying…#guilty),¬†stop thinking and really pay attention.
  2. Encourage your spouse. Especially when you know they’re struggling or down in the dumps about something.
  3. Tell your spouse what you appreciate about them. Every day. Seriously. I think one of the keys to long-lasting marriages is a genuine appreciation for and looking for the positive in your spouse each day. Tell your husband you appreciate how he provides (or helps provide) for your family (even if it’s just the two of you). Tell your wife you appreciate what she does around the house or how she helps provide. Be specific!
  4. Pray for your spouse. Not that God will change your spouse, but that He will change¬†you and help¬†you be a better spouse to your partner. Pray for those areas you know your spouse is struggling in, and¬†pray for protection for your husband or wife. Let’s face it: there are temptations everywhere we look. Pray for God to protect your spouse both in mind, body, and spirit.photo-1
  5. Have¬†fun together! There was a meme that went around Facebook a few years ago that showed a wife’s note to her husband along with a Nerf gun. The note and Nerf were ready for him when he walked in the door that evening. She warned him. Haha!

A side note: I can’t let the events of the past couple of weeks go unmentioned. The shootings of so many people–out of fear and out of revenge–is abominable. Goodness isn’t just for marriage. It’s for life. It’s how Jesus wants us to live–that’s why it’s in the Bible. These five ways I mentioned don’t only apply to marriage, but to every relationship. After all, “God created man in his own image,¬†in the image of God he created him;¬†male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, English Standard Version). Every individual mirrors an image of God, if that makes sense. There are 16,000–sixteen thousand–people groups on this planet, and each is an image of God. How diverse is our Lord??? There is no one ethnicity that is greater than another. So be good to one another. Be kind. Show love.

So, what are some ways you bring goodness to your marriage? I need more ideas! (We all do!) If you aren’t married, what have you seen in other marriages that you admire? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Because, you know…I’m curious and am¬†always up for learning more!

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To read the other posts in this series on Galatians 5:22-23, click on these links: love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness.