UCAN Spirituality Catholic Church News

Marriage and Faithfulness

Marriage and Faithfulness thumbnail

Dennis Ngien

 

The word faith or faithfulness means firmly and resolutely to stick to a person, to stay committed to a group, a cause or a belief without wavering.  To be full of faith or faithful is to be constant, unwavering, loyal, and dependable.

May I say that this quality is in short supply, since so many people are yearning for popularity. Theodore Roosevelt proposed a contrary perspective: “It is better to be faithful than famous.” Mother Teresa said: “I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness” – unwavering trust in God and a stubborn dedication to the task assigned by the Master. Saint Paul said that what is required of a servant is that he must be found faithful….

In the area of marriage and the family, faithfulness is an absolute necessity, without which marriages and families will disintegrate and collapse.

There is an intrinsic link between faithfulness and truthfulness.  Revelation 19:11, in speaking of the name for Jesus, brought these two together: His name is “faithfulness and truth.”  A faithful spouse is a truthful one – he is true in his vows, his words, and his promises.  I ask myself: am I true to my wife?  If I am true to her in my words and deeds, then I shall remain faithful, because you cannot have faithfulness without truthfulness.  Nor can we have truthfulness without faithfulness.  A truthful spouse is a faithful one; the marriage will last to the end.  This is the character of Jesus, whose “faithfulness and truth” co–exist in his person perfectly….

We need faithfulness and truthfulness for our marriages to blossom, and to keep the original valentine love flaming and burning until the sunset hours.

I suggest one practical point, without oversimplification, that we may seek to follow: “to make up our mind before we make our bed every morning.”

This is not achieved through romance, although we need this and are all better and stronger because of it, but it is resolution that keeps marriages together; and through resolution, we are able to conquer temptation.  It is when we are double–minded, wavering in our minds, that we fall into temptation, and then bail out of a seemingly happy marriage.

However, with daily resolution we are able to shut the door to temptation; we will stay away from the lusts of the flesh.  Without resolution, we will inevitably end up in a ditch from which there is no return.  Resolution is to be made between a living room or the bedroom; between burning passion within the marriage or outside a marriage.  There are people who are always looking for greener grasses.  Do you not know that all green grasses will fade?  As we age, we grow older with a fading beauty.  Beauty is fleeing; but virtue is everlasting.  In the times we live in, with an increasing number of marriages ending up in divorce, this particular quality of faithfulness is particularly needed.  If God brings you a wonderful mate and wonderful children, then he expects you to be found loyal and faithful in your personal relationships with them.

Make a daily commitment to your spouse that he/she is your valentine love.  Make up your mind to love your mate before you make up your bed.  Strong commitments are not made at the wedding ceremony when the organ is playing, the romance is flowing, the flowers smell good, the people are beautiful and brilliant with their attractive gowns and attire, plus all the tears of joy, kisses, and embraces – all of these help to adorn the wedding occasion.  Rather, strong commitments are made daily – I make up my mind to stick with my wife before I make up my bed.  Marriage does not end at the wedding ceremony, but begins there.  It ought to be nourished and nurtured, not simply through romance but through daily resolution: I must make up my mind before I make up my bed.