My wife and I are approaching our five year wedding anniversary this December. I still can’t believe that almost five years has gone by since Alley and I said our vows to one another before God and a church full of people. In my vows to Alley I said, “I promise to never lust at another woman, but have eyes only for you. I promise to love you for who you are, my wife, and not for your performance as a wife.” Those promises, in addition to others, are commitments I have made to Alley that continue to remain even to this day and until the day I die. As I read my vows from almost five years ago, I know that if I look to myself for the ability to keep them that I will fall short of being faithful. I am very aware that in my own finite ability I can’t be a faithful disciple of Christ, let alone husband. So how do we remain faithful to our spouses?
Faithfulness: A Fruit of the Spirit
According to the Bible, faithfulness is not a character trait that is naturally possessed by men and women. Faithfulness, according to the standards of the Bible, is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Bible has such a high view of faithfulness that God informs us in His Word that faithfulness must be given by God to individuals because we cannot produce it in our own power and ability.
The Bible says in Galatians 5:22-24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (ESV).
As you can see faithfulness is a fruit, or byproduct, of the Holy Spirit. Faithfulness comes from God who is the supreme representative of faithfulness. But how do we possess the Spirit that gives us the gift of faithfulness?
“Belong to Christ Jesus”
In Ephesians 5:24, the apostle Paul teaches us that those who “belong to Christ Jesus” are the ones who possess the Spirit and the fruit He produces in us. Furthermore, the Spirit helps us destroy our former passions and lusts that are sinful and unfaithful toward God and our spouse. Do you struggle with sexual immorality? Do you struggle in being a faithful spouse? Look to Jesus. Look to the Lord Jesus Christ with nothing but faith toward Him. Trust in His perfect life, substitutionary death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead for the forgiveness of sins and the presence of the Spirit to reside in you as a follower of Christ.
If we want to be a faithful spouse, we must belong to Jesus. As the Spirit helps us be faithful to Christ, we will automatically be transformed in being faithful to our spouse. Though we still struggle with temptation in this life, because He lives in us, we have the ability to be faithful.
I am confident that I will be faithful to Alley for the next 5 years and forevermore not because I have great confidence in myself, but I have great confidence in the Holy Spirit who lives in me because I belong to Jesus by faith alone. He is able to keep me faithful today, tomorrow, and “till death do us part.”