“Who Can Find a Faithful Man?”
Written by Mike Bennett
Faithfulness is a key to strong character, stable families and an eternal relationship with God. But faithfulness is under attack.
Semper fidelis—Latin for “always faithful”—is the well-known motto for the U.S. Marine Corps and many families, cities and other groups around the world. The sentiment is much admired, but the reality seems increasingly rare. Loyalty and faithfulness are under attack in a world of selfishness and situation ethics.
Signs of flagging loyalty
Consider a few stories, stats and sad statements from around the world:
Focus on the Family shared this story of infidelity and divorce, though changing the names: “Bill was a pillar in his small farming community, Melissa the faithful housewife. They were a good Christian family, and she was looking forward to their upcoming 25th wedding anniversary. Melissa was in shock the night Bill came home and told her he had found ‘the love of his life’ and was moving out. She literally spent the next year crying, unable to care for their 16-year-old daughter.”
The article goes on to explain that U.S. divorce rates are double what they were in 1960 and more than a million children are affected each year.
Uganda’s daily New Vision reported the story of a wife whose husband admitted to cheating on her for 21 years: “‘At that very moment, flash backs of our life together played in my mind, I was searching among them for a moment where I had angered him to the extreme or when he seemed dissatisfied with me,’ she says. With so many cases like Ssewanyana’s, some women have concluded that no man is capable of being faithful in marriage.”
The Times of Swaziland quoted Cebile Manzini Henwood, director for the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse, who described the terrible scourge of AIDS that is escalating because of a culture of acceptance of sexual infidelity: “It is important that people are faithful to their chosen partners. We believe that this is something that should be instilled early in one’s life—even before the stage of dating so that the culture of faithfulness becomes a norm.”
And the decline in faithfulness affects all aspects of life, from family to church to friendships to work. Jeffry Campos, partner of a professional staffing firm, said, “I’m becoming more convinced loyalty in the workplace has become obsolete.”
Unfaithfulness hurts relationships. Many times it destroys them.
The perfect example
Our Creator designed us, and He designed our relationships and the principles and laws that govern them. He designed the rules about faithfulness for our benefit.
And He lives this way of life Himself.
Here are a few descriptions of God’s faithfulness:
- “Your faithfulness endures to all generations” (Psalm 119:90).
- “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
- “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
- “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
That last one is especially important to us, since we all have sinned. God’s love, expressed through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, made it possible for us to have forgiveness and a new start.
Growing in faithfulness
God’s plan is a plan of growth. After repenting of past unfaithfulness and other sins, we can commit our lives to following God’s example of faithfulness. God tells us that a fruit of His Holy Spirit (available to those who repent and are baptized) is faithfulness (Galatians 5:22).
We can learn and practice faithfulness in the little things as preparation for bigger things. In fact, Jesus Christ said the faithful character we build is scalable:
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10).
God calls on us to develop the faithful character that will choose the right and faithful course in everything, large or small.
Joseph’s temptation to infidelity
The Bible is full of examples of men who were faithful in their dealings and relationships. Joseph was faithful to God even as a slave and a prisoner. He also showed faithfulness in the work assignments he was given as a servant and a prisoner, and his diligence and service were noticed.
As Potiphar’s servant, he faithfully took care of his master’s household, earning Potiphar’s complete trust. A big test came when Potiphar’s wife “cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, ‘Lie with me.’
“But he refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’” (Genesis 39:7-9).
Joseph did not give in to temptation, even though it would have been so easy, and his life would have been much easier. He chose the difficult path, the right path—the path of faithfulness.
If we follow good examples like Joseph’s, we can grow in faithfulness, becoming more like our faithful God. Then, when Jesus Christ returns, we can hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:23).
Mike Bennett coordinates the blogs for the cogwa.org website. He and his wife Becky attend the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.
For more about faithfulness, see: