How to guarantee faithfulness in marriage

The Joy of Love“Marriage is the experience of belonging completely to another person. Spouses accept the challenge and aspiration of supporting one another, growing old together, and in this way reflecting God’s own faithfulness,” Pope Francis said in The Joy of Love. This is our calling as spouses. We evangelize our beloved by reflecting God’s faithfulness, his commitment to us. 

On some level, to some degree, our beloved (just like us) doubts God’s faithfulness. Unanswered prayers and the awareness that we are sinners, unworthy of love, make it hard to believe that God is always on our side, always caring for us, always helping.

How can anyone be completely faithful to a spouse, year after year, decade after decade, when there is a lack of understanding about God’s faithfulness to us? I’m not talking just about adultery. Being faithful to our beloved includes being there for each other whenever one is struggling or in need. It means making each other a top priority. It means praying together and praying for each other every day.

When we understand that God is indeed always there for us, always saying, “Don’t be afraid, I’ve got your back,” only then are we able to give the same faithfulness to our spouse.

We sin because we don’t truly understand why the sin is harmful and why its opposite is the better option. We sin against our beloved because we don’t see how God is showing us a better way. Likewise, we strengthen our relationships by learning more about God — about the Father’s love, Jesus’ mercy, and the Holy Spirit’s helpfulness.

And so, let us commit ourselves daily to helping our beloved grow stronger in true faith while we ourselves cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s help in increasing our own faith.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How do I know God is faithful to me?
  2. What do I know about my beloved’s understanding of God’s faithfulness? 

Strengthen your relationship:
Describe to each other what God’s faithfulness is like. How has his faithfulness been evident in your lives? At the end of this sharing, pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to lead you to new opportunities of studying more about who God really is and how faithfully he is involved in your lives.

Note:
Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, The Joy of Love, is the topic of a Good News Ministries video course that will begin on September 12. The course will be 3 short (5- or 6-minutes long) videos per week for 9 weeks, i.e., one chapter per week. I’ll pull out three important themes from each of the pope’s 9 chapters and apply it to the everyday struggle of discovering and believing that God truly does love us always, and how love can find the way through any trial or division. For more information or to register, go to gnm.org/paracletia-course-description-C05/.

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© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries

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