Did anyone out there have a coach, teacher, or another “cheerleader” of some kind in your life who encouraged you when a job was well done? “Hey, way to go!” We usually want to repeat behavior that is recognized and reinforced like this. One of my prayers is that God will help me to live in ways that bring joy… to Him, to myself, and to others. What kind of life brings that kind of joy? What does it look like?
There’s a list in Galatians 5 that captures this kind of life. It includes a run–down of the things against which there is no law. And you know what? Even today, the list is spot on, right down to the last word… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, and faithfulness, the same word used in Paul’s letter to Timothy in today’s text. He encourages wives to be faithful. In everything. And just as yesterday’s text written to men applies to wives, this one also applies to men.
God’s faithfulness is the source of our trust in Him—it’s where our faith is rooted. People often ask me how to grow their faith. My answer every time? Pay attention to how faithful God is. Want to experience a resounding “Way to go!” from the Lord? Cultivating a life that reflects and embodies His faithfulness is a great place to start. If we can get faithfulness right in everything we do, we’ll find that many other kinds of fruit will grow in its wake. Things like trust, mutual respect, and even admiration grow in the soil of faithfulness.
Faithfulness fights off a whole lot of enemies and potentially life-hindering baggage that would sink one of the most important relationships in our lives, namely marriage. But married or not, ask God to grow you in faithfulness! You’ll avoid some profound pain and embarrassing pitfalls as a result. And living in these ways tends to put a smile on your face, too. When our relationships with others are working well, joy is a result. For you, for others, and for God Himself.
Pray for God to cultivate and grow all the fruit of His Spirit’s presence in your life, your marriage, and every relationship in the coming season, especially faithfulness.