How might our marriages be different if we applied that same phrase to our relationship toward our spouse? If at every turn and every temptation we had a check in our spirit and remembered “Semper Fidelis” to the person to whom we committed our life in marriage?
We made our pledge “before God and these witnesses.” We declared that we would be faithful “until death do you part.” Semper Fidelis is who you ARE as a husband or wife. It is not negotiable, not relative, not optional.
Breaking this pledge of faithfulness has led to untold numbers of marital pain and break-ups. Young children and adult children have struggled to process the unfaithfulness of one or both of their parents. The consequences that result are like relational tsunamis that wreak havoc on anyone around.
God has given us His Holy Spirit to empower us to make right choices. One of the evidences of cooperating with His Spirit is the fruit of faithfulness.
It’s time to declare faithfulness as foundational for our marriages. Here are 5 areas of our lives that demand faithfulness in our marriage:
1) Faithfulness in Our Thoughts
Did you know that the average human brain has 70,000 thoughts per day? That means you and I have a different thought every 1.2 seconds. You choose what thoughts you will dwell on about your spouse. If you choose to think about the things they have done wrong, where they fell short, how they didn’t meet your needs—you will respond to them accordingly. Your words will have an edge. You will communicate displeasure. They will know that they are not being loved. But it began in the unfaithfulness of your mind.
Instead, make the choice to think the best, expect the best, and assume the best intentions of your spouse. Show grace. Give the benefit of the doubt. Decide that you list three things you appreciate about your spouse each morning. Each time a negative thought flies into your mind—replace it with one of the three positives you choose to reflect on.
2) Faithfulness on Facebook
A friend of ours who is a counselor told us that over 90% of all the infidelity issues he counsels began on Facebook. It begins by researching an old flame and checking up on their whereabouts. Initiating a casual conversation to catch up. And the rush of old feelings sweeps in where it doesn’t belong. The faithfulness in marriage is compromised with the first search.
FLEE FACEBOOK TEMPTATION! If you are tempted here you are wiser and stronger to shut down your Facebook account and protect your marriage. It isn’t worth the risk and the pain. Get accountability. Don’t deal with it on your own—this is like a five alarm fire that needs the whole fire company to fight it with you to protect your marriage.
3) Faithfulness on the Internet
Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, or ipad—viewing porn on the internet is an act of unfaithfulness to your spouse. In recent years the number of women viewing porn has increased dramatically as well. Porn is not an “aide” to your sex life so that you can appreciate your spouse more or better. Porn diminishes and devalues the relationship that God has entrusted to you by allowing another person(s) to enter your mind and essentially your bedroom. Two of the best accountability options we recommend are through Covenant Eyes and X3Watch. Be vigilant and protect your marriage from porn!
4) Faithfulness in Our Words
We have the opportunity to be our spouse’s biggest fan and cheerleader to others. What you communicate positively is like building a verbal fortress around your marriage. When you speak highly of your spouse to someone of the opposite sex you are communicating that you have a strong, well-defended marriage and they should keep a healthy, respectful distance from you.
What can you say to your co-workers that is positive about your spouse? A meal they cooked? A personal or professional accomplishment? A decision they made that was wise? A hobby they excel in? A fun memory or experience from your marriage?
As you elevate your spouse to others, you will hear yourself choosing faithfulness toward them. You will experience your heart being drawn afresh in appreciation toward your spouse.
5) Faithfulness in Our Actions
The casual touch. The lingering gaze. The slightly prolonged hug. You may think that it is innocent, but you cannot control how your touch, gaze or hug affects the other person. You have no business even playing with this fire. It will burn you.
Make the choice for faithfulness. Make your motto “Semper Fidelis” and build your marriage!