Find Out How to Improve Faithfulness in Your Marriage

Faithful Love in Marriage - What it is and how to be more faithful, even if your mate is not so faithful to you! Click to read more! #marriage #faithful #faithfulness #conflict #troubles #distance #connection #devotion #love #bond #Bible #Scripture #inventory

Anyone whose marriage has been rocked by an affair certainly knows the monumental need for faithfulness. But there are a lot of ways we can be faithful (or unfaithful) to our mates other than sexually. Though that’s certainly a foundational way!

Faithful Love in Marriage - What it is and how to be more faithful, even if your mate is not so faithful to you! Click to read more! #marriage #faithful #faithfulness #conflict #troubles #distance #connection #devotion #love #bond #Bible #Scripture #inventory

I’ll be broadening the idea of unfaithfulness to any way that we show devotion, prioritize and/or love someone or something more than we do our mates. This rule stands, all except for the Lord . . .

[bctt tweet=”Giving our devotion to God above our mates paradoxically deepens our bond with them. #faithful #devotion #priorities #marriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

The Bible often links love and devotion with faithfulness. So I will be referring to these concepts interchangeably today in the inventory below. Click on the link to download the Faithfulness Inventory

But before we head there, let’s look at certain wrong choices that often lead to unfaithfulness in marriage.

3 Sinful Choices that Can Lead to Unfaithfulness

1. Bitterness

I allowed moments of anger to turn into bitterness, early in my marriage—refusing to forgive and love my husband once again. Before I knew it, I was tempted to indulge in the next sinful choice.

2. Deceptiveness

With or without bitterness, this choice can be deadly to a marriage. In my case, I not only hid my anger from my husband, but in time it morphed into a rebellion of sorts. I rebelled by thinking about what it would be like to be married to other men that I was attracted to. You can read about that sick and sinful choice here. Thankfully, God protected me from actually entering an affair! I was playing Russian Roulette and never realized it at the time!

3. Sexual Disconnection

Bitterness increases the likelihood of this one, since it’s hard to feel attracted to someone we’re angry with. Go figure! According to the Apostle Paul, there’s a direct correlation.

“Do not deprive each other [sexually] except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:5 (emphasis mine)

How Faithful are You?

Hover over each Scripture to see where the questions spring from—answering each question with one of these scores: 1 for never; 2 for rarely; 3 for sometimes; 4 for often; 5 for very often. 

1. I challenge myself daily to be loving toward my spouse, working hard to make him/her feel like my number one priority next to God (Proverbs 3:3).

Since I’m often distracted by busyness, I gave myself a 3. Unfortunately, my husband, the more emotional one in our relationship, has to remind me to pay attention to him on a daily basis. 😦

If you let your kids or your job, etc. take precedence over your spouse, you’ll soon grow distant in your marriage. Then you’ll become easy prey to how that old song goes—“You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling.”

2. I stay alert to the temptation to make someone or something—other than God—more important than my spouse, and quickly seek God’s help to resist this (Colossians 3:5).

Even though I’m often distracted by other pursuits, I gave myself a 4 because I strive to remain alert to this and quickly correct it when God—or Gary—reveal this to me.

If you’re allowing the priorities in your life to pull you in different directions from your mate, you’ll soon be living parallel lives. You might even end up feeling like roommates rather than lovers.

3. Whenever I’m physically attracted to someone other than my spouse, I resist fantasizing about and looking lustfully at that other person (Matthew 5:27-28).

I gave myself a 5 here because I’ve learned from my mistakes of the past—being very familiar with the fallout and consequences of this dangerous game.

Giving into this practice is very dangerous and toxic to your marriage. If your spouse has been unfaithful to you, it can be traced back to this singular choice.

4. When troubles erupt in marriage and life, I double-down my efforts to remain committed to and close to my spouse (Ruth 1:16-18).

I gave myself a 5 here because I know how easy it is for troubles to create a wedge in my marriage. When my spouse and I do this, our love grows deeper than when life runs smoothly.

If you struggle here, it might be because you’re operating in your own strength, instead of God’s. You might even be resisting God because you’re angry with Him for allowing these troubles. Perhaps your problem has more to do with how you’re viewing God than how you’re relating to your mate.

5. Making love to my spouse is an enjoyable priority for me, and one in which I strive to make meaningful and enjoyable for my spouse as well (Hebrews 13:4).

I gave myself a 3 because I let my aches, pains and tiredness . . . well, let’s be honest, my aging body interfere here as well.

If you struggle with this one, you run the risk of growing apart or, worse, angering your spouse. Remember what I said above about the connection between bitterness and unfaithfulness? Nuff said! 😉

6. I vigilantly guard against what distracts me from my spouse, choosing to readjust my priorities whenever I’m giving more attention than I should to other people and things (Matthew 6:24ab).

This one is a 4 for me, since I work at readjusting my priorities when I see they are negatively impacting my marriage. It is a constant challenge for me, however.

Refer to number #2 to see how this might be impacting you, if you’re weak here.

7. Whenever my parents or others interfere, come against, or intrude on matters that should be left up to my spouse and me to guard and decide, I support my spouse (Genesis 2:24).

I gave myself a 5 here, since I eventually learned how toxic this is to a marriage. Click here to watch a video I did on this subject.

If you aren’t doing this, you’re probably deeply hurting your spouse and fracturing your marriage. No spouse wants to play second fiddle!

8. My spouse would say that I put his/her feelings first, especially when our desires conflict (Romans 12:10).

I gave myself a 3 here because, in times of conflict, I’m usually lousy about this. Once the dust clears, I’m fairly good about deferring to my husband’s desires.

If you struggle here, your mate probably will also struggle to feel like a priority to you. This is an easy one, though kind of painful, to fix. Just surrender your desires and love your mate more.

9. When my spouse sins against me, I look for ways to help my spouse feel forgiven, accepted and like he/she can save face (1 Pet. 4:8).

I gave myself a 4 here, especially if conflict hasn’t erupted. My priority and desire is for my husband to always feel forgiven and accepted. I truly want to cover his shame with love.

If you struggle here, look at the Forgiveness Inventory and corresponding Scriptures for inspiration on how to improve.

10. When loving and respecting my spouse is hard, I rely on God to help me to meet my mate’s needs and desires before my own (Ephesians 5:33).

I gave myself a 3 here because I can be far too self-centered and self-protective at times. This is the one I will be choosing to work on harder this week!

If you struggle here, consider doing this for your mate as unto the Lord. That may be all the incentive you need to bridge this gap!

(Add up your scores, then click the Faithfulness Inventory to find out what your total score means.)

[bctt tweet=”Take my free inventory to find out how faithful you are to your spouse. Then use the insights to improve your life and strengthen your bond in marriage. #faithful #marriage #insight #2020″ username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Homework: Take the Faithfulness Inventory. Then focus in on one or two of your weak areas this week, doing what the corresponding Bible verse(s) encourage as your action point. For example: I’m going to work on #10putting my spouse’s desires before my own. Click the link to find all the posts in this seriesInsight for 2020.

If you’d like some support for “gaining insight,” click on this linkFacebook groupto request to be added today! 

Be sure to join me next week when I’ve got a special guest, Jana Carlson, who blogs at wieldtheword.me. She’s going to be sharing how to live out God’s word in a difficult marriage. I hope you’ll join us then! 

Insight FB Group - Want to join a FB group that will offer you the support you need to improve your life and marriage? Click to join today!


 

Which of the 10 ways to be forgiving do you most want to work on and why?

 

What fear or hesitancy do you have about forgiving your mate or a significant offender in your life? 

 


Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayKingdom BloggersLiterary Musing MondaysPurposeful Faith, Tell His StoryInstaEncouragements LinkupRecharge WednesdayWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementGrace and Truth Faith and Friends Faith on Fire Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

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28 responses to “Find Out How to Improve Faithfulness in Your Marriage”

  1. So good, Beth! I believe the bitterness, deceptiveness, and sexual disconnection you wrote about at the beginning of this post are all about power and control. Not what a loving faithful marriage is all about. Luckily most of us do grow in our relationships so that these methods of maintaining control are not used.

    Still considering my responses to the quiz. Thanks for making me think!

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    1. You are so right, Laurie! It truly boils down to control. That’s what I was alluding to with my “rebellion.” I was sitting down on the outside, while “standing up on the inside!” Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do! Lol! Thankfully, I’ve learned how to view my husband and situation differently. It sure makes for a much more harmonious home! Thanks for your encouragement!

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  2. I love these truths , Beth 🙂

    These challenges made me examine myself as well

    Thank you my friend !

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    1. Thank you, Diana! I’m glad to hear it! Thanks also for coming by and encouraging me, my friend!

      Like

  3. Lots of wisdom here, Beth. Sharing this on Pinterest and Twitter, friend!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! Your encouragement and support mean a lot to me, my friend!

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  4. Beautiful, Beth! I’ve been thinking a lot about #1 myself this week with Valentine’s Day just passing by and all the time and thought put into showering my spouse with love. Really, it needs to be a diligent daily basis. Doesn’t have to be extravagant, but we’ve been given a gift hand-picked by God to love. Thank you for these challenges!! They always give me such good food for thought!

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    1. Yes, that’s a perfect one for Valentine’s Day, but should be something we think about all year ’round, Erin. Kudos to you for leading the way in that effort! I need to be more alert and diligent about that too! Love your thought about our spouses being God’s hand-picked gift to us as well! Hugs to you!

      Like

  5. I would be far less than human
    if I took this as a joke:
    “A woman’s just a woman,
    but a good cigar’s a SMOKE!”
    Light up a really good ‘un
    (may I suggest Cohiba?)
    and this will make of every man
    a sure and true believer.
    Yes, dear, we might still hold hands
    and watch the setting sun,
    though with the smoke, please understand,
    my other fingers hold a shot of rum.
    But I DO love you, true enough,
    and you may have a sip and puff.

    Like

    1. So glad you’re willing to share with Barbara, Andrew! 😉 Your wit has only sharpened in correlation with your pain, I’d say! Prayers for you, my friend! And thank you for pushing through the pain to visit my place!

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  6. I have been getting gradually better at most of these, especially since I’ve been running my “sleep hygiene” programme, and especially especially after my wife almost semi-apologised for blowing up at me the other week (nearest she’s ever been to an actual apology), I have had more mind- (and heart-) space to think of her. A couple are stubbornly on 2 or 1 and I suppose it is my hesitency that’s keeping them there.

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    1. What a wonderful bit of news, David! I’m so glad she made the effort. Apologies really mean so much. They are like the oil that keeps the engine running smoothly! I’m glad you honestly assessed yourself. That’s half the battle! Now go forward with the knowledge this gives you. And I’ll join you in that effort to fight for our love and marriages! Thank you for stopping by! It means a lot!

      Like

  7. So many good thoughts here, Beth. Thank you for slowing me down tonight to consider each area.

    Like

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful, Amy! It’s actually been such a powerful series and effort for me–challenging me in ways like no other blog series has! Thank you for coming by!

      Like

  8. I recently read a study (sorry, I can’t find a site) where ocytocin was attributed with greater male monogomy. If you’ve cut your man off, you may have to be prepared to take some of the responsibility for his looking around.

    Like

    1. I don’t doubt it, Bill. I know that oxytocin is a chemical that bonds us to our mates. It’s like the super glue of marriage! 😉 And I couldn’t agree more about cutting our mates out and the risk you run in marriage. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

      Like

  9. Beth,
    I truly appreciate your candid responses! Having had my ex husband have several affairs, I am quick to guard my heart about how I look at other men. I know the dangerous trap this can be. My struggle is letting other things (work) take priority and even my own tiredness saps my energy in being a good mate. When tensions rise, like you, I can get caught up in my defensive feelings and find it hard to put my husband’s feelings before my own. Great wisdom here as always.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx
    ps. You going to She Speaks? I am 🙂

    Like

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that, Bev. I knew there was some type of abuse, but was a bit fuzzy on the fact that it was multiple affairs. That’s got to be so hard for you to recover from and makes total sense why you’d guard your heart due to what was done to you! I’m also like you. I tend to let my work overtake my attention from my husband. Thankfully, he’s patient with and persistent in pursuing me! Thank you for your kind words. And, sadly, I’ve decided to pass on SheSpeaks. It’s just so darn expensive! Lol! Besides, I’ll be passing through at least two or three more times this year. I’ll be in touch soon to give you the deets! Maybe we can finally have that meet up! xxoo

      Like

  10. Great post, Beth. So much marriage blogging going on this week and I love your “How Faithful are You?” test! Good stuff! Even those in strong, healthy relationships need this!

    Pinned & tweeted.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Patsy! I truly appreciate your encouragement and support! And yes! Strong relationships don’t stay strong unless we look at ourselves every now and then. I think it’s a hallmark of a strong marriage to be vulnerable in that way. But no need telling you that! I’m sure it’s something you know and apply! Hugs to you, my friend!

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  11. To say unfaithfulness rocks your world is a dramatic/drastic understatement, I’d liken it more toward “crumbling!” But I love these tips you offer on ways spouses can affirm their vows to one another and remain faithful to their covenant before God!

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    1. Yes, that’s a great way to rephrase it, Nicki! Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me, my friend! Hugs to you!

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  12. It is so interesting how a small seed of bitterness can grow to resentment and assuming the worst in your spouse! Suddenly, everything they do is wrong! It is incredibly hard to admit the bitterness and ask my husband for forgiveness when this arises, but it is so healing to our relationship and robs the enemy of power over me and our marriage. I really like your practical questions to take inventory of your faithfulness!

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  13. Awesome post, Beth! I definitely found some areas to work on and make a priority form this coming year. Pinning and sharing!

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  14. What a great inventory, Beth. Our spouse should come after our devotion to God. That’s so true that bitterness and being angry are the roots to a host of another set of problems, including blocking intimacy and love.

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  15. Thank you for making me take a closer look at myself

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  16. This is so true that there is more than one way to be faithful. It’s a daily choice. None of us succeed in doing it perfectly but it can be our goal. It’s the little foxes that can spoil the vine so we need to tend those. Great insights here, Beth.

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  17. […] Find Out How to Improve Faithfulness in Your Marriage, Messy Marriage […]

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