faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support
Today is my parents 36th wedding anniversary. They were married in 1973. My dad wore a ruffled shirt, Napoleon Dynamite hair, and a 'stache you could only get away with in the '70s. My mom's hair was long and center-parted. Under her floor-length, empire-waist dress, she wore leather sandals at the reception. We call 'em the Jesus Walkers. She still has them. They raised six lovely (if I do say so myself) children, and stood side by side through times of plenty and times of need, emergency room visits (four of the six are boys), pastoring a fellowship, moving their family halfway across the country, more than a dozen graduations, their six children's weddings and now enjoy the company of THIRTEEN grandchildren when the family gets together. Which is often.
Fidelity is from the Latin fidelis, which means faithfulness. It reminds me of the scripture, Proverbs 3:3 "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart."
When God gives a good gift, many times it also requires something of you. There is work and discipline and upkeep on your end. This is our spiritual act of stewardship. How we treat what we have been given. When my parents got married, it wasn't just a blessing they took on easily and lightly. We don't live in a two-dimensional world where we have a paper doll outfit that gets tacked onto our own personal paper doll for each gift and stays until we decide to remove it. Marriage, fold back the tabs. Children, add them on... fold back the tabs. No. Instead we walk, carrying our gifts and burdens and pressing onward. We have dynamic relationships between those around us, who sometimes make our burdens lighter or heavier. We bend and move and make decisions that affect our eternity. Our faithfulness to uphold the gifts can be hard. Many times it requires sacrifice. And we don't always do everything right. We can never do justly and mercifully what we ought to, and we forget to be thankful and appreciative of our gifts as we must be. We do our best.
But then there's our Saviour, the Messiah Jesus. And His fidelity to us is stronger than anything we might try to wedge in between. Psalm 100:5 "For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
God has stuck with us for so long, for so many generations. For all of the infidelity and unfaithfulness that the world seems to vomit onto our lives, God has always been faithful. He will always be our devoted spouse, drawing us ever nearer to himself.
There is something so beautiful about being committed to uphold the gifts that God has given me. My marriage, my children, my faith, and also with Pick Five. It isn't always easy. The burden of the gift can sometimes outweigh the benefits. But our returned fidelity to the gifts that God has given us comes with unbelievable rewards. I see it in my parents' relationship. I see it in my own marriage and in the eyes of my children. And as I press onward, carrying Pick Five in the backpack of my life's journey, being faithful to this small gift of discipline and growth that the Lord has given me, I am beginning to see its rewards as well.