She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12
You know, entire books have been written about each of the “teas” I am writing short essays about. These words have multiple applications and today I want to narrow loyalty down in mindfulness to an upcoming holiday. Loyalty in regards to the man in our life, to our husbands.
Our husbands want to be shown love as much as we do. The primary way most men view love is through respect. A man wants to feel respected, especially by his wife. Today I want to address loyalty, surely a cousin to respect. Noah Webster defines loyalty as fidelity to a prince or sovereign, or to a husband or lover. Might your husband be your lover, perhaps your prince.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, consider your loyalty to your husband. Are you the lover described in the Proverbs 31 wife? Do you do good for your husband? Everyday? Consider the previous verse: The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. (Proverbs 31:11) Does your husband trust you deeply? Is he satisfied that your heart is toward him most of all?
I am sure that any of you that knew Harry and I together would find it difficult to imagine that we ever quarreled, but alas and with regret, we did. I remember one time we were not seeing “eye to eye” about something. Fortunately time made me forget what it was. We were in India and received a shocking email, essentially attacking everything that mattered in our lives, though Harry was the main target. In a moment, I was my husband’s best ally. My loyalty and heart was with him. I comforted him in his pain. We encouraged each other with truth. He knew he was not alone. That’s loyalty.
Loyalty is vital in a marriage. Your husband must know deeply that he is not in this thing called “life” alone. His heart must trust you everyday. We will have differences and generally, there is fault enough for both. I was reminded on this terrible day that it did not matter so much where the fault lie in our spat or how important I thought this issue was. When under attack, I lay my angst aside and took his side. He knew I would. Marriage must be an “in it together venture.”
We are no longer two, but one. Loyalty, husband first, is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Character is required to live life according to the promises made as we formed the covenant relationship with our spouse. Do you remember what you promised?
We promised to have and to hold them; this speaks of the intensity of a uniquely intimate relationship that we would share with our husband only.
We promise commitment to them no matter what life brings; this is loyalty! We will love in better and in worse times. We will love our husbands when we are in abundance and when we are lacking. We will love our husband when he is healthy and when he is not.
We promise to love our husbands and to cherish them. Love and cherish are very big words with precious meaning.
Some of us promised to obey. I did, but I understand better today what I was promising. It is a good promise to make and one that can be made freely with the right man. Harry was protector to our family. I thought of him as our umbrella. If the girls and I stood with him, under him, as a family we were protected by God. Choosing to do this means being loyal at times when loyalty does not feel easy.
This is where the covenant comes in. By our vows, we invited God into our marriage. You have heard it said: “It took 2 to get married; it will take 3 to stay married.” Also, consider this: It takes 3 to make 1. That is the miracle of the marriage covenant. Interesting: A marriage union is a trinity also. Also, holy.
Loyalty to your spouse is part of taking care of yourself. We would never intentionally betray ourselves. We love ourselves too much to do that. The verse I began with: She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life – We treat our husbands at least as well as we treat ourselves. Marriage is a mystery. Much like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. When marriage is good, it is very good. When marriage is bad, it is horrid.
Many ladies reading this are not where they were when they married. We have continued learning and are hopefully wiser. Our faith has allowed us to learn forgiveness, satisfaction and more loyalty that we thought possible. Life is about choices. When we choose Christ, forgiveness, satisfaction and loyalty are more easily defined and attainable.
Valentines Day is less than 2 weeks away. Consider your loyalty to the one you promised to have and to hold. How can you show him that he has your complete loyalty. When he knows this, he will trust that he has your respect.
Some women are part of a marriage that is not whole. On earth, no marriage will be perfect, but they surely can be very good. Excellent. Fulfilling. The Bible says: Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22). You are that good thing; because you are one with your husband, you will obtain favor of the LORD. Remember that God’s promises are not dictated by circumstances in which we have no input. With God, all things are possible. He said that!
I encourage you to spend this month challenging yourself about your loyalty to your husband, praying about it. Almost always, a husband has distinct ways of showing loyalty to his family. If you consider ways your husband communicates his commitment to you, you may be overwhelmed with love and gratitude. Remember love languages; we do not always speak the same language, but if we purpose to understand our husbands we will understand them. God joined men and women for our favor. Let us be wise, abounding in loyal-tea and charity.
A quick crumpet with this weeks “Tea” – An idea! If you decide to make crumpets for Valentine’s Day, make them heart shaped. Actually, this could become “your thing.” Instead of buying crumpet rings, buy several, 4 or 8 heart shaped cookie cutters, about 4 to 4 1/2 inches. Your loved ones will associate crumpets as a reminder of your love every time you make them! Win!