One of the best examples of being faithful comes back to remind me about key things about what that concept is and what it is not.
Being faithful is not blind complicity and subsequent conformity. She was getting victimised and bullied in church. This woman, still married and with her brood of children was being systematically picked on by the church leadership with no effective accountability to address the matter. Though her friends from outside the local church sympathised with her plight, their advice and action was tepid. She suffered much and in this time her husband was stuck between his own commitment to the local church and his devotion to his wife. Struggling between the two, he did not stop her expressing her pain and woe at what she endured. He saw the best way for her to work things out was to go outside that local church and experience healing and inspiration from Christians outside that stream.
She went on to have a life changing experience that released her from the expectations of that local church and allowed her to explore more of where God wanted her to be and what He enabled to do. She discovered great blessing serving people beyond her wildest imagination with the gifts she practised and developed. Her horizons broadened. She didn’t even have the capacity to be bitter towards those who had mistreated her. She found release by focusing on the blessings she experienced pursuing God’s will for her life.
Meanwhile her husband, not being cowed by the growing success of his wife, rather encouraged and supported her. He saw his wife blossoming and sacrificed his own agenda to ensure she could pursue hers. This they did at no deficit to the children, only the benefit of a happier woman, making a happier wife, making a happier mother and thus a happier household.
The faithfulness of the woman was to God, who steered her through troubled waters. Meanwhile the faithfulness of her husband remained with her even as they traversed a trying time with that specific local church.
It was my privilege to be given insight into that situation at close quarters and learn so much about the patient and enduring nature of faithfulness. Seeing this between a man and woman, where the issue of infidelity is not about other sexual partners. But where faithfulness believes in the other person against all odds and when forces look to prevent that from happening.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden