As we continue focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22,23 our next fruit to consider is FAITHFULNESS. When I think about what faithfulness means, I think about one who is steady, constant or devoted. Perhaps loyal and unwavering is another description.
Today, I struggled with feelings of faithfulness toward my stepson because of a choice he made that was disappointing to me. One day last week, he mentioned a job opportunity he had been offered for Easter Sunday that would consume most of the day. Because he’s unhappy in his current job, he’s considering other part-time work while he finishes college.
I quickly gave him my opinion of working on Easter and asked that he consider the significance of what we celebrate on Easter and the time spent together as a family. I could tell he didn’t agree with my position because of his urgency to find another job. My husband spoke with him a few days later, taking the same position. However, we both told him that as a young adult who will turn 20 years old in a few months, the choice would be left to him.
Unfortunately, my stepson chose to try out the new job by working today. He spent the night at a friend’s last night so they could drive over together this morning so we have not seen him all day. He knew we disagreed with his priorities, but chose to disregard our position.
Tears filled my eyes as I sat with my other children in church, reflecting on my stepson’s decision. Feelings of hurt, anger, and disappointment swept over me. As the service of celebration proceeded, I knew I had a choice to make. I could continue to wallow in my feelings of hurt and anger, creating a silent barrier toward my stepson, or I could choose to let it go, offering him grace and forgiveness.
My stepson’s a good kid whose trying to find his way in life. He’s had some difficult experiences, including the death of his mom, that affect his ability to trust others and trust God, at times. Church attendance and family time may not be on the top of his priority list, but that doesn’t mean he deserves guilt and condemnation from me.
If I want to sustain a faithful relationship with my stepchildren, I have to remain loyal and devoted to them, even during periods of disappointment. As they continue down the path of young adulthood, I know they will not always make choices I like or agree with. But I can choose to offer love and forgiveness, anyway, in pursuit of faithfulness.