«l will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord» (Hosea 2:20).
Fidelity can be understood as the stability and firmness of feelings and responsibilities as well as the fulfillment of agreed commitments. Tie word usually applies to marital commitment, but it is also related to other virtues.
Marriage basically consists of mutual submission: «I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine» (Song. 6:3).
Friendship within marriage promotes privacy: «His mouth is most sweet, yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!» (5:16).
Marriage entails devotion of heart and soul. «Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm» (8:6).
True love perseveres in spite of problems and conflicts. «Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it» (v. 7).
But how can we remain faithful during hardship and conflicts? Manya and Meyer Korenblit were two teenagers in love in 1942. When they were transferred from the Polish town Hrubieszow to the Budzyn concentration camp, they maintained their friendship at the risk of losing their lives, and promised to meet again, someday, in their hometown, after the war. Soon after making this promise, Manya was taken to Auschwitz and Meyer to Dachau and they were separated for the following three years. In spite of these difficulties, «they never lost faith in their mutual love, wrote the couple’s son Michael Korenblit and Kathleen Janger (co-author) in Until We Meet Again: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Holocaust. Once the war was over, they met again to fulfill their promise.
While it is true that difficulties can shake the very foundations of a relationship, it is possible to hold on to the feelings and commitment and to our personal union with God. Going through crises can be difficult, but instead of weakening the relationship, difficulties often help further strengthen the bond.
«Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. The marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love» (The Adventist Home, p. 106).