Hello friends, today I’m sharing another Thoughtful Thursday post with you. I wanted to talk about remaining loyal. As someone who considers myself an empath, I feel like loyalty is just something that comes naturally to me. I am maybe sometimes loyal to a fault and hang onto relationships, jobs, or other commitments longer than I should. But in this society where it’s much easier to give up on something or on a relationship and move along to the next thing, it’s so important for us to lean into and keep working at something even when it gets difficult. Many times there is something absolutely beautiful on the other side of the struggle and on the other side of really working things out. And in the meantime you become a stronger person, and a better version of yourself for having stuck it out!

I was thinking about this topic of loyalty recently as I just celebrated 27 years of marriage over this past weekend. I wanted to share some of the thoughts that I shared in a blog post 2 years ago when I devoted an entire post to a tribute to my marriage to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary. I can link that post right here if you would like to read it. But I wanted to share some additional thoughts with you.

When you’ve been married for this long, sometimes people will say things like “what’s the secret?” But honestly, I don’t think there is a secret. I kind of feel like “secrets” are a myth. I think there are only obvious answers in life, but usually people don’t like the obvious answers. The obvious answers usually require hard work. When someone is fit and you want to know how they stay fit, it’s probably the obvious answer – they workout and eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get good sleep. It’s the same thing with marriage – you remain loyal when times get tough, you forgive, you ask for forgiveness, you give grace and compassion, and show humility.

But, HOW do you do that? I recognize that is all easier said than done. I will share with you that I can’t imagine being so dedicated to my marriage if it weren’t for my faith in Jesus. In the Bible in Philippians 2:3 it says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others better than yourselves.” This is one of the principles I strive to live by. In all relationships, but especially in marriage. Believe me, there are times when I have to fight to believe this and live it out! It is certainly not always easy.

Also, marriage has not always been easy! That’s when I have learned to lean into Jesus and trust that He is refining me and making me more like him through my marriage. It also helps me to not put all of my hope and faith in a person {{my husband}} but recognizing that he is human and will let me down at times.

 Loving someone unconditionally for 27 years is not easy – and I’m not just talking about me loving my husband, I’m talking about my husband loving me! It goes both ways. We both believe in the 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 passage regarding love. We may not always feel it, but we have to keep coming back to this passage:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

But these ideas translate to other relationships and other commitments we are loyal to. It’s not always easy to work things out with a friend when you have differences. It’s not easy to stick with a tough job, but like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, oftentimes there is great reward on the other side of remaining loyal.

I will say, it can be difficult to know sometimes if something is just difficult or if you’re just going through a rough patch versus if something is actually toxic. Sometimes relationships, jobs, or obligations in life become toxic and you must be self aware enough to know that line. Sometimes it’s helpful to talk to a professional to process through that to determine the difference. But I personally like to err on the side of working through the tough times.

I hope these thoughts were helpful or encouraging to you today! Check out my YouTube video I made in conjunction with this post, linked below!

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