Category Archives: Loyalty

Loyalty Requires Honoring the Covenant of Marriage

The Bible speaks of marriage as a covenant (Proverbs 2:17 Malachi 2:14), not a contract. 

A contract is something that can be broken by mutual consent; a covenant is something that can never be broken regardless of the circumstances.  

People sign a contract because there is responsibility on each side to meet certain conditions.  One party is going to do “this,” and the other is going to do “that.” Each party says that he will take responsibility for a certain thing.  

Tragically, many people today think of marriage as a contract instead of a covenant. Their thinking is: “If you’re not giving me as much as I’m giving you, then I’m going to get a divorce.”  
  
A contract is a legal agreement between two people, but a covenant is a spiritual commitment between you and God and that other person.  A contract may be voided by mutual consent if problems arise.  A covenant has no escape clauses.  

Marriage is a covenant, not a contract! Marriage is not a 50/50 relationship. It requires 100% from each person. And if your spouse is only giving 20%, you still are responsible before God to contribute 100%.

In Old Testament times whenever a covenant was established, an animal was sacrificed and split in two and the two parties making the covenant would walk between the two halves of the slain animal and by doing that they were saying, “May I be divided and destroyed if I break this covenant.”  (See Genesis 15).

That’s part of the rich symbolism that’s represented in the marriage ceremony. That’s the reason behind why the congregation is divided in two. The groom’s family and friends sit on one side. The bride’s family and friends sit on the other side.

And when the couple have said their vows and the wedding ceremony is over, they walk out together between the congregation – between the two sides – symbolizing their binding covenant with each other.
  
A covenant is to be broken only by death. A proper marriage vow says essentially, “No matter what, we will stay together till death do us part.”

Morris Hull
Home Life Ministries

He Gave Away His Life in Handfuls

Although growing up in Northern Ireland, I had the privilege of attending Columbia Bible College in the United States. In March of 1990, Robertson McQuilkin, the former president of Columbia Bible College, announced his resignation with the following letter.

“My dear wife, Muriel, has been in failing mental health for about 8 years. So far I have been able to carry both her ever-growing needs and my leadership responsibilities at Columbia Bible College. But recently it has become apparent that Muriel is contented most of the time she is with me and almost none of the time I am away from her. It is not just “discontentment.” She is filled with fear – even terror – that she has lost me and always goes in search for me when I leave home. Then she may be full of anger when she cannot get to me. So it is clear to me that she needs me now, full time.

Perhaps it would help you to understand if I shared with you what I shared at the time of the announcement of my resignation in chapel. The decision was made, in a way, 42 years ago when I promised to care for Muriel “in sickness and in health . . . till death do us part.” So, as I told the students and faculty, as a man of my word, integrity has something to do with it. But so does fairness. She has cared for me fully and sacrificially all these years; if I cared for her the next 40 years I would not be out of debt. Duty, however, can be grim and stoic. But, there is more; I love Muriel. She is a delight to me – her childlike dependence and confidence in me, her warm love, occasional flashes of wit I used to relish so, her happy spirit and tough resilience in the face of her continual distressing frustration. I do not have to care for her, I get to! It is a high honor to care for such a person.”

Two words go together in Scripture to demonstrate the love of Christ: the words “loved” and “gave.” Paul talks in Galatians 2:20 about “the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Ephesians 5:2 exhorts us to “walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us…” That is the love that the Christian husband is to have for his wife.

Paul uses the Greek word agape. It’s the highest form of love. The world’s love is always object oriented. The person is loved because she’s pretty or because he’s got lots of money; but the moment a person looses that quality, the love based on that quality disappears. But agape love isn’t like that. It gives and it gives sacrificially.

Of Oliver Goldsmith it was said, “He gave away his life in handfuls.” That’s the Christian husband.

Morris Hull
Home Life Ministries
 
Robertson McQuilken’s Resignation Speech

[KGVID width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.characterjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/Robertson-McQuilken.mp4[/KGVID]

Divorce Worse Than Concentration Camp

I was listening to a radio broadcast by Russian-born Helen Richards in 1993.

She told how she was placed in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. She described the terrible horrors of that place. Can you picture in your mind right now what that camp was like? Can you imagine a worse experience in human life than to have been through a Nazi concentration camp? Try to imagine the deprivation, the torture, the abuse, and the lack of care for all basic human needs.

After she was released, she met an American serviceman, married and came to America. They were married for 24 years. Her husband was unfaithful and then abandoned her; and then he asked her for a divorce. (I was listening to it on the car radio, and as soon as I could, I pulled over and wrote down a paraphrase of what I heard her say.) She said, “The hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life was that divorce. I’ve been through a Nazi concentration camp and a divorce, and I have to say, honestly, the divorce was the more terrible of the two experiences.”

From a sermon by Dr. S.M. Davis

Children and Divorce

An article in the August 11, 1997 issue of USA Today said:

“The more divorces and remarriages a child lives through, the more likely he is to divorce, and the more failed marriages he is likely to experience as an adult.  Previous studies have shown a link between experiencing divorce as a child, and getting one as an adult. But this is the first to look at how multiple divorces, which became increasingly common in the 1970’s, affect a child’s marital future.”

The Costly Consequences of Divorce

A 1996 report, The Costly Consequences of Divorce, explores the changes in America’s attitude towards marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and parenting. Then it takes readers though a step-by-step analysis of the potential adverse physical, emotional, psychological, and economic stress that occurs for adults and children as a result of marital destruction. Here are their findings:

  • Men who are separated or divorced receive hospital or psychiatric care 20 times more frequently than married men do.
  • Men who divorce heighten their risk of cancer about as much as if they had taken up smoking a pack or more of cigarettes per day.
  • Divorce now ranks as the number one factor linked with suicide rates in large U.S. cities.
  • Family factors such as marital disruption, parental conflict, or rejection play important roles in determining who might abuse alcohol or drugs.
  • Children who have experienced a divorce often score worse on measures of self‑esteem, psychological adjustment, academic achievement, and emotional and behavioral problems, than do children living in intact families, or even than children living with single mothers who have never been married.
  • Children in disrupted families are more likely than those of intact families to drop out of high school.

Divorce Statistics

In an article published in December 1999, the George Barna research group reported that a larger percentage of Christians than non Christians are divorced. A survey of nearly four thousand adults found that 27% of born again Christians have been divorced, compared to 24% of others.  Within the survey of denominations, Baptists had the highest divorce rate at 29% and Catholics had the lowest at 21 %. The rate for nondenominational Christians was 34%, while for atheists and agnostics it was 21%.

Beware of Offending a “Little One”

“It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:2).

Anna Rose loved children! She had a foster home, and would take in the children nobody else wanted. She tells in her book, Gentle House, about one little misplaced boy from Latvia, who, during the Second World War, was taken to America, and passed from one foster home to another. Nobody could deal with him. The fact that he could hardly speak a word of English made the situation even more difficult. Finally they asked Anna Rose if she would take him. She said, “Yes!” She relates the story in her book:

”And so it was settled and [he] was allowed to come with me. As we drove home in the May sunshine, I said to him, ‘You know, my house isn’t big and grand like the one you were staying in before.’ To this he replied, ‘No worry. Big house, no matter. I want a gentle house.’ I wondered exactly what he meant by a ‘gentle house,’ but he did not yet have the words to make me understand.”

Later, when he was going off with the scouts to camp for the first time, she watched him…”and as he stepped out on the porch, he paused, put out his hand and stroked the porch railing. Then he spoke – almost in blank verse: ‘Good-bye, house – my dear, dear house. You are my home. Try to be here when I get back. You are a gentle house.’ ‘What is a gentle house?’ I asked him. He was indignant: ‘How is this, you do not understand? A gentle house is a place where you feel so safe.’

One of your children’s greatest fears is that their mom and dad will divorce. Since one out of every two marriages is ending in the divorce courts, chances are that some of your children’s friends at school come from split homes. They’ve watched them try to deal with the emotional struggle that affects all children in a divorce situation. They’ve seen the hurt and the sense of rejection, and they secretly wonder when the same thing might happen to them.

As much as divorced parents try to avoid offending and damaging their children, it is unavoidable. And the hurts and scars will often be carried by them for the rest of their lives.

Not only do we need to provide our children with the security of our love and acceptance of them; children also need the security of knowing that mom and dad love each other and that there is no hint or possibility of divorce.

Today would be a good time to reaffirm your marriage commitment to your spouse. Then, assure your children of your commitment as a couple and give them the security of knowing that divorce will never be a consideration for your marriage.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

What A Person Is Really Like

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8).

If you want to find out what an animal is really like, where do you go? You don’t go to the zoo or the circus – because that’s where they’re on display; that’s where they perform. If you want to find out what an animal is really like, you need to observe it in its natural habitat.

If you want to find out what a Christian is really like, where do you go? Don’t go to the church – because that’s where we’re on display; that’s where we perform. If you want to find out what a Christian is really like, you need to observe him in his natural habitat – his home. If you want to find out the sincerity of a man’s commitment to Jesus Christ and to following Biblical principles, you don’t ask his pastor or church leaders, you need to ask his wife and his children.

I am becoming increasingly convinced that the reality of a person’s spirituality is not found in the church, but in the home. It is one thing to be kind and gracious to those we meet for a few hours each week. It is quite another thing to be kind and gracious to those we live with every single day.

If our Christianity is going to be effective in reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ, then it must first prove itself in the Christian home.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

A Child’s Secret Fear

A Sunday school teacher was showing pictures to her class, asking them to quote some Bible verse which the picture suggested. The first picture showed two children with their arms around each other. A child raised his hand and offered the verse, “Love one another.” “Very good,” said the teacher. She held up another picture which showed a little girl listening attentively to her mother. Another child correctly offered the verse, “Obey your parents.” Then a third picture was held up. This one portrayed two boys pulling on the opposite ends of the same cat. The children were puzzled till one little boy suggested, “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Marriage is the only permanent human relationship that God has ever established. God’s plan and design is that one man and one woman commit themselves to a relationship that is binding until the death of one of the partners.

Over the last number of years I’ve been coming across an increasing number of Christian couples that are threatening one another with divorce. Never threaten your partner with divorce. Nothing can damage the spirit of a marriage more than the threat of divorce.

Statistics tell us that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. Many of your children’s friends have gone through the trauma of watching their parents separate and have been emotionally scared for life. A secret fear of every child is that the same thing might happen to my parents too.

Demonstrate loyalty to your spouse and your children by reaffirming your commitment to the marriage relationship.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

The Loyalty of Greyfriars Bobby

In 1858, a man named John Gray was buried in old Greyfriars Churchyard [in Edinburgh, Scotland]. His grave leveled by the hand of time, and unmarked by any stone, became scarcely discernible; but, although no human interest seemed to attach to it. The sacred spot was not wholly disregarded and forgotten. For fourteen years the dead man’s faithful dog kept constant watch and guard over the grave until his own death in 1872.

James Brown, the old curator of the burial ground, remembers Gray’s funeral, and the dog, a Skye terrier called “Bobby”, was, he says, one of the most conspicuous of the mourners. The grave was closed in as usual, and next morning “Bobby”, was found, lying on the newly-made mound.

This was an innovation which old James could not permit, for there was an order at the gate stating in the most intelligible characters that dogs were not admitted. “Bobby” was accordingly driven out; but next morning he was there again, and for the second time was discharged. The third morning was cold and wet, and when the old man saw the faithful animal, in spite of all chastisement, still lying shivering on the grave, he took pity on him, and gave him some food. This recognition of his devotion [and loyalty] gave “Bobby” the right to make the churchyard his home; and from that time until his own death he never spent a night away from his master’s tomb.

Often in bad weather attempts were made to keep him within doors, but by dismal howls he succeeded in making it known that this interference was not agreeable to him, and he was always allowed to have his way. At almost any time during the day he could be seen in or about the churchyard, and no matter how rough the night, nothing could induce him to forsake that hallowed spot, whose identity he so faithfully preserved.

www.greyfriarsbobby.co.uk

Gaining Favor with God and Man

LOYALTY is fidelity to a principle, home, institution, or country. We shall speak of it in the latter sense: loyalty to the old flag. As such, it is patriotism in practice. The patriotic citizen only is loyal to his country. The absence of this sentiment, in times of national peril, exposes one to indecision and cowardice, if not treason. Hence its great value and beauty. It is indispensable to good citizenship; indeed, there is no true manhood and womanhood without it. It is involved in the American idea of republican institutions. Loyalty makes them live.

Just now this subject is demanding attention throughout our land. The flag is flung to the breeze over schoolhouses, that American youth may not forget their allegiance to the government it represents. It is a beautiful spectacle to stir youthful hearts with loyalty to their native land, the stars and stripes floating over the temple of knowledge, wherein they are trained for usefulness and honor. It is a glad omen for them to hail it with speech, songs, and cheers.

Garibaldi, the great, grand, strong, pure, affectionate old hero, whose heart was set upon seeing his darling Italy free, independent, and happy, is an example of true loyalty. He was willing to endure hardships, persecution, starvation, and exile, to make his native land free. In his greatest troubles, his lofty spirit declared, “In times of trouble, I have never been disheartened, and have always found persons disposed to assist me.” An exile in South America for fourteen years, and again in the United States three, his loyalty to his country’s flag never wavered, and he continued to nurse the patriot’s hope in his soul that Italy would yet be free; nor was his hope in vain. The war between Austria and Sardinia called him to the field again; and what glorious achievements await the irrepressible man! The bloody tyrant of Naples driven from his throne! Sicily delivered from oppression! Nine millions of subjects added to the dominions of a constitutional king, Victor Emanuel. All Italy one nation excepting alone the dominions of the pope and the province of Venetia. This was Garibaldi’s work! ” It was the magic of his name, the fire of his patriotism, and his genius for command, that wrought these marvels.”

Refusing all rewards for his services, and declining all public honors, he said to his countrymen:–

“I am a Christian, and I speak to Christians. I love and venerate the religion of Christ, because Christ came into the world to deliver humanity from slavery, for which God has not created it…Yours is the duty to educate the people. Educate them to be Christians; educate them to be Italian. Education gives liberty; education gives to the people the means and the power to secure and defend their own independence. On a strong and wholesome education of the people depends the liberty and greatness of Italy.”

In like manner the loyalty of the great Magyar chief, M. Louis Kossuth, to his beloved Hungary, won the admiration of the world. Elected governor by a liberty-loving people, yet driven into exile, the Christian was ready to starve and die for his country.

When he was an exile in Turkey, and the government of the Sublime Forte promised him protection on condition that he would embrace Mohammedanism, his magnanimous spirit rose above the fear of imprisonment and torture, chains and death, and he replied: ” Between death and shame, the choice can neither be dubious nor difficult. Governor of Hungary, and elected to the high place by the confidence of fifteen million of my countrymen, I know well what I owe to my country even in exile. Even as a private individual I have an honorable part to pursue. Though once the governor of a generous people, I leave no inheritance to my people· They shall, at least, bear an unsullied name. God’s will be done! I am prepared to die!”

This true loyalty is charged with the spirit of martyrdom.

Illustrations of loyalty to American independence illumine the pages of history.

In the darkest hour of the Revolution, when it seemed as if the cause of the struggling colonies must be abandoned, Washington declared that, rather than surrender to the king, he “would retreat over every river and mountain in America.” And, again, after his famous crossing of the Delaware, when he stood face to face with the Hessians, rising in his stirrups, and waving his sword above his head, he addressed his troops:–“There, boys!” pointing to the foe; “there are the enemies of your country. All I ask of you is to remember what you are about to fight for! March!” That was true loyalty.

When the brave General Wayne fell at the battle of Stony Point, at the head of his column, he promptly rose upon one knee, and cried out to his men: “March on! Carry me into the fort. If I die, I will die at the head of the column.” It was not long after Captain James Lawrence was appointed commander of the “Chesapeake,” that he fell mortally wounded in a fight with the British frigate “Shannon.” With the seal of death upon his brow, he encouraged his faithful soldiers to fight on by his dying appeal, “Don’t give up the ship!” Such is loyalty to the country and cause we love. “How sweet to die for one’s country,” exclaimed an ancient patriot, as his life went out in battle. It is a sentiment that dignifies manhood, without which a cluster of other virtues cannot exist.

-from Gaining Favor with God and Man by William M. Thayer

Loyalty vs. Infidelity

Why is loyalty so important?

God established working relationships with key people throughout history based on this quality. Every marriage must be built on this quality or it will not survive. Every leader looks for this quality as a primary qualification for those to whom he delegates responsibility.

Biblical concepts

The word “loyalty” is not contained in Scripture. The word faithfulness would at first appear to be the synonym. However, faithfulness and dependability relate to the work or service that a person performs, whereas loyalty involves a much deeper, long-term relationship. The Biblical terms that best describe loyalty are a blood covenant, a bondservant relationship, and marriage vows.

The Loyalty of a blood covenant

The Hebrew word “covenant” is “bereeth.” It means “a cutting” and involves a compact made by passing between pieces of flesh. God illustrates this word in the covenant that He made with Abraham. In this and other covenants, there are many rich symbolisms that describe the depth and meaning of loyalty.

1. A covenant is made with those of like spirit. God said to Abraham, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1). Note: Jonathan made a blood covenant with David when his heart was knit together with him in love. (See I Samuel 18:1.)

2. A covenant requires an initiator who assumes the greater responsibility in maintaining the covenant. “I will make my covenant between me and thee” (Genesis 17:2).

3. A covenant involves a name change. “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram” (Genesis 17:5). Note: A name change also occurs in a marriage as the wife takes on the husband’s name and in salvation as we take on Christ’s name.

4. The purpose of a covenant is to multiply benefits and fruitfulness. “I will make thee exceeding fruitful” (Genesis 17:6). Note: The same is true of physical children in a marriage covenant and spiritual children in the salvation covenant.

5. A covenant has relationships that last beyond the lifetime of the covenant makers. “Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations” (Genesis 17:9). Although the marriage does not continue after death, the relationships between the children and relatives do. Also, covenants with land continue with the land even under new ownership. The covenant of salvation continues beyond our lifetime. David honored his covenant with Jonathan after Jonathan died.

6. A covenant requires the shedding of blood. Every man child “must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh” (Genesis 17:13). When God made a covenant with Abraham, He took animals and divided them to walk between them to make a covenant. He also required circumcision as a part of the covenant. (See Genesis 15.)

Jonathan and David’s covenant of loyalty

One of the most powerful examples of loyalty in Scripture is the friendship and covenant that Jonathan made with David. The symbolism of this covenant is also rich with meaning.

1. The oneness of spirit “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (I Samuel 18:1).

2. Outer garments are exchanged in a covenant. “And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that [was] upon him, and gave it to David” (I Samuel 18:4). Note: In salvation, Christ provides our robes of righteousness in exchange for our filthy rags.

3. Weapons are given, which symbolizes that when danger comes the covenant makers will protect each other even to their own death. “…even to his sword, and to his bow,”

4. Belts are exchanged. The belt symbolizes the strength of a person and in a covenant they pledge this to the one with whom they make the covenant. In salvation, God’s strength is made available to us in exchange for our weakness. “…and to his girdle” (v4)

The loyalty of a bond servant

The long-term relationship of loyalty is also illustrated in the Biblical provisions of a bondservant deciding that he loves his master and wants to continue serving him for the rest of his life. These provisions are given in Exodus 21:1–6 and Deuteronomy 15:16–17.

1. The bondservant covenant is voluntary and based on love “And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free” (Exodus 21:5).

2. A covenant is confirmed legally “Then his master shall bring him unto the judges” (Exodus 21:6).

3. A public symbol is given to declare the new relationship. “He shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever” (Exodus 21:6).

The covenant of loyalty between Ruth and Naomi

The loyalty that Ruth had to her mother-in-law, Naomi, is one of the most inspiring stories throughout history. After Ruth’s husband died and hard times followed, Naomi told Ruth to return to her own people because there was nothing more she could do for her. Ruth’s famous response was “And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me” (Ruth 1:16–17).

The loyalty of marriage vows

Marriage is a blood covenant, not just a legal contract. All the rich symbolism of a Biblical blood covenant is contained in it. Beginning with the groom as the covenant initiator and therefore having the greater responsibility to maintain the marriage, the seriousness of marriage vows are emphasized in the following warning. “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for [he hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:4–5).

The loyalty of the communion table

When Jesus established communion among His disciples, He was actually presenting it as a blood covenant. This is clear from the very words He used to describe it. “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:26­–28).

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” (I Corinthians 10:16). The word “communion” is the Greek word “koinania” which is a deep and bonding fellowship with one another. This is consistent with the many commands of Scripture to love one another because we are all members of the same body.

When we show disloyalty to other believers, we violate the blood covenant that is made at the communion table and receive the condemnation that accompanies the violation of a blood covenant. “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (I Corinthians 11:29–30).

-Character Council of Indiana, Inc.

Six Probing Questions Related to Loyalty

  • Do you share problems with others about those you are serving?
  • Do you have clearly defined convictions in Christian living that you have purposed to follow no matter what?
  • Do you work for a company to gain personal experience skills that will help you in working for a different company?
  • Are you quick to believe a bad report about a family member or friend?
  • Do you grieve over the hurts you have caused others or simply ask forgiveness to clear your conscience?

Character Clues Game

 

The Loyalty of the Canada Goose

Loyalty of Canada Goose Parents

Canada geese traditionally build their nests and lay eggs in April. The female lays eggs over several days at the rate of one egg per day. Once five or so eggs have been laid, the mother goose begins incubating them. Because the eggs must be kept between 100.4°F and 101.3°F, she keeps them well-insulated and leaves the nest only for brief periods of time during the 28-day incubation.

One unfortunate spring in Alaska, an unseasonably late snowstorm struck. As the cold, fluffy flakes began to fall, dozens of geese snuggled their eggs tightly beneath their warm bodies. The snow continued to fall. Soon, the wind whipped up a terrible blizzard. Three feet of snow fell that day, completely burying the surrounding area. Yet the mother geese did not abandon their eggs.

Within a few days, the spring sunshine reappeared and began to melt the snow. But it was too late. Scores of dead Canada geese were discovered once the snow melted. They had suffocated under the snow rather than abandoning their eggs.

Loyalty of Canada Goose Families

The loyalty in Canada goose families is unusually strong. “Sagacity, wariness, strength, and fidelity,” commented one waterfowl expert (F. H. Kortright), “are characteristics of the Canada goose, which, collectively, are possessed in the same degree by no other bird. The Canada [goose] in many respects may serve as a model for man.” After the winter flock begins to disperse, single male Canada geese select one of the females and offer her protection. The female responds by following the male closely—if she is agreeable.

Once it is clear that the commitment is mutual, a “greeting ceremony” occurs. During this ceremony, the two geese sing together antiphonally with such unity of timing that their separate calls back and forth sound like one continuous call. Thus, the bond of loyalty is established, and the geese mate for life.

A nesting site is selected and eggs are laid. During the vulnerable incubation period, the mother goose will loyally defend the nest with her life. The father goose is equally loyal, defending a much broader territory to keep danger from approaching the nest site. Racoons and foxes are among the most dangerous predators of goose eggs and hatchlings.

Once the young are hatched, they quickly adapt to the water. They always follow their parents in a straight line—whether swimming across the lake or waddling along the shore. The parents watch out for large fish and snapping turtles, splashing violently to scare them away and protect their fledglings.

Canada Geese Celebrate Loyalty

If the father goose spots an intruder during the nesting period, he attacks fearlessly. A lengthy fight may follow, potentially involving both parents. It may be with broken wings and battle scars that the geese finally drive the attacker away, but they stand together at any cost.

Once peace is restored, the two geese meet together for what ornithologists call a “triumph ceremony.” Singing together as in their “greeting ceremony,” geese use the weathering of battle as a basis for renewing their bond of mutual loyalty.

CharacterFirst!

How to Demonstrate Loyalty

  • Surprising each other with fun outings even during difficult times.
  • Avoiding influences that draw family members’ hearts away from one another.
  • Parents staying involved in their children’s activities even in a crisis.
  • Sons and daughters being willing to give up things that their parents cannot afford to buy rather than make them feel inadequate.
  • Parents reaffirming their commitment to their family with no possibility of divorce.

at Work/School

  • Look for ways to serve and encourage your teachers/employer.
  • Refuse to participate in conversation that seeks to mock your authorities.
  • Be an “energy-giver.”

at Church

  • Purpose to only speak well of church leaders and members to others.
  • Don’t look for a new church the moment a problem arises – seek to resolve those conflicts Biblically.
  • Attend your church services regularly as a family.

Character Definitions of Loyalty

  • Adopting as your own the wishes and goals of those you are serving. Learning to stand by those you are serving when conflicting pressures increase. (Character Clues Game)
  • Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve. (Character First!)
  • Faithful; firm in allegiance; personally devoted to a sovereign (or would-be sovereign), government, leader, etc. (Chambers Dictionary)

Bible Verses Related to Loyalty

Spend an evening (or several) looking at just one of these verses at a time. Discuss with your family what each verse or story teaches about the character quality; and give vital application of how this quality can be applied to your family. Choose several verses to memorize together as a family during the month. Since the English word “loyalty” does not appear in the Authorized Version, we have included a list of verses which relate to this important character quality.

01285 tyrb b@riyth ber-eeth’

from 01262 (in the sense of cutting like 01254); TWOT-282a; n f

AV-covenant 264, league 17, confederacy 1, confederate 1, confederate + 01167 1; 284

1) covenant, alliance, pledge

1a) between men

1a1) treaty, alliance, league (man to man)

1a2) constitution, ordinance (monarch to subjects)

1a3) agreement, pledge (man to man)

1a4) alliance (of friendship)

1a5) alliance (of marriage)

1b) between God and man

1b1) alliance (of friendship)

1b2) covenant (divine ordinance with signs or pledges)

2) (phrases)

2a) covenant making

2b) covenant keeping

2c) covenant violation

  • Genesis 6:18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
  • Genesis 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
  • Genesis 14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these [were] confederate with Abram. {plain: Heb. plains}
  • Genesis 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
  • Exodus 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
  • Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
  • Deuteronomy 29:12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day: {enter: Heb. pass}
  • Joshua 9:7 And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?
  • Judges 2:2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
  • 1 Samuel 18:3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
  • 1 Samuel 23:18 And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.
  • 1 Kings 5:12 And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.

0539 Nma ‘aman aw-man’

a primitive root; TWOT-116; v

AV-believe 44, assurance 1, faithful 20, sure 11, established 7, trust 5, verified 3, stedfast 2, continuance 2, father 2, bring up 4, nurse 2, be nursed 1, surely be 1, stand fast 1, fail 1, trusty 1; 108

1) to support, confirm, be faithful

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to support, confirm, be faithful, uphold, nourish

1a1a) foster-father (subst.)

1a1b) foster-mother, nurse

1a1c) pillars, supporters of the door

1b) (Niphal)

1b1) to be established, be faithful, be carried, make firm

1b1a) to be carried by a nurse

1b1b) made firm, sure, lasting

1b1c) confirmed, established, sure

1b1d) verified, confirmed

1b1e) reliable, faithful, trusty

1c) (Hiphil)

1c1) to stand firm, to trust, to be certain, to believe in

1c1a) stand firm

1c1b) trust, believe

  • Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
  • Numbers 12:7 My servant Moses [is] not so, who [is] faithful in all mine house.
  • Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
  • Ruth 4:16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.
  • 1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, [that] shall do according to [that] which [is] in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.
  • 1 Samuel 3:20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel [was] established [to be] a prophet of the LORD. {established: or, faithful}
  • 1 Samuel 22:14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who [is so] faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king’s son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house?
  • 1 Kings 11:38 And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do [that is] right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.
  • Nehemiah 9:8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give [it, I say], to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou [art] righteous:
  • Nehemiah 13:13 And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them [was] Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office [was] to distribute unto their brethren. {treasuries: or, storehouses} {next…: Heb. at their hand} {their office…: Heb. it was upon them}
  • Psalms 12:1 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. {upon…: or, upon the eighth} {Help: or, Save}
  • Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. {law: or, doctrine} {converting: or, restoring}
  • Psalms 31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: [for] the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
  • Psalms 101:6 Mine eyes [shall be] upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. {in a…: or, perfect in the way}
  • Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. {A talebearer: Heb. He that walketh, being a talebearer}
  • Proverbs 25:13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, [so is] a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
  • Proverbs 27:6 Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful. {deceitful: or, earnest, or, frequent}
  • Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? {report: or, doctrine?: Heb. hearing?}

07011 Myq qayam (Aramaic) kah-yawm’

from 06966; TWOT-2968b; adj

AV-sure 1, steadfast 1; 2

1) secure, enduring

  • Daniel 4:26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
  • Daniel 6:26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he [is] the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion [shall be even] unto the end.

1476 edraiov hedraios hed-rah’-yos

from a derivative of hezomai (to sit); TDNT-2:362,200; adj

AV-steadfast 2, settled 1; 3

1) sitting, sedentary

2) firm, immovable, steadfast

  • 1 Corinthians 7:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
  • Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

4732 stereow stereoo ster-eh-o’-o

from 4731; TDNT-7:609,1077; v

AV-receive strength 1, make strong 1, establish 1; 3

1) to make solid, make firm, strengthen, make strong

1a) of the body of anyone

  • Acts 3:7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted [him] up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
  • Acts 3:16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
  • Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Ways to Invest in Younger Brothers and Sisters

Take the initiative to invest in the lives of younger brothers and sisters. Here are a few ways to motivate younger brothers and sisters to spiritual maturity. A parent’s guidance is also invaluable in working with brothers and sisters.

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21)

  • Praise your siblings in public; never correct in public.
  • Only correct if absolutely necessary; earn the privilege to correct through praise.
  • Be what you want your siblings to be.
  • Pray together for your parents each day.
  • Fast and pray together during a mealtime.
  • Make a prayer list and record God’s answers together.
  • Challenge them to rise early with you to pray and study God’s word.
  • Choose a specific country to pray for together and research this country at the library.
  • Memorise Scripture together and then give appropriate rewards.
  • Go for a walk each morning, sharing with each other your rhema for the day.
  • Make a tape of a passage of Scripture for them to listen to at night.
  • Share your struggles and ask them to pray for specific prayer requests.
  • Receive God’s grace by asking them to point out your blind spots.
  • Clear your conscience and create projects to counteract the damage of past actions and poor examples.
  • Memorise the names of God together and choose one to focus on each day.
  • Memorise the 49 character qualities and their meanings and choose one to focus on each day, being accountable to each other.
  • Discover the meaning of their names and look for ways that they are demonstrating this and them praise them for it.
  • Find out the spiritual gifts of your family members and discuss how they affect the way each one responds.
  • Research together the four types of smiles and them reward them for demonstrating a consistent smile.
  • Sing hymns together and learn hymn histories.
  • Teach them how to present the gospel.
  • Treat them better than you treat your best friend.
  • Plan a special time each month to take them out individually for a time of fellowship (i.e. dinner, picnic, the park, zoo, etc.)
  • Spend five minutes a day with each sibling talking, reading, or doing whatever they would like to do.
  • Write notes of encouragement telling them how much you appreciate them.
  • Choose a relative to whom you can express gratefulness and write a thank you letter.
  • Teach younger sisters how to sew or bake for neighbours, friends and church members.
  • Show younger brothers how to be good stewards by teaching them basic auto mechanic skills (i.e. how to change a tire, the oil, and sparkplugs.)
  • Plan special times to meet the needs of a widow in your area.
  • Teach orderliness by instructing them how to properly care for their clothes (i.e. polish shoes, do laundry, hang them up)
  • Volunteer to clean your church or take care of your church grounds together.

Christianna Reed – COMMIT

Courtship Covenant


A Covenant

Between a Father and a Daughter

as Witnessed by the Lord Jesus Christ

We Agree Together to Seek God’s Best Concerning

a Future Life Partner

Father

I will protect you from unqualified men.

I will teach you God’s principles of life.

I will pray for you and for God’s choice of your life partner.

__________________

Father’s signature

Daughter

I will keep myself pure for my husband.

I will obtain your blessing on my courtship.

I will wait for your full release before entering into marriage.

__________________

Daughter’s signature

__________________

Pastor’s signature

 

__________________

Date