“Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).
We added a puppy to our family last month, my first pet! It’s hard to get used to our new beagle, Snoopy, as he’s always under my feet or in my view. His loyalty, regardless of what mood I am in, is such a fascination to me.
Different translations of the Bible often use love and loyalty interchangeably which speaks to the power of loyalty on our relationships. Of the many Bible stories with themes of loyalty, my favorite is the story of Ruth and Naomi. After losing her husband and facing poverty Ruth replied to Naomi, her mother-in-law, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).
Being loyal is beyond our husbands, close friends, supervisors, and immediate family. It is also with the people of our people, such as our in-laws and colleagues. This is when loyalty is no longer selfish in seeking our own wishes, but loving in seeking goodness for those we honor.
But we all battle against our innate brokenness. Right as we were beginning to get Snoopy house broken, my husband went out of town. While my husband was away, Snoopy chose to use the bathroom in the house at all the places related to my husband – his side of the bed, where he works, and where he eats at the table. My puppy reminds me of the challenges of remaining loving and Christ-like in our self-centered nature. So this is why we need to tie loyalty and kindness around our necks as a constant reminder and write them deep within our hearts.
Dr. Beth Ackerman is the Associate Dean, School of Education, at Liberty University. Learn more about Liberty University here.
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