The root word of faithfulness is ‘faith’. Faith is the belief or conviction that God is in control and is worthy of our trust, that He is working things out for our good. Faith is essential in the Christian life. The good news is that faithfulness, which includes faith, is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, so we have God’s help in developing our faith and our faithfulness! I’m so thankful for this truth and God’s steadfast love and help in our lives, aren’t you?
The following article on faithfulness is reprinted with permission of Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators and the author, Kris Hage. It originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of The Paper MACHE (now called Homeschool Now Minnesota). Visit MACHE.org.
Character Corner ~ Faithfulness
By Kris Hage
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23
The story is told of Charles Blondin, who came to the United States from his home in France in 1855. Charles had amazing talent as a gymnast and used that talent to entertain and amaze people with the stunts he could do. Being very good at walking a tightrope, Charles decided to try to cross over Niagara Falls on a tightrope! On June 30, 1859, he successfully crossed over the falls about 160 feet above the water!
Since it was such a success, Charles crossed a number of times over the falls, performing different stunts. He was blindfolded, pushed a wheelbarrow across, walked on stilts and in a sack. But the most amazing stunt of all was when he wanted to take a person across the falls with him—on his back! Who would do that? He asked the crowd if they believed he could do it. Everyone said yes…but no one volunteered. His manager, Harry Colcord, was finally the brave one to put his faith into action and climb on Charles’ back! They made it safely over the falls.
This is my favorite story to use in explaining to children what it means to believe or have faith in Jesus Christ. It’s not just head knowledge that trusts he exists and died for my sins—it’s putting that faith into action, loving and obeying him for the rest of my life!
Faith is the root word in faithfulness. We’ve been exploring the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Character Corner and faithfulness is the seventh part of that fruit. The Greek word for faith (pistis) includes faithfulness and means having a strong devotion to God, being dependable, loyal, being loyal to friends and being reliable to carry out your responsibilities.
As we teach our children what faithfulness is, both in words and by example, we must realize that we cannot imitate any of God’s character without the help of the Holy Spirit living in us “by grace…through faith” (Ephesians 2:8-10). So continually pray for your child, asking God to give him that faith and take every opportunity to share with him the amazing salvation God offers us through Jesus Christ.
Faithfulness is totally dependent upon a person’s faith. Faith translates into works and becomes faithfulness. Faith or belief produces life, actions, and attitudes. What we believe shapes what we do.
Faithfulness is being dependable in our relationship with God and others. It’s choosing to be true to our word and following through with our promises. Faithfulness possesses a constancy, devotedness, fidelity, and steadfastness in all its interactions. It’s being reliable in a world that isn’t.
Exploring God’s Word
One of Jesus’ names is Faithful and True in Revelation 19:11. Take a few minutes with your children at breakfast to read these verses that tell us what a faithful God we have (these are just a few of many if you’d like to do a word study): Deuteronomy 7:9, 1 Corinthians 1:9 and 10:13, and 1 John 1:9.
Jesus taught many people a lot about being faithful with money and service to others when he walked on the earth. Luke 16:10-13 is one of these places and Matthew 25:14-28 gives the story he told about the servants and how faithful they were with their talents, which was a form of money, not a skill.
Barnabas was described as a dependable man, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith in Acts 11:20-26. He encouraged the Christians “to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose” (verse 23). Proverbs 3:3, Psalm 37:3, and Psalm 119:30 are some scriptures to share with your children that encourage us to be faithful as well.
A favorite story of God’s miracles teaches us much about staying faithful to our God and spending time with him in prayer. Daniel 6:1-10 tells about the time when King Darius had to throw Daniel to the hungry lions after he broke an unjust law. He had faith in God and continually worshiped him, faithfully bowing in prayer three times a day with his window open toward Jerusalem, since he was in exile in Babylon. When the jealous men who served the king conned him into making this kind of prayer illegal, Daniel “prayed and gave thanks before the Lord his God, as he had done previously”—with his windows still open (Daniel 6:10)!
Daniel is included among the prophets and countless others described in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, who had faith in God and lived it out in faithfulness through some very difficult circumstances. Read through them in your own Bible time and choose one or two to share with your children before school (on one day or for several days).
Putting It In To Practice
We are Forgetful People!
Make or buy a prayer journal to record God’s faithfulness to you and your faithfulness in praying and thanking God for his answers (whether they be yes, no, or wait). Set times as a family to read them and praise God together, like Thanksgiving or Christmas time, New Year’s Day, or on birthdays.
For Animal Lovers
Dogs and horses are two of God’s creatures known for their faithful service! Unit studies on these animals make a great school project/fun science learning time and also give you wonderful examples of faithfulness from the animal world. Check them out at websites such as https://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com or https://www.unitstudy.com (Amanda Bennett Unit Studies).
Growing Strong with Spiritual Food
Set up a Bible reading plan or a plan to memorize Bible verses to build up your family. There are many plans available online. Navigators has a plan that is not overwhelming and is a great place to start. Read through the New Testament in a year, five minutes a day, five days a week.
Faithful Giving Jar
Set up a jar in your home where everyone can donate money as they wish to. Every other month or so, have a family meeting to decide where the money should go. Ideas: a family in need in your church, Feed My Starving Children, a homeless shelter, a missionary you know or one your church supports, etc.
 Kris Cox and Kris Hage, Growing the Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Direct Publishing, 2019) 108.
 Ibid., 220.
 Kris Cox and Kris Hage, Growing the Fruit of the Spirit (Kindle Direct Publishing, 2019) 206.
Please share any ideas you have for cultivating the fruit of faithfulness in your family below in the comments.