“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)
In Proverbs 3, a father gives valuable advice. He wants his child to always be loving and faithful. This is pleasing to God and also greatly helps to maintain healthy relationships with colleagues, friends and relatives. It is even essential for the wellbeing of society as a whole.
This advice sounds obvious. Who would deny that love and faithfulness are helpful in interhuman relationships? However, practice often looks different. People tend to love themselves before others, and to put their own interests first at the cost of others’. The prophet Hosea sums up what kind of behavior this leads to: “there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed” (Hosea 4:2). All because there is no faithfulness, steadfast love and knowledge of God in the land!
The father in Proverbs 3 urges his child to bind love and faithfulness around his neck, which is a metaphor for always keeping these values at the front of his mind, and to write them on his heart, giving them a long lasting place in the core of his being.
Are steadfast love and faithfulness part of your character? How can you train yourself to be more loving and faithful?