“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4, NIV)
There are few things more valuable than a good reputation. It takes a long time to build, yet only moments to destroy. Our good name is something we should protect.
Proverbs says the hallmark of a good reputation (with both God and man) is love and faithfulness. This is not just any kind of love. This is “covenant love”—loyalty to one’s commitments because of love. Couple that with faithfulness, and you have a winning combination.
When we build our lives on love and faithfulness, we are able to build strong relationships with others.
One of the best ways to teach this principle to our children is to model it for them—by building a good reputation WITH THEM. We do what we say we will do.
We don’t make excuses for why we can’t. Instead, when things get difficult, our children see us sacrifice on their behalf. We choose to say no to other things so we can keep our promises to them.
Children don’t need the two words, “I promise …” for our words to hold sway with them. Jesus taught the same thing. He said we don’t need to add anything to our words to make them carry more weight. All we need is a simple “yes” or “no” (Matthew 5:37).
When our children build their own strong reputations based on “covenant love” and faithfulness, they will win favor in many arenas. First with God, then with us. There is nothing like the gift of favor to our own children. But with a good reputation, favor will follow them—with their teachers, their friends, and ultimately their employers.
Love and faithfulness are building blocks for a beautiful future!