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Hosea with his arm raised. Klosterneuburger Evangelienwerk, fol. 7v. c. 1340

Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something, and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances. It may be exhibited by a husband or wife who does not engage in sexual relationships outside of the marriage.[1] It can also mean keeping one's promises no matter the prevailing circumstances, such as certain communities of monks who take a vow of silence.[2] Literally, it is the state of being full of faith in the sense of steady devotion to a person, thing or concept.


Its etymology is distantly related to that of fidelity; indeed, in modern electronic devices, a machine with high "fidelity" is considered "faithful" to its source material.[citation needed] Similarly, a spouse who, inside a sexually exclusive relationship, has sexual relations outside of marriage could be considered as being "unfaithful" as having committed "infidelity".[3]


Sexual faithfulness within a marriage is a required tenet in Christianity, being called one of the four pillars of marriage.[4] It is also required in Jewish marriage,[5] and Islam.[6], although these requirements are unimportant since it is also required by the act of marriage generally in most cultures that exist today.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Faithful Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Retrieved 15 October 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Definition of faithful". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 7 June 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ David M Newman, Elizabeth Grauerholz, Sociology of Families, Pine Forge Press, USA, 2002, p. 267
  4. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, The sacrament of Matrimony, Official Website, Vatican, Retrieved May 27, 2017
  5. ^ Don S. Browning, M. Christian. Green, John Witte Jr., Sex, Marriage, and Family in World Religions, Columbia University Press , USA, 2009, p. 2
  6. ^ Ina Taylor, Religion and Life with Christianity and Islam, Heinemann, UK, 2005, p. 50