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.

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


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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Faithful Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Retrieved October 15, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Definition of faithful". Merriam Webster. Retrieved June 7, 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