This is a rather old word that means:

  1. Steadfastness of mind under duress:  fortitude b:  fidelity, loyalty
  2. A state of being constant or unchanging

This can sound stodgy and stubborn like a person afraid of change, but to me it sounds more of reliability. Something that is constant is reliable and dependable. It most closely reminds me of the verse:

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6

It is a comfort to me that God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Why am I writing about constancy? This is a follow up post to my end of year post about goals. Goals are something to which we should be constant. I imagine that constancy to a goal is difficult for most people. I know it is for me. In my dreams of married life constancy is not a problem. I have someone on whom I can depend to help me be constant. (

Not to mention the fact that I have promised constancy to this person.) However, having observed a few marriages in my life, I can say with some confidence that if you struggle with constancy to goals or commitments before marriage, then you will struggle with it during your marriage.

For the purposes of this blog, I will be talking about sticking to goals with constancy. Someone with more qualifications than I (i.e. someone who is married) can talk about constancy within a marriage.

Constancy comes down to discipline. UGG! I know it is a dirty word to some, but it is also a necessary word. Without discipline, the world would be chaos. Back to the dictionary! Discipline is defined as:

  1. :  training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
  2. a :  control gained by enforcing obedience or order b :  orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior c :  self-control
  3. :  a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity


There are other definitions but these are the ones we discussing today. Discipline can come from two directions, an outside force or an inside force. That is someone can impose discipline on you or you can impose discipline on yourself. The first can lead to the second.

The first type of discipline is what a parent does with a child and what the military does with its soldiers. In both cases, the outside force is trying to instill self-discipline. The parent knows that at some point and time, their child will leave the house and will have to function within societies norms. The child will have to keep himself from ‘transgressing’ the ‘rules’ of society. (Can’t you tell I am studying for my master’s in education!) The

military on the other hand is trying to keep its personnel safe by imitating the conditions found on a battlefield. They know those conditions are physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, so they try to instill self-disciple in their soldiers so they are ready to meet those demands.

Photo Credit: The U.S. Army via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: The U.S. Army via Compfight cc

The second type of discipline is self-discipline. This is the discipline that will keep an athlete practicing until he has perfected his sport. It is also the discipline that will help a soldier finish the mission even though there is no drill sergeant telling him, ‘GET IT DONE!’ This is the type of discipline that we as Christians need.

With Jesus as our Great Example, we should strive to be constant in all things. He, being God, never changes, always keeps His promises and is faithful till the end.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Jesus set the goal then disciplined Himself to reach that goal. How can we do the same? Here are some things that have worked for me and I hope will help you.

Set a Schedule

Setting a schedule can help you be constant. This schedule should be realistic and flexible (life throws curveballs so you have to learn to duck!) The schedule you set could be daily or weekly or even monthly. It depends on how structured you want your days. My schedule consists of times for house chores, work periods and even times for rest. Sometimes I am able to stick strictly to the schedule. Other times, life interferes and I need to set aside my schedule for the interference. Sticking with a routine has helped me to become more disciplined in getting things done. One thing I have discovered is if you stick your routine you end up with a lot more free time than you thought you had.

 Be Accountable

Being accountable to someone can help you instill self-discipline. A couple of years ago, my sister and I agreed that we would give up sugar for 3 months and then have one week were we could eat sweet things as a reward. The first two weeks were the hardest. I craved sugar all the time. After that is was much easier. Having to be accountable to my sister helped me through those tough first weeks. It is ok to ask someone for help. Strength is not refusing to ask for help, strength is knowing you need to ask for help. It can also be the most difficult thing to do. We as humans hate to expose our soft spots. Too many times we have been hurt for doing so. However, asking help of someone you trust can be the best support to achieving your goals.

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Tomorrow is a New Day

 You know the old phrase, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’ This is something that can help with constancy. What?!? Failure can help with success? Thomas Edison was asked once about the failures he had before he succeeded at making an incandescent light bulb. He said, ‘I did not fail, I found 2,000 ways how not to make a light bulb.’ Persistence is also a part of discipline and constancy. So, you didn’t meet your goal for today, get up, dust yourself off and try again tomorrow. As humans, we can learn through failure and go on or we can wallow in our failure and become stuck in the mud of yesterday. If any of the great men of our past had given up at the first obstacle, we would not live in the world we live in today.

These are some of the things that help me be more constant. What works for you?

Dictionary definitions from the online Merriam-Webster dictionary

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