It was a frigid winter night; one of those nights that make you crave the blistering heat of summer. Unabatingly waiting in the stale, fluorescent hospital, a tired husband kneels timidly beside his wife’s bed. Cancer had snatched her once beautiful speaking voice that always left him breathless. All he had left of her was the deep breaths she took as the heart monitor beeped so consistently. As she lay there limp, the passing nurses quietly smiled in his direction. He hadn’t left the side of his beloved since her diagnosis nearly six months ago. Although emotionally drained, numb from the stress and paralyzed with fear, he stuck by her side. In the early stages, he listened as she voiced her fears. Provided a shoulder when she cried. Offered hope in the midst of despair. His devotion to his wife of twenty years was undeniable.

Devotion is defined as, “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.” Christians define devotion as spiritual obedience to God; often referring to prayers to passages from the bible as devotionals.

The commonality between the various interpretations is loyalty. Whether it’s demonstrating a commitment to a religious deity or upholding marital vows despite challenges, those who have extreme devotion never stray from what’s important to them.

Devotion is commonly used in biblical and historical examples. Although rooted in the past, we can learn much from analyzing the definition of this term. Application of devotion in modern times can help us to live a life of purpose. To learn more about how you can implement devotion in your daily life, check out these inspirational bible verses that are sure to give you a sense of direction.

1. Love

At the core of devotion is love. Without love for your specific cause, it’s easy to deviate. The husband mentioned in the outset would have likely abandoned his wife during her time of need had he not loved her. Since his love was immense, he did everything he could to show his devotion. If your purpose is a person, spirituality, goal or hobby, love has to be at the core in order for you to display your loyalty.

Displaying a loving attitude is refreshing in a world of hate. It helps you develop close, interpersonal relationships that are built on something substantial. Devotion to a specific cause or person gives your life a sense of purpose and a reason to keep going.

2. Loyalty

A devoted person never strays from the path they’ve chosen. True devotion is seen when individuals defend their beliefs and loved ones even if it means possible harm. Specifically, loyalty is necessary to maintain a healthy sense of self. If you’re disloyal to people, your job or even your beliefs, you aren’t walking in your truth. In fact, this leads to a life of confusion.

3. Enthusiasm

One of the unique attributes of devotion is enthusiasm. Half-heartedly following a belief system or person isn’t being truly devoted. Why? Because it’s done out of obligation, not want. When you’re genuinely enthusiastic about something, you look forward to giving your all to it. This helps you stay loyal and passionate about whatever you’re devoted to.

4. Observance

Someone who is devoted observes the inner workings of whatever it is they’re putting their energy towards. Observing something is weightier than simply looking because it stems from respect. For example, religious groups observe specific days because it has a spiritual significance to their belief system. They’re devoted to understanding why this day is important and they make the time to respect it.

Observing something is vital to developing personal relationships. This will help you notice what your loved ones need from you and doing what you can to honor it.

5. Spiritual Devotion

Believing in a higher being is grounding and awe-inspiring. It provides direction in a world full of chaos. In addition, being devoted to something spiritually gives your life a sense of meaning. You’ll have a connection to something that is bigger than yourself. This is an overwhelmingly humbling and comforting sensation.

Strive to find some sort of connection to the spiritual workings of our universe. Take time to show appreciation for what’s around you by observing, meditating or reading spiritual material. This will help you become a well-rounded individual.

6. Dedicating Time

The term “devout Christian” is usually applied to someone who will stop at nothing to fulfill their Christ-like obligation. They read the bible, attend Christian meetings and shape their lifestyle in a way that reflects their beliefs. If you’re devoted to something, do you make time to show your dedication?

The gentleman mentioned in the outset could have let his wife remain in the hospital alone, under the care of the professionals. She would have been safe and well-taken care of beyond his abilities. However, he was devoted to her. He wasn’t going to leave her side, even if it meant sacrificing his time. This is a great example for those who are pursuing a goal. If you don’t make time for whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, you won’t reach it. Therefore, spending a few minutes a day dedicated to perfecting your craft will help you grow as a person.

7. Growth

It takes a great deal of maturity to be completely devoted to something. Especially when you have to fight against your fleshly inclinations to uphold your dedication. Because it takes these qualities to develop exclusive devotion, it’s no wonder that growth is part of the process. Once you dedicate your time, love and loyalty to something, you’re bound to grow internally. This is ideal for job security, confidence and nurturing personal relationships.

Devotion is necessary for making it through difficult times and honing in on your relationships. Developing this quality makes you a better person, friend, and child of God. While being devoted to things of this world is necessary, the most important obligation you can be devoted to is your relationship with God. Through personal development and prayer, you can increase your devotion and fall in love with the idea of being spiritually strong.