rom The Family Virtues Guide


Reliability means that others can depend on you. It is doing something that you have agreed to do in a predictable way, without forgetting or having to be reminded. People don’t have to wonder if it will get done.

When you are practicing reliability, other can count on you to do your best to keep your commitments. If there is any way at all to keep a promise you have made, you will do it, even if it is difficult and your perseverance is tested. You really care about what you said you would do. Other people can relax, knowing it is in reliable hands.


When people are unreliable, others can’t trust them. If people do what they are supposed to do sometimes and other times not, we can never know for sure if they will do what they promise, even if it is something really important. This creates anxiety and distrust. If someone forgets to pick up the food for dinner, everyone goes hungry.

If airplanes, trains, or buses are late, passengers miss important appointments. If people who build houses or bridges or toys can’t be relied on to build them properly, others suffer when they fall apart.

When you practice reliability, you treat any job as a sacred trust. Others can count on you to do you’re your job in a dependable way. It makes a big difference in the safety and sense of peacefulness in other people’s lives. When you are reliable, people can trust you to do your part.


You practice reliability by making agreements you can keep. You agree to do things that others count on. Then you do everything in your power to see that the agreement is kept. You make sure that what you have promised gets done—unless it was impossible because of things beyond your control.

When you are older and have responsibilities such as raising a child or painting a house or practicing medicine or putting out fires, if you are practicing reliability, you give your best effort to do your job. You can begin practicing reliability now by taking your responsibilities seriously—like a sacred trust, an important commitment.

You practice reliability by planning ahead. You know what you are to do and how to do it. You leave enough time to do it. Be sure that you start in plenty of time. Do your best. Then finish on time. If something interferes and your original idea for how to do is interrupted, try to think of another way to get it done. Being reliable is one of the best ways to be of service.

What would Reliability look like if…

  • You agreed to be home by a certain time and a friend invites you to do something fun?
  • It is your turn to do the dishes and you’re not in the mood?
  • You promised your Mom you would brush your teeth after breakfast and the school bus is coming?
  • Some friends are building a clubhouse and you agreed to bring the nails, but discover your parents don’t have any?
  • Your part of a team report is due tomorrow and you feel too sleepy to finish it?
  • You borrow one of your father’s tools?

Congratulations! You are practicing Reliability when you…

  • Make promises you can keep
  • Treat your agreements seriously
  • Plan ahead
  • Do your best
  • Finish on time
  • Find another way if obstacles occur


I am reliable. I keep my promises. Others can depend on me. Nothing can stop me from giving my best.


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