One of the most wonderful gifts of a loving marriage is the ability to trust your mate—trust that he will be true to you emotionally; trust that she does what she says she will do; trust that he is the same person on the inside that he presents on the outside; trust that she has your best interest in mind. This creates safety, security and a deeper capacity to love. Successful marriages are built on trust. So how do mates develop and maintain this virtue in their relationship?
Think about it: When you trust your spouse, you feel so safe that you are free of concern—with him or her. You don’t have to hide who you are or be self-protective. Talk about this definition with your spouse. Ask yourselves, “Are we free of concern with each other? Or are we guarded in some ways?” It’s sometimes difficult to be vulnerable with your spouse, but doing so gives your mate a chance to love and understand you. Trust isn’t given unconditionally. You have to be trustworthy to receive trust. Even Jesus submitted himself to the trust test, teaching people to see if He was really who He claimed: “Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does” (John 10:37).
What does that mean for your marriage? It means checking with your spouse on how you affect him or her. Ask your mate, “In what ways have I not been trustworthy?” For example, perhaps you have been critical or harsh when your spouse admits a fault or weakness. This erodes trust and shows you can’t be trusted with more vulnerable parts of the heart. Or maybe you have not delivered on your promises. Asking your spouse for honest input will reveal areas that you may need to work on to build trust in your marriage.
Trust and truth go hand in hand. That is why deception of any sort is the biggest trust killer. There is no such thing as a white lie. Being honest with your spouse includes telling the truth about where you were, whom you talked to, what you said and where you spent money. Many marriages have been strengthened because both spouses committed to being honest, even if it involved painful truths.
Next: the next block in building trust – forgiveness.
Be Strong. Act Like Men.