Trust is an essential quality to build into your marriage and there are benefits to the development of a trusting relationship. Trust is the firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing. In my blog post, “3 Keys to a Godly Marriage” I shared that “Trust is earned over time through positive shared experiences.” The secret to developing and maintaining trust in marriage is quite simple, keep your word. When you promise to do something, do it. Your actions, not your words, demonstrate to your spouse that you are trustworthy.
Through the years, as Renita and I grew and matured in our love for one another, I discovered four benefits of building trust in our marriage.
1. Security - Trust helps to create a sense of security. While that may sound simple, it’s important to understand that the feeling of security is personal for each spouse and may be experienced differently. For me, security is marked by mutual unconditional love and acceptance. We accept one another for who we are. One amazing by-product of security is that it has helped to engender courage to grow and develop mentally, emotionally, and, most of all, spiritually. Over time, I’ve had to confront and overcome limiting attitudes and beliefs. When I was struggling with stress and anxiety stemming from my new job, I felt secure enough in our relationship that I didn’t have to keep up a front. I was able to let my guard down, be vulnerable, and really let Renita know what was going on with me.
2. Transparency – Transparency is the characteristic of being easy to see through. Trust prompts the willingness to bring things out into the open because there’s nothing to hide. True transparency results when we live each day of our life in a way that is pleasing and honoring to God. This attitude comes from the realization that we can never live beyond God’s presence. King David expressed this revelation in Psalm 139:7 when he wrote, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” The desire of my heart is to live with a clear conscience toward my wife and children. Therefore, I conduct myself as if someone is always listening and/ or watching. Therefore, I don’t mind if Renita looks through the files on my laptop, email, or text messages. The result is liberating. When you’re not keeping secrets, you don’t have to bear the fear of discovery. Genesis 2:25 says that “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Adam and Eve enjoyed transparency with each other and God, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
3. Minimize Defensiveness – When our marriage is characterized by trust, we’re less likely to question the motives of our spouse or view their words and actions with suspicion. As a result, there’s no need to keep our guard up and defend our position. This actually contributes to better communication because each spouse can feel like their perspective is being taken into consideration. When we both feel like we’ve been heard, we’re more likely to listen and try to understand what the other person is trying to say. When we listen and understand our spouse’s point of view, we’re more likely to enter into the given-and-take (i.e., compromise) that makes relationships work well. The beauty of being less defensive is that I don’t feel like I’m in a competition to win an argument. I don’t have to have the last word.
4. Commitment – Commitment represents our promise to build a future together. It demonstrates that we’re in a relationship for the long haul. Renita and I incorporated the traditional wedding vows into our ceremony where we promised “I take thee to be my wedded husband/wife to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part. Admittedly, it was our faith and trust in God and one another that has sustained us through the ups and downs of 32 years of married life. It has resulted from our day-by-day, moment by moment, promise to stick together and seek the best for one another.
I love this quote from Dr. John Van Epp, “Commitment is more than a life-long pledge. It is a daily promise to fulfill the needs and desires of your partner.”
Trust and the benefits that I’ve shared here didn’t develop all at once. Like every worthwhile endeavor, they developed with time and conscientious effort. Set a goal to work on building trust in your relationship by conscientiously being a man or woman of your word. As you do, you’ll find the fruit of trust growing in your marriage as well.
The Power of Agreement uses scriptural references, biblical examples, the Quick's personal stories, and testimonials from family and friends describing how working in agreement produces powerful results. Order your copy today!
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